As Bitcoin tops $10,000, Elon Musk denies he is its creator

One of the biggest stories of 2017 has been the surge in the price of bitcoin, the cryptocurrency touted as an alternative  to gold and other investments. For years, many have wondered who the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of bitcoin, is, to no avail.

One person it's not? Elon Musk.

In a tweet on Monday night, Musk denied being the creator of the cryptocurrency after a blog post by a former SpaceX intern claimed that the Tesla and SpaceX chief may be the creator of Bitcoin.

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"Not true," Musk wrote. "A friend sent me part of a BTC [bitcoin] a few years, but I don’t know where it is."

The blog post noted that the source code for the cryptocurrency was written in C++, a computer programming language, a knowledge which Musk has. 

Musk did however acknowledge knowing C++ in a subsequent tweet.

Who is the creator?

For years, the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto has been speculated upon. In 2016, Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright told the BBC that he was the creator. 

Wright also wrote a subsequent blog post further detailing his role in creating bitcoin. 

"Be assured, just as you have worked, I have not been idle during these many years," Wright wrote in the post. "Since those early days, after distancing myself from the public persona that was Satoshi, I have poured every measure of myself into research. I have been silent, but I have not been absent. I have been engaged with an exceptional group and look forward to sharing our remarkable work when they are ready."

The blog post has since been taken down, though others, including early bitcoin programmer Gavin Andresen, believe Wright is the creator.

In 2014, Newsweek wrote a story that it had identified Nakamoto as a then 64-year-old Japanese-American named Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto. After the story ran, there was a message posted on the P2P website by a person identifying themselves as Satoshi Nakamoto claiming that he was not Dorian Nakamoto.

Newsweek later issued a statement after it received hefty amounts of criticism surrounding its story, saying it stood by the reporter and the story. 

Bitcoin's worth

According to the 2016 BBC report, Satoshi Nakamoto was estimated to have amassed one million Bitcoins (there are only 21 million in total). At today's prices, that would be roughly $10 billion in worth.

There are approximately 16.4 million Bitcoins already in circulation, of which an estimated 3.7 million may be lost forever, worth an estimated $30 billion, according to a recent report in Digital Trends

Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia

This story has been updated to reflect the price of one Bitcoin has surpassed $10,000.