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Alleged Bitcoin creator: "I unconditionally deny the Newsweek report"

Through his lawyer, Nakamoto released his last public statement detailing hardships and and requesting privacy



Sarah Gray
March 17, 2014 6:23PM (UTC)

Nearly two weeks ago, on March 6, the cover of Newsweek -- rebirthing into print after a brief stint as an exclusively digital magazine -- outed the supposed man behind the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The article, which named Temple City, Calif., resident Doraian S. Nakamoto as the founder, spurred a media frenzy, and a car chase through Los Angeles.

Dorian S. Nakamoto has now released what he calls his "last public statement on the matter," via his lawyer Ethan Kirschner. In the letter, first produced by Reuters blogger Felix Salmon, Nakamoto stated that he did not "invent, create or otherwise work on Bitcoin." In the letter he also states that despite having a background in engineering and programming he had never heard of Bitcoin before February of this year, and even referred to it as "bitcom" when speaking to an AP reporter (the randomly selected reporter who took him to lunch, while swarms of reporters followed).

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Nakamoto, through his lawyer, also details financial and health problems, exacerbated by Newsweek's reveal, and asks for privacy. The full letter, which was confirmed by TechCrunch to be from Kirschner, is below:

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This is not the first time that Dorian S. Nakamoto denied founding Bitcoin. Bitcoin Foundation also denied his involvement, and an entity named "Satoshi Nakamoto" on P2P's Ning page also stated "I am not Dorian Nakamoto."

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Thus far, there is no updated statement from Newsweek. As of March 7, the publication stood by the story and reporter Leah McGrath Goodman. Former Editor in Chief Tina Brown previously stated that it would be "rough" if the magazine were wrong.

The "real" Satoshi Nakamoto's identity is still a mystery. This saga mirrors the volatile nature of Bitcoin and the fickle illusion of privacy in the Internet age.


Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

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Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Dorian S. Nakamoto Privacy Satoshi Nakamoto Tech

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