The Pseudonymous Man Behind Bitcoin Has Been Found, and He's Not a Pseudonym

Thursday, March 06, 2014 - 10:12 AM

(Antana Coins/flickr)

Of all the curious facets of the culture of Bitcoin, the strangest by far has been the mystery behind its creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Long thought to be a pseudonym, journalists have pointed the finger at economists, cryptographers and mathematicians as possible people behind the digital currency. But this morning, Newsweek posted an article by Leah McGrath Goodman saying that she has found the creator of Bitcoin, and his name actually is Satoshi Nakamoto.

It's a story that begins with the Goodman being confronted by police outside of Nakamoto's house just outside of Los Angeles, and only gets crazier from there. The article abounds with stories of government contracts, strained familial relations, and close relatives that had no idea he was behind Bitcoin. 

The article is probably best summed up in an interaction Goodman has with Nakamoto's brother, Arthur:

"My brother is an asshole. What you don't know about him is that he's worked on classified stuff. His life was a complete blank for a while. You're not going to be able to get to him. He'll deny everything. He'll never admit to starting Bitcoin."

And with that, Nakamoto's brother hung up.

Frustratingly, the article ends without concrete proof that this Satoshi Nakamoto (who now goes by the name Dorian S. Nakamoto) is the Nakamoto of Bitcoin fame. But it builds a compelling case, and is deeply entertaining. Check it out, and decide for yourself.


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Comments [3]

Chris Scott from Astoria, NY

Well, he's denied it now.

I am completely baffled by this whole thing. Looks like there may be a lot of handwringing in the next couple of days. (And is Nakamoto going to have to now prove that he ISN'T the Bitcoin founder? Proving a negative can be real real tricky.)

Mar. 06 2014 08:34 PM
Ben D. from Atlanta

The story is indeed entertaining but there are a lot of questions about the journalistic ethics of exposing personal information about a man who wanted to remain anonymous. The comments section in the Newsweek article is very illuminating.

Mar. 06 2014 12:43 PM
Cyrus Farivar from Oakland

Sure, but Satoshi didn't deny it, either.

Mar. 06 2014 12:00 PM

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by Meredith Haggerty. You can subscribe to the TLDR podcast here. You can follow our blog here. I tweet @manymanywords and @tldr.

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