December 19, 2023

Recreating the Bitcoin whitepaper (competently)

If you're not familiar with Craig Wright, the notorious Australian who for many years has claimed to be Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto (a claim which has been widely and thoroughly debunked and discredited), first of all: congratulations. Consider skipping this article and happily moving on with your life.

If you're still here, you probably also know that a recurring part of Wright's claims is that he authored the Bitcoin whitepaper, and to corroborate this claim he has presented various supposed "drafts" of it. These "drafts" are usually just the whitepaper itself but edited to say Wright's name instead of Satoshi, usually with backdated metadata, and sometimes even printed out with coffee stains on them to look older. But they all have in common that they were rather incompetently created and the deception was quickly uncovered whenever subjected to forensic analysis.

This all raises a somewhat more important question though: what if a competent Faketoshi appeared, with forged documents that were much harder to debunk? How hard would it be to take the Bitcoin whitepaper and create credible precursors and/or source documents in support of some narrative?