Australian police have raided the Sydney home and office of a man named by technology websites as the creator of the virtual currency Bitcoin.
Federal police searched Craig Steven Wright’s properties, but said the raid was about tax, not Bitcoin.
Mr Wright was named by Wired and Gizmodo as the creator of Bitcoin.
The founder of the currency is believed to hold about a million Bitcoins, which are reportedly worth about $400m at the current exchange rate.
The raid in Sydney came hours after Wired and Gizmodo claimed Mr Wright was probably the mysterious “Satoshi Nakamoto”, a pseudonym used by Bitcoin’s creator.
Their investigations were based on leaked emails, documents and web archives, including what was said to be a transcript of a meeting between Wright, a 44-year-old academic, and Australian tax officials.
Mr Wright is reported to have said: “I did my best to try and hide the fact that I’ve been running Bitcoin since 2009. By the end of this I think half the world is going to bloody know.”
Journalists and Bitcoin enthusiasts have long tried to find out who created Bitcoin.
Last year, Newsweek claimed Satoshi Nakamoto was a 64-year-old Japanese-American living near Los Angeles.
Mr Nakamoto, whose birth name was Satoshi, sued the magazine over the disruption he suffered as a result of the story.