LONDON -- An Australian man long thought to be associated with the digital currency Bitcoin has publicly identified himself as its creator.
BBC News said Monday that Craig Wright told the media outlet he is the man previously known by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. The computer scientist, inventor and academic says he launched the currency in 2009 with the help of others.
His identity had been shrouded in uncertainty until now.
The BBC said Wright had decided to make his identity known to stop the spread of "misinformation" about Bitcoin.
"I firmly believe that Bitcoin and the Blockchain can change the world for the better," he said. "I didn't take the decision lightly to make my identity public and I want to be clear that I'm doing this because I care so passionately about my work and also to dispel any negative myths and fears."
In December, after Wired reported that he was the likely founder of the digital currency -- and holder of a vast stash of it worth an estimated $440 million -- Australian police and tax officials raided Wright's rented Sydney home and left with crates full of unknown evidence.
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The Australian Tax Office has ruled that Bitcoin should be taxed as an asset, rather than a currency for capital gains purposes. The ATO made no comment Monday following Wright's admission.
Wright said he would now be able to release his research and academic work to help people understand the potential of Bitcoin.
The BBC said that Wright supported his claim by signing digital messages using cryptographic keys used during the early days of Bitcoin.
Jon Matonis, one of the founding directors of the Bitcoin Foundation, told the BBC he is convinced that Wright is who he claims to be and is responsible for a brilliant achievement.
Wright also revealed his identity to the Economist and GQ.
"Our conclusion is that Mr Wright could well be Mr Nakamoto, but that important questions remain," The Economist said in a statement to the Reuters news agency. "Indeed, it may never be possible to establish beyond reasonabledoubt who really created bitcoin."