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Friday, 07 March 2014 10:55

Newsweek outted the wrong Bitcoin man

Written by Nick Farrell



Will the real Satoshi Nakamoto please stand up

Newsweek hit the headlines when it identified Satoshi Nakamoto as being the creator of Bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto. Thanks to fearless investigative journalism, Newsweek reasoned that the Nakamoto had cleverly chosen a fake name which was identical to his real one. All it had to do then was look him up in the phone book.

However that cunning plan proved a bit fruitless when the person who Newsweek claimed was the founder of Bitcoin denied it. Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto said he had nothing to do with it and said he had never heard of bitcoin until his son told him he had been contacted by a Newsweek reporter three weeks ago.

Nakamoto acknowledged that many of the details in Newsweek's report are correct, including that he once worked for a defense contractor, and that his given name at birth was Satoshi. But he strongly disputed the magazine's assertion that he is "the face behind bitcoin."

Newsweek insists it is right, which is not exactly the same as being correct.

After Newsweek posted the story on its website early Thursday, Nakamoto said his home was bombarded by phone calls. By mid-morning, a dozen reporters were waiting outside the modest two-story home where he lives. He emerged shortly after noon saying he wanted to speak with one reporter only and asked for a "free lunch."

Nakamoto told the reporter that what he told Newsweek was that he was no longer in engineering. That's it. The hack made it sound like he was involved before with bitcoin and looked like was not involved now. Newsweek writer Leah McGrath Goodman, who spent two months researching the story, told the AP: "I stand completely by my exchange with Nakamoto. There was no confusion whatsoever about the context of our conversation —and his acknowledgment of his involvement in bitcoin."

Nick Farrell

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