After years of speculation and rumours, Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright has officially announced he is the Bitcoin creator.

Dr Wright was unofficially named as the founder in a report released at the end of last year and the 45-year-old has now outed himself publicly for the first time.

He is also said to have provided 'technical proof' to back up last year's claims, which many believed at the time were an elaborate hoax.

Dr Wright was named in two reports in December 2015 following investigations by Wired and Gizmodo.


What is bitcoin? A look at the digital currency

The report features posts on Dr Wright's blog - which was deleted after the report was published - that declared his intent to launch a 'cryptocurrency paper' in 2008.

In another post from January 10, 2009, Wright announced the launch of bitcoin 'tomorrow' - which would have been published in Australian time before the 3pm launch on January 9 in American time.

The report also contained a leaked email Dr Wright drafted during a tax dispute with the Australian government which was signed 'Satoshi Nakamoto' but was never sent.

A leaked transcript of a meeting between Dr Wright's and Australian tax officials in 2014 which saw him seemingly confess to 'running' Bitcoin was also published in the report.

He has now confirmed his identity to the BBC, the Economist and GQ.

A video filmed by the BBC shows him providing the technical proof to the organisation's Rory Cellan-Jones.

Elsewhere, leading members of the Bitcoin community are said to have corroborated his claim.

Bitcoins are lines of computer code that are digitally signed each time they travel from one owner to the next.

They are the basic unit of a new online economy which runs independently of any company, bank, or government.

Because Bitcoins allow people to trade money without a third party getting involved, they have become popular with libertarians as well as technophiles, speculators - and criminals.

The currency launched in 2009 by a group of people operating under the name Satoshi Nakamoto and it was then adopted by a small clutch of enthusiasts.

The New York Times, Newsweek and other publications have guessed at Nakamoto's real identity and Nakamoto was nominated for a Nobel prize earlier this month but was declared ineligible do to his mysterious identity.

This prompted the following tweet from Dr Wright: "If Satoshi-chan was made for an ACM turing price [sic] or an Alfred Nobel in Economics he would let you bloody know that".

Dr Wright is now planning to release further information in a bid to verify he is who he says he is.

Following the Wired report, Dr Wright said he used nearly $85 million worth of the currency to buy gold and software based on advice from businessman Mark Ferrier.

He allegedly struck a deal with former mining contractor Mr Ferrier in 2013 and planned to use the gold to build his business, The Australian reported.

But the alleged deal fell through, prompting Dr Wright to sue Mr Ferrier for $84.25 million in the Federal court, but the claim was dropped in 2014.

The pair met at a mining conference and allegedly agreed Mr Ferrier would buy software on Mr Wright's behalf.

Dr Wright claimed Mr Ferrier, who was working with an ASX-listed goldmining company, also persuaded him to purchase gold - allegedly telling him gold was a good asset to have in case the price of "funny money" Bitcoin crashed.

Dr Wright alleged he paid Mr Ferrier the value of $38.8 million, equivalent to 245,103 Bitcoins, in August 2013 and a further $20.3 million, or 135,000 Bitcoins, the next month.

Later in 2013, Dr Wright launched action against Mr Ferrier in court, however, discontinued it in March 2014.

In December, Mr Ferrier said he had 'never met' Dr Wright before the legal action, and said the academic had not paid him 'one cent'.

At the same time, more than a dozen Australia Federal Police officers raided Dr Wright's Gordon property on Sydney's north shore hours, but they denied any link to the Wired report.

News outlets have endeavoured to unravel the mystery of who created Bitcoin for several years due to its link with criminal activities - such as the sale of drugs on the dark net - as well as the future of the multi-billion dollar digital asset.