(Updates with the reported retraction from the two researchers regarding a link between Bitcoin and the Silk Road marketplace.)
Recent speculation that Dustin Trammel is the mysterious inventor of Bitcoin and somehow connected to the Silk Road marketplace drove this Texas-based security researcher to post a denial to his website.
Bitcoins are the first form of digital currency that, according to Satoshi Nakamoto the pseudonym for Bitcoin’s elusive creator, does not rely on trusting a third party to keep track of them. Bitcoin has captured the imagination of many peoplewith their value skyrocketing in recent weeks to almost $973/BTC.
Trammel wrote on his site: “First, I am not Satoshi Nakamoto. I am a security researcher and fan of cryptography as well as a Libertarian and a fan of alternative currencies.”
Speculation arose that Trammel was actually Satoshi because of his early connection to him via a mail list. rammel was one of the first to recognize the unique traits of Bitcoin and engaged Satoshi in several email exchanges. Trammel has provided copies of those communications on his website to demonstrate convincingly that to be considered the author of the Bitcoin paper that started it all on October 31, 2008 he would have had to have pulled an elaborate ruse, posing as two people.
Trammel’s recent problems began with a new paper by Dorit Ron, and Adi Shamir (the “S” in RSA encryption) of the Weizmann Institute in Israel. They traced the early flow of Bitcoins to an address that is associated with Mr. Trammel. (It is a salient property of Bitcoins that each of them can be traced throughout their lives from creation through each use.)
The researchers did not go so far as to identify Mr. Trammel although, according to Trammel made an erroneous insinuation that the address was linked to Satoshi.
They then went on to surmise, he said, that the address in question was linked to William Ulbricht, known as The Dread Pirate Roberts. The FBI recently arrested Ulbricht for allegedly running the nefarious Silk Road, an anonymous marketplace that uses Bitcoins.
Trammel said that the transaction cited in the research is from one of his addresses that Mt. Gox had assigned for him to make a deposit into his account at Mt. Gox for trading purposes. Trammel provides a screenshot of what he says is the account deposit history. were between him and an account he held at the primary Bitcoin exchange at the time, something that Mt. Gox could easily corroborate. Trammel even provides a screen shot of said account to make his point. Mt. Gox, he said, should be able to “easily confirm that they indeed control this destination address.”
CNN Money reported earlier that Ron and Shamir admitted that they were wrong, saying however, that the link they had made was merely a theory. They told CNN that now that “a better explanation exists” they no longer believed the accunt belonged to Satoshi. There was no reference regarding the link between Trammel and Satoshi.
Trammel closes with, “I hope this puts to rest any further speculation regarding whether or not I am Satoshi Nakamoto and whether or not I have had any involvement with the Silk Road. I am not and have not.”