Controversy over 'discovery' of Bitcoin creator

Dorian S Nakamoto: "I have nothing to do with Bitcoin"

Related Stories

Controversy is surrounding claims by Newsweek to have found the creator of the Bitcoin virtual currency.

It was assumed that the name behind Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, was a pseudonym for the group of coders who developed the system.

Now Newsweek claims Dorian S Nakamoto, a 64-year-old model train enthusiast who lives on the outskirts of Los Angeles, is the creator.

However, he denied his involvement in an interview with the Associated Press.

Mr Nakamoto said he hadn't heard of the cryptocurrency until his son told him about it after being contacted by a reporter.

Analysis

For someone who claims to have unmasked arguably the most elusive man in the technology sector right now, Leah Goodman appeared to be relatively calm.

Her story on the Bitcoin inventor has not only generated a lot of buzz but also a fair share of controversy.

While she admitted that it was fine for people to question the evidence as being circumstantial, she defended her decision to publish the story.

She said she had directly asked the man she claims as being the inventor of the digital currency if he denied ever being involved with Bitcoins.

According to her: "He couldn't do that... he didn't want to talk about it.

"That was the important part, the meeting and asking him are you this man, that was key to the story to me, because that was his opportunity, of course, to say 'no I am not'."

When asked if he admitted being the inventor, she said: "He certainly didn't say 'you got me'."

So for now, just like the digital currency he is said to have invented, Satoshi Nakamoto's 'discovery' continues to remain controversial.

In the article, Newsweek reporter Leah Goodman said she tracked Mr Nakamoto down by seeking public records for US citizens bearing that name. She then investigated people whose background, education and employment history showed they might be capable of creating the crypto-currency.

Ms Goodman's enquiries focussed on one candidate in particular who seemed to have the right profile and whose involvement was hinted at by other Bitcoin developers.

Further evidence, she said, arose when talking to his family members revealed his obsession with privacy, his political leanings and his facility with maths.

The evidence led Ms Goodman to confront Mr Nakamoto at his home where she asked if he was the creator of Bitcoin.

Many Bitcoin commentators on social networks have expressed scepticism about the find saying the evidence Ms Goodman gathered was not convincing. The story was called "fake" by some commentators on the Bitcoin Talk forum who demanded Mr Nakamoto carry out signed Bitcoin transactions to prove that he was the currency's originator.

Others criticised Newsweek for publishing a picture of Mr Nakamoto and revealing so much about his life.

On Twitter, Ms Goodman said the magazine had only printed information that was publicly available.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Technology stories

RSS

Features

  • HandshakeKiss and make up

    A marriage counsellor on healing the referendum hurt


  • Pellet of plutoniumRed alert

    The scary element that helped save the crew of Apollo 13


  • Burnt section of the Umayyad Mosque in the old city of AleppoBefore and after

    Satellite images reveal Syria's heritage trashed by war


  • Woman on the phone in office10 Things

    The most efficient break is 17 minutes, and more nuggets


  • Amir TaakiDark market

    The bitcoin wallet with controversial users


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.