Newsweek says it has discovered the identity of the mysterious founder of Bitcoin, known only as Satoshi Nakamoto.
So who is this mystery person? His name is Satoshi Nakamoto. That’s right. The elusive mastermind behind the world’s most popular cryptocurrency has been hiding in plain sight all along.
Far from leading to a Tokyo-based whiz kid using the name “Satoshi Nakamoto” as a cipher or pseudonym (a story repeated by everyone from Bitcoin’s rabid fans to The New Yorker), the trail followed by Newsweek led to 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.
Nakamoto, who started going by Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto in 1973, has denied the claim.
Newsweek reported that when confronted at his California home, Nakamoto said:
I am no longer involved in [Bitcoin] and I cannot discuss it. It’s been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection.
Satoshi Nakamoto reportedly vanished from the Web after the virtual currency took off. He is rumored to have about $400 million in bitcoins.
“In the absence of any hard evidence, many bitcoin users have built Satoshi Nakamoto into a sort of hero, imagining him as a selfless genius who created a system that would allow for greater economic freedom,” The New York Times wrote.
The Nakamoto revealed by Newsweek lives in a modest home in Temple City, Calif. He graduated from California State Polytechnic University with a physics degree, and has worked for RCA as a systems engineer and the Federal Aviation Administration in security and communications. A father of six, he now lives with his mother.
The possible unveiling of the father of Bitcoin is getting a mixed reception. The Times reported:
“In reality, a lot of people didn’t want to know,” said Arianna Simpson, a Bitcoin entrepreneur. “Not knowing and thinking that maybe it had been a community project, again, I think was very well tied to the essence of Bitcoin. To have it exposed in this way I don’t think does anybody a particular service.”
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