Did Phil Wilson Help Satoshi Nakamoto Create Bitcoin’s Blockchain and Whitepaper?
Is Phil ‘Jamie' Wilson the Real Name of the ‘Main' Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto? A Fascinating Deep Dive (#2)
The mystery of Satoshi Nakamoto continues to lurk over the bitcoin community. Now, new evidence suggests that Phil Wilson could be the ‘Nakamoto' to ‘Satoshi' as part of a core group of men who created bitcoin.
There are a number of signs pointing to the idea that New Zealand programmer Phil Wilson was there during the early days of bitcoin’s development. Evidence suggests that Craig Wright, Dave Kleiman, and Phil Wilson could have been the three key figures behind bitcoin, with one – or all – assuming the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto.
Phil Wilson, like Craig Wright, has publicly claimed to be one of the men responsible for the creation of bitcoin. In a series of online posts, Phil Wilson has published details of his alleged participation with Wright and Kleiman during the early days of bitcoin.
Yesterday, we broke news about Phil's bitcoin brain dump (Part 1) in what turned out to be very interesting comments that opened up the discussion once again as to who Satoshi is:
However, upon further research and digging through the massive dialogue posted to Phil's website – we had to make another brain data dump 2.0 post regarding Craig, Phil and Dave's involvement with Satoshi Nakamoto avatar. Those online posts can be found at vu.hn, which is Phil Wilson’s official website. One page called “Bitcoin Origins” is particularly worth a read: http://vu.hn/bitcoin%20origins.htm
it is very long so we did our best to extract the best of the best to give you the storyline of bitcoin's near decade long decorated path. Much of the information on vu.hn was published in February 2018 when details of Craig Wright’s court case with the Kleiman estate became public.
In February, it was revealed that the family of Dave Kleiman was suing Craig Wright over $10 billion worth of bitcoin. The pair had allegedly mined over one million bitcoins during the early days of the bitcoin network (BitMex believes this number is more around 700,000 BTC). The court also claims that Kleiman and Wright had a central role in developing bitcoin. Make sure to check out this post to see Satoshi's early day bitcoin mining activity.
This is where things get interesting: those court documents frequently mention the fact that Wright and Kleiman were just two of three people who created bitcoin.
Phil Wilson, if he is to be believed, is the third person behind bitcoin.
Wilson first published the information on vu.hn back in February. However, on August 29, Phil Wilson made new statements indicating that he could genuinely be connected with the project. As we discussed in our blog post on Phil Wilson’s tweets, Phil Wilson could absolutely be the man behind bitcoin.
Who is Phil Wilson?
Phil Wilson is a Kiwi computer programmer who currently lives in Sydney, Australia. Wilson had been living in Sydney for 12+ years at the time bitcoin was being developed.
Despite the fact that Wilson and Craig Wright were (allegedly) working on bitcoin together and that they lived in the same city, the two never met.
For years, Wilson was better-known under the name “Scronty” online. In correspondence with Craig Wright and Dave Kleiman, Wilson referred to himself as Jamie.
We know relatively little about Scronty or Phil Wilson. The man claims to have worked on the bitcoin project in absolute secrecy. He never attached his name to the project, nor did he reveal his true identity to Craig Wright or Dave Kleiman.
Phil Wilson’s Connection to Bitcoin
If you believe Phil Wilson’s story, then the information on vu.hn is worth a read. Below, we’ll assume that the story is real and that Wilson is telling the truth.
“A couple of guys worked with an online betting company,” begins Wilson. “They had a problem.”
These two individuals – later revealed to be Craig Wright and Dave Kleiman – needed an effective and secure way to transfer funds between participants on the betting platform. Using credit cards was too problematic and prone to regulatory issues. Using digital bits and code, meanwhile, wasn’t secure.
Phil Wilson ran in the same cypherpunk circles as Kleiman and Wright. Discussions of Satoshi Nakamoto frequently mention these cypherpunk groups. Here’s how Wilson explained Wright and Kleiman at the time:
“[Craig Wright] had been on the periphery of the cypherpunks group since the mid 1990’s. When I entered the project in early 2008 he had been working on the problem part-time over the past five years. Over the previous year or so he’d been working on the problem full-time. He was writing a white paper for an e-cash system for the online betting/gambling company to use ( or to license out the solution to multiple companies ) plus writing the code for it. He was attempting to implement a working example of electronic cash.”
