Craig Steven Wright, an Australian entrepreneur, identified himself as the creator of bitcoin almost five months after he was outed in media reports as the man behind the virtual currency.
Wright said in a blog post and interviews with three media organizations that he developed the original bitcoin software under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, a claim that’s been disputed by others. Wright provided technical evidence, including the original encryption keys, that have been confirmed by prominent members of the bitcoin community, the BBC reported.
Wright was named as the creator of bitcoin by both Wired and Gizmodo in December, which he said caused unwanted attention on his work and family. A white paper on the virtual currency was released under the name of Nakamoto in 2008 detailing the concept of peer-to-peer electronic cash before software was rolled out in early 2009. More than one other person has previously been identified as the original creator.
Before Monday, Wright had stayed silent on the December reports, which cited e-mails, deleted blog posts and documents. He also revealed himself as bitcoin’s creator to the Economist and GQ magazines, the BBC said.
The evidence Wright provided didn’t completely dispel all doubts about his claim to be Nakamoto, according to the Economist. The magazine said Wright did not definitively show he had control over an original stash of bitcoin suspected to be owned by Nakamoto. He also had a potential personal interest in influencing debate within the bitcoin community, and claiming he is Nakamoto would strengthen his argument, the magazine said.
Jonathan Underwood, a technical adviser to bitcoin startup bitbank Inc., said the proof Wright posted on his blog was a signature from an old transaction and not evidence that the Australian actually controls Nakamoto’s private bitcoin keys.
Yuzo Kano, who runs a bitcoin exchange in Tokyo, is also skeptical of Wright’s claims.
“The key he posted on his blog is actually publicly available information,” said Kano, who quit Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to open BitFlyer Inc. in 2014. “This doesn’t prove at all that he holds the private keys.”
Bitcoin’s libertarian roots, with no central issuing authority and a public ledger to verify transactions, has become more mainstream with its adoption by merchants around the world. Its underlying technology has also drawn interest from banks including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup Inc.
Advocates have promoted bitcoin as a global, decentralized currency for the Internet age, and venture capital investments in companies affiliated with the technology topped $1 billion last year. Yet the instrument has proven volatile, its role in money laundering and other illegal activity is a constant source of questions, and the price fluctuates with each regulatory clampdown or criminal investigation.
New bitcoins are generated all the time, when operators of number-crunching computers called miners solve complex equations and record every transaction. The number of bitcoins that can be generated, however, is limited by design in the digital currency’s underlying software, and the built-in scarcity mechanism means ever more powerful computers are needed to mine the currency.
When Wright was first identified, he was living in a modest home on a quiet tree-lined street in the suburb of Gordon, about 13 kilometers from Sydney’s central business district.
His then social-media profile suggested a man with an enthusiasm for virtual currency and computing. In addition to numerous college degrees and a stint as a chef, his now-deleted LinkedIn profile listed him as the chief executive officer of DeMorgan Ltd.which has researched bitcoin, proposed a bank for the currency, and offers wallet and exchange services.
Wired’s evidence for naming Wright as the currency’s creator included 2008 blog posts discussing bitcoin, along with e-mails, transcripts and accounting forms that corroborate the link. The tech magazine also cited a 2014 administrator’s report into Hotwire Preemptive Intelligence Pty., which indicated the e-payment software firm was backed by A$30 million ($23 million) of bitcoin owned by its managing director Wright.
The New York Times and New Yorker magazine have both tried to find the person behind the pseudonym. In a 2014 cover story, Newsweek identified the real Satoshi Nakamoto as a California physicist, who denied the report.
Unlocking Investments into Africa’s Renewable Energy Market
The African Energy Guarantee Facility (AEGF) is launching a virtual roadshow of free webinars allowing a deeper understanding of risk issues for renewable energy projects on the continent, and conversations around risk mitigation solutions. The first webinar will take place on Thursday, 23 September from 14:30-16:00 hrs. EAT.
The session will be oriented on how to get more energy projects from the drawing board to the grid. While the energy demand in African economies is expected to nearly double by 2040, and although the potential for renewable energy is 1,000 times larger than the demand, only 2GW out of almost 180GW of this new renewable power were added on the African continent.
Clearly not good enough! To improve the situation within the next two decades, new solutions need to be implemented urgently. De-risking and promoting private sector investments will play a crucial part of it.
In this 90-min interactive session, AEGF partners: the European Investment Bank (EIB), KfW Development Bank, Munich Re and the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) will share their experience and provide valuable insights on how they were able to come together and design practical solutions for investors and financiers of green energy projects in Africa aligned with SDG7 objectives.
Across Africa, the complexity of renewable energy projects and their long tenors hold back crucial energy investment. Tailored to the specific needs and risk profiles of sustainable energy projects, AEGF will tackle the investment challenge by providing underwriting expertise and capacity tailored to market needs.
The AEGF will significantly boost private investment in sustainable energy projects, both expanding access to clean energy and contribute to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals. The scheme supports new private sector investment in eligible renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy access projects in sub-Saharan Africa.
Shell Signs Agreement To Sell Permian Interest For $9.5B to ConocoPhillips
Shell Enterprises LLC, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc, has reached an agreement for the sale of its Permian business to ConocoPhillips, a leading shales developer in the basin, for $9.5 billion in cash. The transaction will transfer all of Shell’s interest in the Permian to ConocoPhillips, subject to regulatory approvals.
“After reviewing multiple strategies and portfolio options for our Permian assets, this transaction with ConocoPhillips emerged as a very compelling value proposition,” said Wael Sawan, Upstream Director. “This decision once again reflects our focus on value over volumes as well as disciplined stewardship of capital. This transaction, made possible by the Permian team’s outstanding operational performance, provides excellent value to our shareholders through accelerating cash delivery and additional distributions.”
Shell’s Upstream business plays a critical role in the Powering Progress strategy through a more focused, competitive and resilient portfolio that provides the energy the world needs today whilst funding shareholder distributions as well as the energy transition.
The cash proceeds from this transaction will be used to fund $7 billion in additional shareholder distributions after closing, with the remainder used for further strengthening of the balance sheet. These distributions will be in addition to our shareholder distributions in the range of 20-30 percent of cash flow from operations. The effective date of the transaction is July 1, 2021 with closing expected in Q4 2021.
Shell has been providing energy to U.S. customers for more than 100 years and plans to remain an energy leader in the country for decades to come.
Oil Gains 1 Percent on Possible Tight Supply
Oil prices rose on Tuesday as analysts pointed to signs of U.S. supply tightness, ending days of losses as global markets remain haunted by the potential impact on China’s economy of a crisis at heavily indebted property group China Evergrande.
Brent crude gained 95 cents or 1.3% to $74.87 a barrel by 0645 GMT, having fallen by almost 2% on Monday. The contract for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) , which expires later on Tuesday, was up 91 cents or 1.3% at $71.20 after dropping 2.3% in the previous session.
Global utilities are switching to fuel oil due to rising gas and coal prices, and lingering outages from the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Ada that imply less supply is available, ANZ analysts said.
“While slowing Chinese economic growth and uncertainty around the (U.S.) Fed’s tapering timetable weighed on market sentiment, other developments still point to higher oil prices,” ANZ Research said in a note.
Still, investors across financial assets have been rocked by the fallout from heavily indebted Evergrande (3333.HK) and the threat of a wider market shakeout in the longer term.
“Evergrande’s woes are threatening the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy and making some investors question China’s growth outlook and whether it is safe to invest there,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.
While that view of the state of China’s economy is weighing on markets, the U.S. Federal Reserve is also expected to start tightening monetary policy – likely to make investors warier of riskier assets such as oil.
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