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Alleged Bitcoin Creator Hires Lawyer to 'Clear His Name'

Image: Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto
Dorian S. Nakamoto complained his "prospects for gainful employment has been harmed because of Newsweek's article."Damian Dovarganes / AP

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Dorian S. Nakamoto, the man whom Newsweek claimed is the creator of digital currency bitcoin, hired a lawyer to "clear my name" and issued his strongest denial yet over the weekend.

In the statement dated Monday, which Nakamoto's new lawyer Ethan Kirschner shared with NBC News, Nakamoto repeated some of the sentiments from his previous denials — including that he hadn't heard the term "bitcoin" until the Newsweek reporter contacted his son in mid-February.

Nakamoto also stressed his categorical denial of the report: "I did not create, invent or otherwise work on Bitcoin. I unconditionally deny the Newsweek report."

Image: Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto
Dorian S. Nakamoto complained his "prospects for gainful employment has been harmed because of Newsweek's article."Damian Dovarganes / AP

The statement comes after a March 6 article from Newsweek, in which the magazine claimed to have unmasked the long-sought creator of the digital currency bitcoin: a 64-year old Japanese-American man living in California under the name Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto. (The name "Satoshi Nakamoto" appeared in a 2008 whitepaper introducing bitcoin, but the moniker was widely believed to be an alias for a person or group.)

Skeptics pointed out that Nakamoto did not say he was the bitcoin founder, and that Newsweek's argument relied on a vague Nakamoto quote coupled with circumstantial evidence. The next day reporters descended on Nakamoto's neighborhood in Temple City, Calif., and he repeatedly said: "I'm not involved in bitcoin."

Nakamoto's new statement goes further. He complained his "prospects for gainful employment has been harmed because of Newsweek's article," and that the "false report has been the source of a great deal of confusion and stress" for both him and his family.

It's unclear whether Nakamoto will pursue legal action against Newsweek or its reporter. "We have no comment beyond confirming that we've been retained by Mr. Nakamoto," Kirschner told NBC News.

Newsweek released its own statement midday Monday. "Newsweek has not received any statement or letter from either Mr. Nakamoto or his legal counsel," the magazine said in a post on its site. "If and when we do, we will respond as necessary.

Nakamoto concluded in his statement: "This will be our last public statement on this matter. I ask that you now respect our privacy."

Note: This story was updated when Newsweek released its statement.

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