A California man who Newsweek claimed was the inventor of the popular digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin is now denying the report. Dorian Nakamoto told the Associated Press that he's not "the face behind Bitcoin," despite a claim by Newsweek that he was deeply involved with its inception.
Nakamoto says he first heard about Bitcoin three weeks ago
Newsweek's original report claimed Nakamoto (named in the story as Bitcoin creator "Satoshi Nakamoto") helped create the currency, though did not have him on the record admitting it. That report, published earlier today, quotes Nakamoto saying he was "no longer involved" in the Bitcoin project, and made the case that his background and expertise matched up with the enigmatic cryptocurrency founder. The 64-year-old Nakamoto disputed that, telling the AP that he hadn't even heard of Bitcoin until three weeks ago.
Much of the intrigue in the Bitcoin story centers on Nakamoto, who handed over the reins of the Bitcoin Foundation to chief scientist Gavin Andresen and has managed to stay out of the spotlight ever since. There have been myriad attempts to track him down, though none that have resulted in something definitive. Newsweek's naming of Dorian Nakamoto was enough to pique the interest of a swarm of reporters who pursued him around Los Angeles, where the 64-year-old once again said he was simply "not involved."
Update: Following both the Newsweek and AP report, a posting on the P2P Foundation community blog from an account that's historically been associated with Nakamoto stated boldly that "I am not Dorian Nakamoto." An expanded version of the AP report notes that Newsweek stands by its story, while noting from its own interview with Nakamoto that he believes there was a misunderstanding with the Newsweek reporter due to his English that "isn't flawless." Nakamoto told the AP that he originally said was simply no longer in engineering, but did not include anything about an involvement in Bitcoin. Newsweek's reporter Leah McGrath Goodman told the AP that the exchange that was in the original story remains correct.