AFP raids Sydney home of reported bitcoin creator

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AFP raids Sydney home of reported bitcoin creator
Craig Wright, as pictured on his LinkedIn profile

Australian tech exec and academic outed in reports.

Australian Federal Police today raided the Sydney home of a man named as the probable creator of cryptocurrency bitcoin.

The property is registered under the Australian electoral role to Craig Steven Wright, whom Wired and Gizmodo today outed as the likely real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous figure that first released bitcoin's code in 2009.

More than a dozen federal police officers entered the house, on Sydney's north shore, after locksmiths broke open the door. When asked what they were doing, one officer said they were "clearing the house".

The Australian Federal Police said in a statement that the officers' "presence at Mr. Wright's property is not associated with the media reporting overnight about bitcoins".

The AFP referred all inquiries about the raid to the Australian Tax Office, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The police raid in Australia came hours after Wired and Gizmodo published articles saying that their investigations showed Wright was probably the secretive bitcoin creator.

Their investigations were based on leaked emails, documents and web archives, including what was said to be a transcript of a meeting between Wright and Australian tax officials.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Wright has a long history in the technology sector, including a stint at defunct email company OzEmail while Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull owned a stake in the business.

His career spans both technical and executive roles, and Wright is listed as having been a subject co-ordinator/ lecturer in digital forensics at Charles Sturt University for five years until this past June.

Wright is currently listed as the chief executive officer for alternative currency company DeMorgan Limited and for Hotwire Pre-Emptive Intelligence Group.

The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto has long been a mystery journalists and bitcoin enthusiasts have tried to unravel.

He, she or a group of people is the author of the paper, protocol and software that gave rise to the cryptocurrency.

Uncovering the identity would be significant, not just to solving a long-standing riddle, but for the future of the currency.

And as an early miner of bitcoins, Nakamoto is also sitting on about 1 million bitcoins, worth more than US$400 million (A$554 million) at present exchange rates, according to bitcoin expert Sergio Demian Lerner.

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