On March 12, 2008, Phil Wilson claims that Craig Wright asked Dave Kleiman “to help with his white paper and code.”
That’s when the pair decided to reach out to Phil Wilson:
“After talking to his friend (3) it was decided that maybe they had their noses too close to the grindstone and that they should find someone who wasn’t a cryptographer to look over the ideas.”
In April 2008, 6 months before the bitcoin whitepaper was published online for the first time, Phil Wilson allegedly joined the project. Phil Wilson told Craig Wright that his name was Jamie.
Interestingly, during this time, Craig Wright didn’t use an anonymous identity. Many people assumed that Craig Wright was a pseudonym. However, he was just using his normal name. Phil Wilson, meanwhile, went by the moniker Jamie or Scronty. It also appears Dave Kleiman used his real name.
Over the next several thousand words, Wilson explains how he and Wright worked on the bitcoin project over the coming months. They solved technical challenges and helped make bitcoin into what it would eventually be.
On November 1, 2008, Craig Wright emailed Phil Wilson and said “It’s published.” The bitcoin whitepaper was online.
Phil Wilson Explains How Hal Finney Joined the Project
In his explanation on vu.hn, Phil Wilson also explained another mystery of Satoshi Nakamoto: how did Hal Finney join the project?
Hal Finney, for those out of the loop, was the first person to receive a bitcoin transaction. The Silicon Valley-based computer programmer received the first bitcoin transaction from Satoshi Nakamoto in January 2008, just days after the bitcoin network launched.
“Hal came on board almost immediately,” writes Phil Wilson. “He was really quite interested in how we'd used ideas from his RPOW for Bitcoin.
One of the first things he did was to change the code to use a more modern form of C++.”
Wilson claims that Finney changed the code to a more modern form of C++, making it more complicated for older programmers like Wilson. Younger programmers who had learned about vectors and maps exclusively from straight C++ programming, however, liked the changes.
This was an important turning point. Wilson didn’t have a strictly C++ background and he struggled to understand the new changes.
“There's nothing worse ( in programming ) when you've put so much effort into getting something working and then have someone else come along and mess it all up so you don't even recognise it any more. But for this project to succeed, for it to be able to progress far out into the future, it has to be maintained and extended without my involvement at all. I took this as another test of the fates. To practice humility and be humble. Allow others in to help guide the direction of the project. It took quite an effort to stop screaming towards the rafters that they were [redacted] everything up.”
All of this appears to have happened in the last few months after 2008, after the release of the bitcoin whitepaper online but before the launch of the bitcoin network. Hal Finney, in other words, was there from the very beginning. He didn’t create bitcoin, but he was there from the first publication of the whitepaper.
Phil Wilson continued to contribute to the project in the leadup to bitcoin’s launch in January 2009.
Phil Wilson Explains Why They Chose a Total Supply of 21 Million
Another interesting tidbit from the vu.hn site is that Phil Wilson and Craig Wright debated over the 21 million figure.
The debate seemed to be pretty one-sided, with Wright insisting that bitcoin had a total supply of 21 million.
Initially, the plan was to release 42 million bitcoin over time, with block rewards scheduled for release all the way to 2140.
Wright, however, chose differently. Here’s how he justified the changes, according to Phil Wilson:
Phil Wilson: “But it's supposed to release 42 million coin into the system over time, remember ?…If I'm looking at this correctly it'll only ever release 21 million.”
Craig Wright: “Yeah… But it hits the year 2140 like we wanted and the coin-base halves every four years. Just like you said. I talked this over with the others and they came to the conclusion that 21 million bitcoin with eight decimal places would mean that Bitcoin would be able to replace the M1 figure.”
Wright went onto explain that “the M1 figure” is the total money supply in circulation around the world. M2 and M3 are debt-based currencies, while M1 is pretty close to 21 million.
Phil Wilson Claims All Three Used the Satoshi Sourceforge Forum Account
Phil Wilson claims that in mid-2009, they established a forum on Sourceforge to help build a community around the bitcoin project.
All three of the core creators of bitcoin – Phil Wilson, Craig Wright, and Dave Kleiman – had access to this account. All three made posts with the account.
“Over the course of 2009, as the preferred direction of the project diverged between me and (2), there were a few posts made where Satoshi contradicted himself or used quite different vocabulary and grammar usage.”
Later in 2009, forum users began asking if Satoshi Nakamoto was a single person or a group of people. Why else would the account use dissimilar grammar and sentence structure?
“Everyone up till that point had assumed Satoshi was an individual and now members were actively posting evidence that either Satoshi had some sort of bi-polar disorder or it was definitely a team effort. That's where those original rumours – that Satoshi was a team – came from.”
Phil Wilson Claims to Have Created the Bitcoin Symbol and Logo
The bitcoin symbol and logo – the orange B – was first released on February 24, 2010.
Phil Wilson claims he created the bitcoin logo during the course of a chat between himself, Craig Wright, and Dave Kleiman.
Phil Wilson made the logo in Paint Shop Pro 7, then passed the design to Craig Wright, who published it online.
Phil Wilson Leaves the Project
In 2010, Phil Wilson claims he decided to leave the project.
“I decided to stop helping [Craig Wright] and [Dave Kleiman]. They’d effectively taken over the project and stopped making the adjustments I'd suggested over the past year.”
Wright then began to grow angry at Phil Wilson and suggested he would find someone better:
“This happened again and again until (2) begun to realise that I wasn't giving them any help at all. “I really need you to help me with this stuff,” (2) said. “If you're not going to help me then I'm going to need to find someone who will.””
Phil Wilson claims he recommended Gavin Andresen for the project, and Gavin came on board in mid-2010.
Phil Wilson Deletes All Evidence He Was Involved with the Project
Dark net drug marketplace Silk Road was launched in January 2011. By mid-February 2011, Silk Road was live and available to the public, allowing anyone to sell their own items online. Bitcoin was one of the most popular transaction methods on Silk Road.
This is where Phil Wilson started getting worried about his liability. In April 2011, Gavin posted online that he was going to visit the CIA. Wilson started to believe anyone connected to the bitcoin project was going to get in trouble.
In May 2011, bitcoin and Silk Road began gathering increasing attention. There were rumors law enforcement was looking into bitcoin.
This is when Phil Wilson made a drastic decision: he was going to delete all evidence of his connections to bitcoin’s development. He was also going to delete all his bitcoins.
“On May 29th 2011 I make [sic] an archive of my Bitcoin-related emails. During the archiving process Outlook crashed. After a computer restart I found that the Bitcoin subfolder no-longer exists and that the archived file was corrupted. As I was using POP3 at the time, I had no other copies of those emails and they were gone forever from my end.”
Phil Wilson reached out to Craig Wright for a copy of the emails. Wright, however, said that the data was far too large to send as an attachment (it was three year’s worth of correspondence). Wright proposed sending an encrypted USB drive via the mail.
That’s when Wilson and Wright both realized they had been developing the bitcoin project from the same part of the world: the suburbs of Sydney, Australia.
Wright sent Wilson a copy of his address. It wasn’t until this point, several years into the bitcoin project, that Wilson realized Craig Wright was using his real name. At the same time, Wright realized “Jamie” wasn’t Phil Wilson’s real name. Wilson, however, refused to meet Wright in-person.
Wilson went on to do “a forensic clean of my system again and again.” He wiped everything.
He also deleted over $40,000 worth of bitcoin during this purge. This bitcoin, obviously, would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars today.
Craig Wright was shocked:
“You didn’t have to delete them…Just encrypt them and store on a USB stick. No-one would’ve been able to access them.”
That wasn’t good enough for Wilson, however. His bitcoins – and any evidence of his connection with the bitcoin project – have been permanently lost.
When Did the Internet First Hear About Phil Wilson?
The first mention of Phil Wilson appeared online at /r/bitcoin no October 31, 2016. In a detailed and lengthy post called “Bitcoin Origins”, Wilson described his connections to the bitcoin project. The information is identical to what was posted on vu.hn.
The post didn’t attract much attention. There were 34 upvotes. The community agreed it was a nice story, but backed by little concrete proof.
Phil Wilson and the Tulip Trust Keys: Will Satoshi’s Bitcoins Be Released in 2020?
Everything up above was revealed between October 2017 and February 2018. This is when Phil Wilson – Scronty – first appeared online claiming to be one of three men behind bitcoin and the Satoshi Nakamoto identity.
This past week, however, Phil Wilson sent a flurry of tweets adding new information to the Satoshi Nakamoto mystery. Wilson was asked about the proposed changes to the BCH protocol.
Wilson isn’t backing down on his claim of being behind bitcoin.
