Pin It

Outed: Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto

The mysterious cryptocurrency creator has been unmasked. Some people aren't happy

The long unknown identity of Bitcoin's creator is finally out. In a Newsweek cover story, journalist Leah McGrath Goodman tracked him down to Los Angeles's San Bernardino foothills. Satoshi Nakamoto – which is his real name, by the way – is said to be an incredibly private 64-year-old man, the son of a Buddhist priest with Samurai heritage, and a model train obsessive who screens his phone calls and keep his correspondences infrequent.

According to the few people who are close to Nakamoto, the man is obsessed with money and secrecy. His youngest sibling, Arthur Nakamoto, warned Goodman that "he'll deny everything. He'll never admit to starting Bitcoin."

Satoshi Nakamoto basically said as much, telling Newsweek: "I am no longer involved in that 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."

The revelation has caused a storm amongst Bitcoin fans on the Reddit forums. Blasting Newsweek for its lack of sensitivity for Nakamoto's safety and privacy, Redditors have criticised the site for publishing photos of his house. They claim that the magazine has "basically slapped a target on his back".

Since its inception in 2009, Bitcoin has enjoyed an incredible rise in popularity amongst investors, cryptocurrency geeks and those just plain skeptical of paper money. Its rise has not been without controversy, though, thanks to associations with online drug marketplaces like Silk Road and recent scandals like the Mt Gox bankruptcy. Whether the Satoshi Nakamoto dscovered by Newsweek is the real founder of Bitcoin, the revelations have thrust the uncertain future of the cryptocurrency into the spotlight again.