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Craig Wright Fights Back: ‘You Don’t Understand Digital Signatures At All’

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 2 min read

In a defense of his claims, Craig Wright, a controversial Australian computer scientist, said that no messages on the Bitcoin (BTC) addresses calling him a fraud have been signed at all, leaving the Cryptoverse baffled.

Craig Wright. Source: a video screenshot, Youtube, Crypto Finder

As reported, 145 addresses were signed calling Wright a fraud and claiming he doesn’t have the keys used to sign the message. As an explanation for that, Wright offered the following statement: “No message was signed. You can’t have a digital signature that is anonymous by definition. […] You can run a digital signature over them, that’s not signing a message.”

Pressed by the interviewer Patrick McLain, Co-founder of blockchain accelerator MouseBelt, to explain further, Wright added that one needs an identity to sign a message, “somebody can’t go and say, ‘I’ve got a key, I’m signing.’ If you think that, then you don’t understand digital signatures at all.”

Following a comment that to sign, “you have to register a key and it has to be protected,” Wright ended the interview claiming a prior engagement, and did not clarify further.

The Cryptoverse took over in an effort to unpack the baffling statement. Granted, many of the commenters on YouTube and Twitter alike have come down hard on Wright, describing his explanation as nonsensical, and him as a pathological liar and a fraud.

The “signature is proof of ownership of these Bitcoins HE was pretending to own,” writes ‘tubefish666’, with others also noting that the messages contradict the documents handed in court that place Wright’s identity behind the keys. Adam Back, CEO of Canada-based blockchain technology firm Blockstream, writes that Bitcoin “uses the “key as key as principal” pseudonym model so for sure the key holder – an early miner – signed the message,” adding that Wright gave no evidence that wasn’t debunked as forgery and that connect him with 2009 coins.

Wright’s argument is that “legally a digital signature is bound to a real-life identity, which is true,” writes ‘Baphomet’. “But in this case of bitcoin, the private key is allowing you to post a message while keeping your real Identity Anonymous, because you can only do it if you own the private key.”

As reported, in an ongoing Wright saga spanning years, of a particular interest is the lawsuit relating to David Kleiman, Wright’s former business partner, accusing Wright of stealing Kleiman’s share of mined BTC after his death. And with some still questioning if Wright has the keys to the coins, or those to the encrypted file containing proof that would support Kleiman’s claim, this is the story that keeps on giving.


Watch the full interview below: