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Australian police raid home of alleged Bitcoin inventor

Australian police say a raid on a home in Sydney is not related to reports that the owner is the co-inventor of Bitcoin sitting on a fortune $415m

Australian Federal Police have raided the home the Sydney home of Craig Steven Wright, who is now believed to be a co-inventor of the Bitcoin digital currency.

The search warrant for Wright’s home was issued at the request of the Australian Taxation Office, according to Australia’s ABC News.

Police said no arrests were made and that the raid is not related to claims published by Wired and Gizmodo that Wright is the co-creator of Bitcoin based on hacked email messages.

The creator of Bitcoin is popularly believed to have as many as 1 million bitcoins that were created early on, which would be worth $415m.

The paper outlining the vision for Bitcoin and code for the software were released in 2008 and 2009 under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, but the identity of who is really created Bitcoin has been a closely-guarded secret.

The Wired and Gizmodo reports suggest Wright and US computer expert Dave Kleiman, who died in 2013, developed Bitcoin together.

Wired concludes that it cannot say with absolute certainty who is behind Bitcoin despite the massive trove of evidence, but maintains that the two possibilities outweigh all others

Bitcoin is a digital cryptocurrency that is decentralised and operates using a peer-to-peer network, and unlike other currencies has no central authority or government-based backing.

Bitcoin transactions are confirmed by other users on the peer-to-peer network and added to the continuous blockchain.

A blockchain is a constantly growing public ledger or transaction database that records all Bitcoin cryptocurrency transactions in chronological order, and is shared by every node participating in a system based on the Bitcoin protocol.

A complete copy of a blockchain therefore contains a record of every transaction completed over the network because every block contains what is known as a ‘hash’ of the block that went before it, and every block in the chain can be traced back to one ‘genesis’ block.

Read more about Bitcoin

- The Bitcoin market is maturing but security issues, such as private key management, persist.

- IBM sets out proof of concept for its ADEPT platform, using Bitcoin’s blockchain back-end to distribute the internet of things

- An MIT professor and his student have written a paper describing the use of an algorithm to predict the price of Bitcoin

Read more on IT for financial services

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