In December, police raided Wright’s Sydney home and office after Wired magazine named him as the probable creator of Bitcoin and holder of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of the cryptocurrency, a currency which has attracted the interest of banks, speculators, criminals and regulators.
Police at the time referred all inquiries about the raids to the ATO, which said it could not comment on “any individual’s or entity’s tax affairs” due to legal confidentiality.
The treatment of bitcoins for tax purposes in Australia has been the subject of considerable debate. The ATO ruled in December 2014 that cryptocurrency should be considered an asset, rather than a currency, for capital gains tax purposes.
Unlike traditional currency, bitcoins are not distributed by a central bank or backed by physical assets like gold, but are “mined” by users who use computers to calculate increasingly complex algorithmic formulas.
As an early miner of bitcoins, Nakamoto is sitting on about 1 million bitcoins, worth more than $400 million at present exchange rates, according to bitcoin expert Sergio Demian Lerner.