The Bitcoin world reacted with a mixture of acceptance and resignation to a Newsweek magazine report that the creator of the digital currency is a 64-year-old Japanese-American man living in the Los Angeles area.
The magazine published the results of an investigation concluding that Dorian S. Nakamoto, a former defense industry and government employee, is the mysterious computer coding and cryptography expert who authored the seminal paper on Bitcoin in 2009 and created the software that serves as the backbone of the currency’s system.
The initial Bitcoin paper carried the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. Since the author otherwise chose to remain private and anonymous, it had been widely assumed the name was a pseudonym. The Nakamoto living in Temple City, Calif., used to be named Satoshi, Newsweek said.
“Fascinating,” Martti Malmi, a Finnish programmer who worked with Nakamoto on the Bitcoin code, wrote on Twitter. “Satoshi seems not much different than how I imagined him.”
Gavin Andresen, the chief scientist of the Bitcoin Foundation who had been one of the few people to communicate with Satoshi Nakamoto, didn’t immediately indicate whether he could identify Dorian Nakamoto as Bitcoin’s creator. Andresen said in a message on Twitter that he regrets talking to the magazine about Nakamoto. He said he was disappointed that Newsweek decided to “dox,” or document, the Nakamoto family.
Until now, Satoshi Nakamoto was thought to be a pseudonym for a programmer or group of programmers who wrote the paper and the source code for Bitcoin. The code has since been handed off to a loose group of experts affiliated with the foundation, a Seattle-based advocacy group.
According to Newsweek reporter Leah McGrath Goodman, when Dorian Nakamoto was confronted at his home and asked about Bitcoin, he responded, “I am no longer involved in that and cannot discuss it. It’s been turned over to other people.”
The magazine said Dorian Nakamoto, who was was born in Japan, attended California State Polytechnic University, worked for defense contractors on classified military projects and eventually the Federal Aviation Administration.
“I knew this day would come,” said Jerry Brito, director of technology policy at the Mercatus Center of George Mason University. “I’m sorry for Nakamoto, who seems like an upstanding — if eccentric — citizen who just wants to maintain his privacy. Maybe we can all just put to rest now the ’mysterious origins’ story and focus on Bitcoin’s future.”
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