A California man named Satoshi Nakamoto has denied Newsweek’s claim that he’s “Satoshi Nakamoto,” the mysterious founder of the Bitcoin crypto-currency.
“No, no, no, I was never involved,” Nakamoto reportedly told Los Angeles Times journalist Andrea Chang, according to the latter’s March 6 Tweet. Just for good measure, he sat down with the Associated Press for a two-hour interview in which he denied having anything to do with Bitcoin, and insisted that he’d never heard of the crypto-currency until Newsweek reporter Leah McGrath Goodman began snooping around his family.
Concerning his key exchange with Goodman, in which she says he admitted to involvement in Bitcoin (“I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it,” is how he’s quoted in the Newsweek piece. “It’s been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection.”), Nakamoto told the Associated Press that there’d been a misunderstanding: “It sounded like I was involved before with bitcoin and looked like I’m not involved now. That’s not what I meant. I want to clarify that.”
In a statement to the newswire, Goodman stood by her reporting: “There was no confusion whatsoever about the context of our conversation—and his acknowledgment of his involvement in bitcoin.”
In a paper published in 2008, “Satoshi Nakamoto” (whether Satoshi Nakamoto, some other individual, or even a collective of like-minded developers and programmers) explained how a crypto-currency could be created via code that generates set number of “coins” every few minutes, in a geometric progression designed to stop once the overall money supply reaches a certain limit. Thus began Bitcoin, which over the next few years evolved into a significant crypto-currency—all around the world, people use it to buy everything from drugs to suborbital flights.
“Satoshi Nakamoto” holds a significant number of Bitcoins—hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth, at current prices—which made several in the Bitcoin community fear that the real-world Nakamoto’s safety is potentially at risk. That aside, Nakamoto’s life (previously a quiet one, from all reports) is surely about to get a whole lot more complicated.
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