Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, the man identified in a Newsweek article published Thursday as the creator of Bitcoin, denied any role in Bitcoin’s emergence in a separate report late Thursday. According to the AP, Nakamoto said he hadn’t heard of the digital currency until his son called to let him know that he’d been contacted by the Newsweek reporter.
With his house in Temple City, Calif. surrounded by media Thursday morning following the Newsweek report, Nakamoto left to get lunch, seemingly choosing the AP reporter at random as a companion. After the media trailed him to and from the restaurant, a “car chase” ensued to the AP’s downtown Los Angeles bureau where he gave the outlet an exclusive two-hour interview. Los Angeles Times reporter Andrea Chang had tweeted about Nakamoto’s denial earlier after she spoke to him at both the restaurant and in the elevator on his way to the AP offices.
The tale of Bitcoin’s creator had always been shrouded in mystery after the name Satoshi Nakamoto first appeared on the 2009 paper (PDF) entitled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. It had been rumored that it was a pseudonym for someone or even a group of people.
The Newsweek article on Thursday though alleged that the name wasn’t actually a pseudonym at all.
The reporter, with the help of two forensic analysts credited in the story, found the name Satoshi Nakamoto in a database of naturalization cards. The article painted the picture of a man who had legally changed his name to Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto, as a “64-year-old Japanese-American man whose name really is Satoshi Nakamoto. He is someone with a penchant for collecting model trains and a career shrouded in secrecy, having done classified work for major corporations and the U.S. military.” Interviews with his family in the Newsweek article suggested that he would have been technically capable of creating the cryptocurrency, although it included an interview with his brother, who said that Nakomoto would deny everything.
Nakamoto did confirm several of the article’s facts including his previous defense contract work in his interview with the AP, but still denies creating the digital currency.
This story was updated several times as more information became available. Feature image from Pond5/artist3d.