While it isn't particularly important if Wright is Nakamoto or if someone else is, it's worth examining all the evidence to determine whether the articles are true or not. My opinion is that he is Nakamoto. While there are some areas of the story that don't add up, there are far too many more parts that do to brush these articles aside. The major issue in forums right now is that many people hold this topic to an unreasonably high standard of proof. While it is true that a jury would be unlikely to say that the evidence holds up beyond a reasonable doubt, the civil standard of "more likely than not" would probably hold.
What is not important
First, I'll review a list of some of the things that are irrelevant.
- E-Mails sent to mailing lists - There have been several E-Mails sent to mailing lists over the past few months. One stated an opinion on the blocksize debate, and another claimed that Wright wasn't Satoshi. Believing this line of reasoning is particularly dangerous because there are many news articles that are simply factually incorrect on this topic. First, it is well known that Satoshi's E-Mail accounts were hacked, so anyone with access to the accounts could have sent the messages. Even if the person did not have direct access to the accounts, anyone can send an E-Mail from anyone, and we don't even know if the list server even checks SPF records to see if the sending SMTP server has permission to use that address. Even if the SPF records pass, whoever is the owner of that domain could easily falsify the message by modifying the mailserver code. Finally, Wright himself could simply have lied to draw away attention. Anything posted to a mailing list should be completely disregarded.
- Writing style - If the reports are true, then David Kleiman also contributed significantly to bitcoin, which would explain why the writer of all the online material was not awake during East Coast nights. Since Kleiman was a sheriff's deputy, not an academic, he doesn't have a wide range of writings to analyze and could easily have ghostwritten for Wright. In addition, Wright, who achieved Master's degrees every year and was working with a computer forensics expert, is smart enough to have been taught to purposely alter his writing style to avoid detection.
To get to why I support the idea of these articles being correct, I like to simply use common sense. Millions of E-Mails were examined in the investigation. Posts, even the ones that weren't changed, date back years. Lots of people were involved. The scale of such a hoax would be unprecedented. Given how people have searched for half a decade to get even a clue as to Nakamoto's identity, in order for this story to be a complete hoax someone would have had to hack those E-Mails, and read them all more than once to obtain a good enough understanding of Nakamoto's personality to change only the E-Mails that are necessary to wrongfully identify Wright. Then, he would have to choose Wright as the target, someone who had never been suspected before of being Nakamoto. He would have had to have known that Wright would not issue a denial, would disappear without a trace, and that everyone he knew would say "no comment."
Very few people are focusing on that last part. When reporters and police come pressing with constant questions, it seems beyond belief that every single person who is contacted either hangs up, closes the door, or refuses to comment. The tax office says it won't divulge his records. His attorney has no comment. His accountant refuses to talk about his finances. The company that recorded the transcript states that it won't confirm or deny the authenticity of the document. His family refuses to answer the phone. The house is empty. Employees at his companies smile and state they were told not to talk to reporters.
How is it possible that every single person who anyone talks to, including Wright himself, after two full days, has "no comment" on the matter? In what hoax in the history of the world have so many people been in such coordination that not one of them would slip up even once and issue a denial? If reporters were hounding your family members or friends or boss, wouldn't you issue a one-line statement categorically denying any involvement? Given the skepticism of many community members, a simple blog post from any of them would essentially discredit both stories.
In short, the idea that all of these people, including auditing firms, government agencies, respected attorneys, and Wright's own corporations, would stand by and destroy their reputations by getting caught up in covering a fabrication just doesn't pass common sense. Any one of them could avoid breaking confidentiality and distance themselves from it all by simply stating that they had "no knowledge" of any of this, rather than "no comment."
If Wright is Nakamoto, then he should return to the community and lead. He can resolve the blocksize debate tomorrow by writing a paper explaining his beliefs. Given that he is on the record stating that he believed the limit was a temporary fix to a spam problem that wouldn't be an issue in the long-term, he would likely agree with Bitcoin Unlimited as the solution, or perhaps BIP101 as a compromise. Whatever he decided, it's hard to imagine Andresen or Garzik or any of the Core developers leading a revolt against his wishes, and the opinions of the censors and unprofessional people like Maxwell will be granted little weight. And if the developers unite, mining pools are unlikely to initiate a fork against them.
The situation is about to become critical. Transactions have been on the rise lately, and will increase more as a result of this media circus over Wright that will continue to go on for weeks, but hashrate and difficulty has been rising even more quickly. Part of the reason for the increased hashrate is due to miners piling on due to price. Since price is volatile, and the rise over the past few weeks has been rapid, any number of things could cause a crash in this precarious situation, including some random simply selling a large number of coins and causing a panic.
The problem is that with hashrate increasing so rapidly, blocks are now arriving at a rate of 8 to 9 minutes. A price crash to, say, $220 would result in a large number of miners going offline due to low profitability. The block time would skyrocket, perhaps to 12 or 13 minutes. Then, instead of being able to handle 7MB of transactions per hour, bitcoin would only be able to handle 5MB of transactions per hour, a 30% decline. With blocks exceeding 80% of capacity now, and simulations having proved that fees do not increase at a linear rate, the network would be well over capacity. People would continually outbid each other to extreme lengths, if only to pay whatever it takes to get to an exchange and get out. Many transactions would never confirm at all, and without replace-by-fee, wallet software wouldn't be able to resend them.
Bitcoin would enter into a negative feedback loop, with price declining, causing miners to go offline, which would keep block times high or even increase them, until the system is dead.
If the price of bitcoin continues to rise like it is now, eventually the hashrate will rise so far that the eventual price crash will result in a downward spiral due to increased blocktimes. The slow rise in price is particularly concerning because it gives time for hashrate to catch up. There is exactly one person in the world who can prevent the imminent disaster. Whether he is Wright or not, it is time for him to step forward for the good of the industry and save bitcoin.