By Ryan Nakashima ,AP
LOS ANGELES — Since the founding of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin in 2009, its inventor — or inventors — have been shrouded in mystery. For six years, that individual or group has lurked behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto and hoarded a pile of the digital currency so large it might crash the market if sold today.
The hunt for Bitcoin’s secretive founder has taken a turn. The technology magazine Wired and the website Gizmodo both published investigative pieces this week that sorted through a trove of leaked (and possibly hacked) emails and documents that pointed to Craig Stephen Wright, a 44-year-old Australian bitcoin entrepreneur living in a posh suburb of Sydney.
While neither report was conclusive — no attempt at identification can be without the founder sending a message or moving bitcoins using Nakamoto’s own encrypted signature, known as a PGP key — both raised startling circumstantial evidence that puts a bright spotlight on Wright.
Attempts to reach Wright on Wednesday were unsuccessful.
The hunt for Bitcoin’s founder has become a cottage industry among some journalists. The chase has veered from a Finnish sociologist to a Japanese mathematician to a Japanese-American engineer, all of whom denied it — the latter after a car chase with reporters that ended at the offices of The Associated Press in Los Angeles in March 2014.