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Bitcoin mystery

Bitcoin mystery: Read Craig Wright's early pitch to Aussie investors


Let's just state it at the outset: I am nowhere near qualified enough to say whether Australian entrepreneur Craig Steven Wright is indeed "Satoshi Nakamoto", the mysterious bitcoin mastermind. 
People who are far smarter and understand the crypto-currency far better than me are still divided on the matter. And many point out that the true identity of the figure is irrelevant. 

Craig Wright, the Australian businessman who claimed to have been the inventor of Bitcoin but then backed away from proving it. 
What I do know is Wright, who finally surfaced overnight in interviews with the UK's BBC and The Economist, claiming to indeed be Nakomoto, was actively courting Australian investors for one of his bitcoin business ventures as recently as two years ago. 
You might recall that in December, Wright's home in suburban Sydney was spectacularly raided by the Australian Federal Police and Australian Taxation Office, just hours after US media outlets claimed he was likely the mysterious bitcoin founder, claims that were subsequently questioned.  
Fairfax has learned that back in early 2014 Wright approached multiple prominent Sydney venture capital firms in an attempt to secure funding for one of his companies, Hotwire PE. They declined to invest. 

Farifax has obtained a copy of the 'pitch deck' Mr Wright used in an attempt to drum up interest in the business from investors. It makes for fascinating reading. 
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The document sheds little light on Hotwire's actual business model, but describes the company's mission as "Hotwiring the world, one transaction at a time." 

The slides are filled with details about the potential for bitcoin, and the company's plans to develop a "fast and stable trading and exchange platform" for the crypto currency.
 In the slides, it is claimed that more than $80 million worth of capital had been committed to support Hotwire PE's operations at the time.


It is also claimed that Howtwire PE had been working closely with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and AusIndustry, the federal government's R&D bureau, and that it expected to receive substantial government funding. 


However, the slides also show that Hotwire PE was facing "cashflow issues" due to a delay in the receipt of a GST refund, worth $5.4 million. And in April 2014, Hotwire filed for voluntary administration.

Wright clearly had lofty aspirations for his company, saying he expected it to be a $3 billion business in a decade, and was aiming for it to be ranked among Australia's second tier banks within three years. (Highlights in the last slide are added by us.)


For what it is worth, The Economist's conclusion after meeting and dealing with the man was that Wright "could well be Mr Nakamoto, but that important questions remain".
The newspaper added "it may never be possible to establish beyond reasonable doubt who really created bitcoin."