The founder of Ethereum just called the man who claims to have invented bitcoin a 'fraud'

Ethereum cofounder creator Vitalik Buterin
Vitalik Buterin, a cofounder of Ethereum.
Getty/John Phillips

  • Craig Wright claimed to be the creator of bitcoin in 2016.
  • But Vitalik Buterin, a confirmed creator of the Ethereum blockchain, called Wright a "fraud" at a conference on Tuesday.

Satoshi Nakamoto is still a mystery. Nobody knows the identity of the pseudonymous billionaire creator of bitcoin.

But the Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin is pretty sure it's not Craig Wright, the Australian who claimed to be Nakamoto in 2016.

"Given that he makes so many non sequiturs and mistakes, why is this fraud allowed to speak at this conference?" Buterin asked organizers at the Deconomy conference in South Korea on Tuesday. Audience members applauded him.

Watch the video below:

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The confrontation happened during a question-and-answer session after a panel called "Bitcoin, Controversy over Principle" featuring Roger Ver and Samson Mow; Wright gave a talk just before the panel, Mow told Business Insider.

The discussion centered on bitcoin cash, a controversial bitcoin derivative backed by some of the panelists.

Buterin also live-tweeted the panel, mostly with extremely technical critiques of the discussion.

It might be difficult for non-technical people to follow Buterin's arguments, but his conclusion is clear.

Wright first shot to fame when stories from Gizmodo and Wired both identified him as the likely inventor of bitcoin.

In May 2016, Wright published a blog post and spearheaded a media push in news outlets including the BBC, The Economist, and GQ in which he said he was, in fact, Satoshi Nakamoto.

But the evidence in Wright's blog post made little sense on a technical, cryptographic level. Cryptography experts said at the time that it was nearly nonsensical.

There are many ways that the creator of bitcoin could prove their identity, but Wright's evidence contained none of it and was needlessly complicated. Wright eventually took down the post.

Still, Wright has used the fame to start a cryptocurrency-related company and has vocally backed bitcoin cash.

It shouldn't be surprising that some in the cryptocurrency world — especially Buterin, who is respected as the technical vision behind Ethereum, the blockchain that powers cryptocurrencies like ether — still think he's a fraud.

Wright fired back at Buterin in a tweet on Tuesday morning without tagging him.

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