“Craig barely understood the tech after three years of continuous explanation,” wrote Wilson on Twitter on August 29. “He’s good enough to parrot a few phrases here and there but I’d never trust him to understand what he’s talking about.”
This is when Wilson sent a bombshell explaining the legendary “Tulip Trust Keys.”
Wilson was asked if Craig Wright can move Satoshi Nakamoto’s bitcoins.
“The coin was supposed to have been tied up in a few multi-sig addresses,” explained Wilson. “If they both agreed on using some of the coin for research and development purposes, then they could. Id’ have the deciding vote if there was disagreement between Dave and Craig.”
This is where the Tulip Trust Keys come into play:
“That’s the purpose of the Tulip Trust Keys…Those keys were never supposed to be used to prove someone was Satoshi. Hence why the GMX key in there was not the same one which was generated back in 2008. It was only made to look like that in case Craig ever chose to break his word.”
Back in 2016, Craig Wright tried to publicly identify himself as Satoshi Nakamoto. The key he used, however, was not an original Satoshi Nakamoto key – although it was designed to look like one. There was also an interesting piece on how Phil Wilson actually was the one who registered the domain bitcoin.org minutes before Craig and Dave allegedly tried to.
Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoins Will Be Unlocked in January 2020
“Come 1st January 2020, those addresses get unlocked and Craig will be able to transfer whatever coin hasn’t been pre-sold to any backers. If any version of bitcoin is worth any price at that date then this will become the greatest heist in human history.”
Satoshi’s stash of bitcoins, of course, could be worth as much as $10 billion – or much more if bitcoin’s price rises between now and 2020.
Ultimately, there are two ways to process Phil Wilson’s story:
Phil Wilson is Telling the Truth: Phil Wilson is telling the truth. Craig Wright and Dave Kleiman created bitcoin together, then enlisted Phil Wilson in early 2008 to bring the project to completion. Craig Wright was the man most often associated with the Satoshi Nakamoto identity, while Dave Kleiman was a genius coder who developed the protocol. All three posted under the name Satoshi Nakamoto online. The three amassed hundreds of thousands of bitcoins during the early days of bitcoin. Wilson deleted his bitcoins. Wright and Kleiman kept their bitcoins locked in a trust, with Wright still having access to about 100,000 bitcoins while he waits for the trust to unlock. In 2020, that trust will unlock and Wright will have access to Satoshi’s original bitcoins.
Phil Wilson is Lying: Even if Phil Wilson is lying, his story at vu.hn is a detailed account of bitcoin’s development, including the problems solved along the way and technological hurdles that were crossed. This information is original and has not been previously published on the internet. If it’s a tall tale, then Phil Wilson certainly put a lot of work into it.
Craig Wright, meanwhile, has publicly dismissed Phil Wilson’s claims, calling Wilson a “paid shill.” The internet has largely ignored Phil Wilson. One article on Blocksplain from February 2018 highlighted Wilson’s story, but he has received limited media attention since then.
Ultimately, Phil Wilson might be the man behind bitcoin. Or, he could just be a man fishing for attention. As the mystery of Satoshi Nakamoto continues to unravel, we’re learning more about the early days of bitcoin’s development.
WOW. We hope you enjoyed your popcorn.gif as this was well worth piecing together. Hopefully you read our first post that unlocked all of this insight and ‘unproven' yet enticing clarity as to the early days of bitcoin's inception and pre-whitepaper roll out process.
No matter your take or stance on who Satoshi Nakamoto is, we would like to leave you with a quote from Phil Wilson's Bitcoin Origins post that is worthy for anyone who took the time to learn and read this 3,200 word post and that is:
This tech will allow folks to move digital items about and use them as commodities and currency. We're going to have to push the commodity idea because practically every nation that has its own fiat currency also has laws against folks creating their own type of currency and monetary system. Unlike all of those others in the crypto community who have published many electronic cash ideas over the years and decades this is the very first time the nut has finally been cracked. It is not the government of your own nation that you have to be wary of. It is every single government upon this planet that will be gunning for us for releasing something they cannot ever control. Something that could quite possibly outlast the existence of any of their nations, their type of government, their constitutions. The descendants of us all will one day look back into their past and see what used to be called a sovereign nation with amusement. And they'll do so all the while continuing to use the tech from this electronic cash solution to be their own self sovereign individuals.
And, a one liner that is fitting for close:
“the entire system has to be able to take two truths and decide upon which of them is fact”
Told you it was fitting right.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming: #WHENMOON