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The long-sought creator of the buzzy digital currency bitcoin could be a reclusive man living a quiet life in California, claims a new report in Newsweek.
Newsweek's Leah McGrath Goodman spent two months trying to track down the founder of the buzzy "cryptocurrency" -- known by the assumed pseudonym "Satoshi Nakamoto" -- and wrote that her investigation "led to a 64-year-old Japanese-American man whose name really is Satoshi Nakamoto."
The name Nakamoto appeared in the 2008 whitepaper introducing bitcoin, but the moniker was widely believed to be an alias for a person or group.
The Nakamoto with whom Newsweek spoke -- who now goes by the name "Dorian S. Nakamoto"-- did not say explicitly that he is indeed the elusive bitcoin creator.
"I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it," Nakamoto told Newsweek. "It's been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection."
Newsweek extracted no further revelations from Nakamoto in an interview near the man's home outside of Los Angeles, where the magazine said he lives a "humble" life.
The magazine also interviewed Nakamoto's relatives. "He'll never admit to starting bitcoin," one of Nakamoto's brothers said.
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Nakamoto's son Eric said his father has denied the bitcoin connection. A daughter said she "could see my dad doing something brilliant and not accepting the greater effect of it," and that she wouldn't be surprised if her father were indeed the father of bitcoin.
The article pointed to similarities between Nakamoto's apparently libertarian beliefs and the philosophy behind bitcoin, punctuation "quirks" in both his writing and the 2008 bitcoin proposal, and a three-year run of bad health that "dovetails" with the bitcoin creator's silence.
Newsweek also spoke to bitcoin's chief scientist, Gavin Andresen, about his own dealings with the bitcoin creator. Andresen tweeted his reaction on Thursday after the article appeared:
Many commenters on the Newsweek article agreed on Thursday morning: They slammed the magazine for outing Nakamoto and for posting a photo of his home.
Newsweek is relaunching its print edition on Friday with the Nakamoto article on the cover. Editor-in-chief Jim Impoco told Adweek: “The [U.K.’s Sunday] Times had a 7,000-word story trying to find the inventor of bitcoin and didn't. The Telegraph tried to find the founder and got nothing. The New Yorker, Fast Company, they followed the trail, and the trail went cold. And we found him.”