Has Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin's Elusive Creator, Been Unmasked?

A Newsweek investigation claims to have solved the mystery.

|
Mar 6 2014, 1:40pm

Ahead of its print relaunch, Newsweek dropped a bomb of a story today: They claim to have found Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

Nakamoto’s identity has been a mystery since the beginning of Bitcoin, with plenty of wild theories fuelling the puzzle’s fire. Was he a Japanese mathematician? A cryptography student? A government conspiracy? After two months of reporting, Leah McGrath Goodman says she’s uncovered the truth. She writes:

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.

According to the story—which is definitely worth reading in full—Nakamoto was born in Japan and immigrated to California when he was a child. He changed his name to Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto and went by Dorian S. Nakamoto.

Dorian S. Nakamoto

Goodman initially made contact using an email address she got through a company that Nakomoto bought model trains from. When she got as far as visiting his home, a humble house devoid of any obvious signs of a hidden fortune, he called the police and apparently wouldn’t say much about Bitcoin other than “I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it.”

Of course, given the many legends around the identity of Nakamoto, there will inevitably still be those who doubt the story. Without a solid admission, it’s hard to know for absolute sure, and in some ways the answers offered in this piece only raise more questions.

We'll be hearing more on this story, so stay tuned.

Read more about bitcoin and Satoshi.