Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published March 6, 2014 at 9:26 AM | Page modified March 6, 2014 at 4:42 PM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments (15)
  • Print

Bitcoin enthusiasts regret reported unmasking of digital currency’s creator

The Bitcoin world reacted with a mixture of acceptance and resignation to a Newsweek magazine report that the creator of the digital currency is a 64-year-old Japanese-American man living in the Los Angeles area.


Bloomberg News

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
I still don't get how Bitcoin was supposed to work. I have a pretty hefty bank account... MORE
I don't care so much that Newsweek showed a photo of him, but showing his home with his... MORE
People who want to live in sci-fi worlds with play money and virtual realities of one... MORE

advertising

The Bitcoin world reacted with a mixture of acceptance and resignation to a Newsweek magazine report that the creator of the digital currency is a 64-year-old Japanese-American man living in the Los Angeles area.

The magazine published the results of an investigation concluding that Dorian S. Nakamoto, a former defense industry and government employee, is the mysterious computer coding and cryptography expert who authored the seminal paper on Bitcoin in 2009 and created the software that serves as the backbone of the currency’s system.

The initial Bitcoin paper carried the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. Since the author otherwise chose to remain private and anonymous, it had been widely assumed the name was a pseudonym. The Nakamoto living in Temple City, Calif., used to be named Satoshi, Newsweek said.

“Fascinating,” Martti Malmi, a Finnish programmer who worked with Nakamoto on the Bitcoin code, wrote on Twitter. “Satoshi seems not much different than how I imagined him.”

Gavin Andresen, the chief scientist of the Bitcoin Foundation who had been one of the few people to communicate with Satoshi Nakamoto, didn’t immediately indicate whether he could identify Dorian Nakamoto as Bitcoin’s creator. Andresen said in a message on Twitter that he regrets talking to the magazine about Nakamoto. He said he was disappointed that Newsweek decided to “dox,” or document, the Nakamoto family.

Until now, Satoshi Nakamoto was thought to be a pseudonym for a programmer or group of programmers who wrote the paper and the source code for Bitcoin. The code has since been handed off to a loose group of experts affiliated with the foundation, a Seattle-based advocacy group.

According to Newsweek reporter Leah McGrath Goodman, when Dorian Nakamoto was confronted at his home and asked about Bitcoin, he responded, “I am no longer involved in that and cannot discuss it. It’s been turned over to other people.”

The magazine said Dorian Nakamoto, who was born in Japan, attended California State Polytechnic University, worked for defense contractors on classified military projects and eventually the Federal Aviation Administration.

“I knew this day would come,” said Jerry Brito, director of technology policy at the Mercatus Center of George Mason University. “I’m sorry for Nakamoto, who seems like an upstanding — if eccentric — citizen who just wants to maintain his privacy. Maybe we can all just put to rest now the ’mysterious origins’ story and focus on Bitcoin’s future.”



Free 4-week trial, then $99 a year for unlimited seattletimes.com access. Try it now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Free 4-week trial, then $99 a year.

Free 4-week trial, then $99 a year.

Unlimited seattletimes.com access. Try it now.

Advertising

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►