Fran Finney, wife of the late Bitcoin legend Hal Finney, said her Twitter account was hacked by someone claiming to have information on the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. Although the incident was minor, it’s not the first time bad actors have targeted the Finney family.
Bitcoin observers became skeptical yesterday when tweets appeared on his wife Fran’s Twitter account, claiming she had confirmed Satoshi’s real identity.
However she later revealed the account had been hacked, and deleted the offending posts.
My Twitter account was hacked earlier today. I've deleted the fake tweets. Please disregard anything they may have said.
— Fran Finney (@franfinney) September 2, 2017
Fran Finney is only an occasional tweeter, and has not mentioned Bitcoin there since 2015.
Finney’s Significance to Bitcoin
Hal Finney, who died of ALS in 2014, received the first-ever Bitcoin transaction. He is often rumored to be Satoshi Nakamoto — or part of the group that made up that identity.
Hal was one of the first people to speak to Satoshi Nakamoto, and the first to publicly express optimism for the Bitcoin project. They teamed up and worked on early versions of the Bitcoin protocol, until Finney’s worsening illness forced him to stop.
Satoshi Rumors Bring Unwanted Attention
Suspicion that Hal was Satoshi has brought unwelcome attention in the past — some believe the family could possess billions of dollars in bitcoin if the rumors are true.
Other than circumstantial evidence and anecdotes, though, there’s nothing that “proves” Finney was Satoshi.
In 2014, just months before Hal’s death, an extortionist “swatted” the Finney family. The attack involved calling in an early morning report about a violent crime, summoning an anxious police S.W.A.T. team to their house.
For a year, the attacker harassed the family with threatening phone calls, demanding 1,000 bitcoins. The calls continued until Hal’s death in August that year. Fran did not speak publicly about it until months later, for fear of jeopardizing an FBI investigation.
She has not commented further publicly on yesterday’s Twitter hacking incident.
It’s extremely unlikely anyone would try to prove themselves to be Satoshi Nakamoto at this stage. To do so would likely create expensive tax issues if they tried to convert any of “Satoshi’s” mammoth BTC holdings to fiat. Moreover, they would be vulnerable to further attacks from criminals trying to get their hands on the money.
Did Satoshi Nakamoto do a good thing in keeping “his” identity secret? Let’s hear your thoughts.
Images via Twitter, Wired.com