Listen to this article
Sign up to receive FirstFT by email here
Five months after Craig Steven Wright, an Australian computer scientist and businessman, was outed against his will as Satoshi Nakamoto, he says he is indeed the creator of bitcoin.
The announcement, if true, would end years of speculation about who is responsible for creating the digital currency. Until now, Mr Wright had never publicly confirmed or denied allegations he was Mr Nakamoto.
Now, he offers cryptographic proof, backed up by other information, in a blog post to make his case. Prominent members of the bitcoin community and its core development team have also confirmed Mr Wright’s claim.
However, the Economist, which along with two other media organisations, had access to Mr Wright before the publication of his post, suggests that “nagging questions remain”. (Economist, FT, BBC)
In the news
Halliburton abandons Baker Hughes tie-up The energy groups’ decision to abandon their planned $28bn tie-up comes after antitrust authorities moved to block it. Authorities had complained the combination would reduce competition to an unacceptable degree, distort energy markets and ultimately hurt consumers. Halliburton will be required to pay Baker Hughes a termination fee of $3.5bn by Wednesday. (FT)
Deutsche Bank warned on financial crime controls The German lender has “serious” and “systemic” failings in its controls against money laundering, terrorist financing and sanctions, according to confidential findings by the UK’s financial watchdog, which had already put the lender in supervisory “special measures”. It found shortcomings at the bank, ranging from missing documents and a lack of transaction monitoring to inappropriate pressure put on staff to take on certain clients.(FT)
German party adopts anti-Islamic manifesto The rightwing Alternative for Germany party has approved a manifesto which states that “Islam is not part of Germany” and includes a ban on the call to prayer and the wearing of a full-face veil in public. Politicians from other parties were highly critical of the AfD’s conference resolutions, but the party made sharp gains in elections in three German states in March and recent opinion polls suggest it could win the support of as much as 13 per cent of the population. (FT)
Europe’s anti-terror fight clashes with US tech Counterterrorism officials say US law and corporate policies are making it harder for them to prevent attacks because obtaining international evidence from American social media groups is difficult and cumbersome. (WSJ)
Cambodia tiger plan sparks roaring match A plan to restore tigers to the country’s dwindling forests has triggered disapproval from opponents who fear it could be the latest international aid project to backfire in the donor-dependent Southeast Asian autocracy. (FT)
It's a big day for
Syria talks John Kerry has opened a second day of talks in Geneva aimed at finding a way to restore at least a partial truce in Syria amid continuing attacks in Aleppo. The US secretary of state, who was meeting the Saudi foreign minister and the UN envoy for Syria, said progress was being made towards an understanding on how to reduce the violence in Aleppo but that more work was needed. (NYT)
Ireland Enda Kenny is expected to make a small bit of history when he becomes the first leader of Fine Gael, one of the country’s two big political parties, to become prime minister at the head of a second successive government. (FT)
Food for thought
Trump’s war with the best and brightest Donald Trump’s foreign policy may be as incompetent as it is incomprehensible, writes Ed Luce. But as with all things Mr Trump this election season, its appeal is underestimated at its critics’ peril. (FT)
Cloud on Clinton’s horizon With Tuesday’s Indiana primary expected to all but confirm Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for president, an FBI probe into the private email server she set up at her home remains one of the biggest clouds on her horizon. However, Charlie Cook, political commentator, said that while he once believed there was a significant chance either Mrs Clinton or an aide might be indicted, he now thought that likelihood had significantly decreased. “What does the FBI know that they didn’t know 90 days ago?” he asked. “At some point it becomes interference in the democratic process.” (FT)
How the Green Zone helped destroy Iraq The storming of the US-installed Green Zone in the heart of Baghdad should be a jarring alarm bell to Washington, writes Emma Sky. It was only a matter of time before ordinary Iraqis stormed the walled-in palaces of their corrupt politicians. (Politico)
Fraying at the edges A reporter follows Geri Taylor as she learns of her Alzheimer’s diagnosis, and as the disease destroys her mind. (NYT)
Poland: An inconvenient truth Since its election in October, the conservative Law and Justice party has sought to seize control of state institutions in order to “fix” Polish society. The moves have been condemned as an assault on democracy by rights activists and have put Warsaw on a collision course with the EU. (FT)
Video of the day
The rise of escape room games The FT’s Paul McClean reports on the growing trend of so-called escape rooms — where teams of people are locked in rooms and have to solve puzzles and do other tasks to escape. Why are they becoming popular and how does the business model work?