Police have raided the Sydney home of a man named as the likely creator of cryptocurrency bitcoin, according to the Reuters news agency.
Bitcoin’s code was released in 2009 under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, and journalists and investors have been trying to track down the creator ever since.
On Wednesday afternoon around a dozen federal police officers raided the house after a locksmith broke open the door – just hours after Wired magazine named Craig Wright as the man responsible for bitcoin.
A Reuters reporter said officers told them that police were “clearing the house”.
However the police force said in a statement that the move was not linked to “media reporting … about bitcoins”.
Instead it directed all inquiries to the Australian Tax Office, suggesting the raid could be linked to tax issues.
Wired magazine said their own investigations showed that Mr Wright was probably the secretive bitcoin creator.
They cited leaked emails, documents and archives from the Dark Web.
However, the magazine said their proof was not conclusive: “Despite a massive trove of evidence, we still can’t say with absolute certainty that the mystery is solved.
“Either Wright invented bitcoin, or he’s a brilliant hoaxer who very badly wants us to believe he did.”
Several publications have previously attempted to guess Nakamoto’s real identity, but no claims have proven conclusive.
The creator of bitcoin has around a million of them, worth more than £250m at current exchange rates.
Since its launch, bitcoin has grown from a digital novelty to a currency with a total value of around £3.3bn.
On The Trail Of Bitcoin’s Alleged Founder
After receiving a trove of leaked documents which allegedly linked Craig Wright to bitcoin, Wired magazine sent him an email saying they knew his secret.
He replied: “You are digging, the question is how deep are you? Regards, the Director of Tessier-Ashpool”
The name is a cyberpunk reference to William Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy.
A few hours later a follow-up message arrived: “The nature of this moniker is selected for a purpose. I now have resources.
“This makes me a we now. I am still within that early phase of learning just what my capabilities happen to be. So, even now with resources I remain vulnerable. You seem to know a few things. More than you should.”
When Wired described the connections they had found, he replied: “Although we all desire some level of credit, I have moved past many of these things.
“Too many already know secrets, the world does not need to know. There are other means to lead change than to be a dictator.”
He eventually said he would consider a request for a meeting, before ending all contact.