MAN IDENTIFIED AS MYSTERIOUS BITCOIN CREATOR DENIES ITNewsweek on Thursday rattled Bitcoin aficionados when it published an article that claimed to reveal Bitcoin's creator, whose mysterious identity has been central to the virtual currency's mythic status, Nathaniel Popper and Rachel Abrams write in DealBook. Bitcoin's developer went by the name Satoshi Nakamoto, and the man the magazine claimed to be behind Bitcoin has a similar name - Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, but don't get too excited just yet.
The Mr. Nakamoto identified in the article denied involvement in Bitcoin on Thursday after a car chase involving a crowd of reporters. He told The Associated Press that he had not heard of the virtual currency until his son told him about being contacted by a reporter three weeks ago. Even if Newsweek's report is true, virtual currency proponents were outraged by what they viewed as a violation of the very privacy the currency was intended to protect.
"Whatever the conclusion, the furor on Thursday laid bare just how far Bitcoin had moved beyond its humble origins five years ago - and just how much it still relied on the mystique of those beginnings," Mr. Popper and Ms. Abrams write. They add, "Bitcoin watchers said that the creator's supposed anonymity had played a vital role in the growth of a virtual currency that has become a potent symbol for privacy advocates and critics of government power."
From The Associated Press, which had an exclusive interview on Thursday with the Mr. Nakamoto identified in the Newsweek article: "Several times during the interview with AP, Nakamoto mistakenly referred to the currency as 'bitcom,' and as a single company, which it is not. He said he's never heard of Gavin Andresen, a leading Bitcoin developer who told Newsweek he'd worked closely with the person or entity known as 'Satoshi Nakamoto' in developing the system, but that they never met in person or spoke on the phone."