Bitcoin

TRIPLE UPDATED! Double Updated! Updated! Bitcoin's Creator Revealed! Actually is a Guy Named Satoshi Nakamoto! And Yes, a Libertarian (Naturally)!

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P2P Foundatiion via The Stalwart's Twitter Feed.

UPDATED, Friday, March 7, 8:20 AM ET: Indications that the Satoshi Nakamoto identified yesterday by Newsweek as the creator of Bitcoin is not the real Nakamoto continue to build. Among the most interesting bits? The profile page at P2P Foundation on which Nakamoto announced Bitcoin has been updated saying simply, "I am not Dorian Nakamoto" (the legal name used by Newsweek's catch). The AP reports out the California-based Nakamoto's denial here as well.

Here's a piece on Buzzfeed that discusses the practice of "doxxing," or tracking people down via online trails and publicly accessible documents, which is how Newsweek's Leah McGrath Goodman found who she continues to insist is the right man. Newsweek has been heavily criticized for publishing pictures of Nakamoto's home and address, license plate, and more.

Something to think about as the story proceeds: While uncovering the identity of who created Bitcoin (whether it's a single person or a group) is undeniably interesting and juicy, it has not effect on the currency's utility or continued functioning. Indeed, the reports over Nakamoto's identity have in many ways blotted out the apocalyptic warnings that Bitcoin was done after the implosion of the Mt. Gox exchange last week and the apparent suicide just days ago of a 28-year-old American, Autumn Radtke, who ran a Singapore-based exchange.

Related: Last week, I explained why I didn't think Bitcoin was finished in the wake of Mt. Gox. Read that piece here.

Newsweek

Even More Updated, 5:30 PM ET: Hit "More" or scroll down for latest, including Instagram video in which Nakamoto denies involvement in Bitcoin.

Updated, 11:32 AM ET: Over at Reddit's Bitcoin sub, there's a lively thread suggesting that Newsweek has got the wrong Nakamoto. Among the evidence? Past suggestions that the real Nakamoto's age is much younger than the one pictured above and that his written English (based on various online postings and letters to the editor) isn't particularly good. Read the whole thing. Hat Tip: Naomi Brockwell, Reason TV contributor and proprietor of Bitcoin Girl.

The man pictured above is, says Newsweek, the creator of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto:

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.

Nakamoto was hiding in the same way the author Thomas Pynchon was "hiding"—in plain sight. He used a slightly different name in his work life, but Nakamoto wasn't in deep cover. Kudos to Newsweek's Leah McGrath Goodwin for doing the work to find him. He lives in Temple City, California and came to the U.S. as a child:

Descended from Samurai and the son of a Buddhist priest, Nakamoto was born in July 1949 in the city of Beppu, Japan, where he was brought up poor in the Buddhist tradition by his mother, Akiko. In 1959, after a divorce and remarriage, she immigrated to California, taking her three sons with her. Now age 93, she lives with Nakamoto in Temple City.

Like all great Americans, he lived for a while in New Jersey, where he worked for RCA in Camden. He also worked for the FAA, Hughes Aircraft, and a bunch of other firms. He also did defense contract work.

And yes,  he is a libertarian whose own family didn't suspect him of being the inventor of the world's leading alt-currency.

A libertarian, Nakamoto encouraged his daughter to be independent, start her own business and "not be under the government's thumb," she says. "He was very wary of the government, taxes and people in charge."…

Calling the possibility her father could also be the father of Bitcoin "flabbergasting," Ilene Mitchell says she isn't surprised her father would choose to stay under cover if he was the man behind this venture, especially as he is currently concerned about his health.

"He is very wary of government interference in general," she says. "When I was little, there was a game we used to play. He would say, 'Pretend the government agencies are coming after you.' And I would hide in the closet."

Whole thing here.

Updated 5:30 PM ET: Via the Twitter feed of Declan McCullagh comes this image comparing a letter written by Dorian Nakamoto (the legal name of the man named above as the creator of Bitcoin) and an announcement of Bitcoin's founding theoretical document, as compiled by crytography@metzdowd.com mailing list. Right-click on image below and choose "open image in new tab" to read full text or go here.


Nakamoto, reports The Los Angeles Times, says, "I'm not involved in Bitcoin."

Here's an Instagram of him saying that:

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  1. Like all great Americans, he lived for a while in New Jersey

    Citation needed.

    I’ve been to New Jersey, there is a dearth of “Great Americans” there.

    1. Yeah, I’d like some evidence of that too…

      1. I assume by that he means that great Americans live there before they are famous and then leave before acquiring the Grieco virus.

        1. Maybe he meant like all great Americans who find themselves there, he left New Jersey.

    2. I think that was intended as ironic snark, delivered deadpan.

      1. I thought it was a reference.to.Gillespie’s own.origins.

        1. tarran totally should have kicked him in the balls.

    3. Depends on your definition of “American”…

    4. That’s why it says “for a while”.

    5. I was conceived in New Jersey, grew up and still live in Maryland.

      *Cries and hugs UnCivil*

      1. I had always wondered where you conceived. As long as we’re on the subject, could you tell me about the position that gave life (angle of entry, torque, etc)?

        1. Sideways.

        2. There was a ball gag. That’s all I can say.

          1. which is presumably more than the wearer of the ball gag can

    6. George Washington spent time in New Jersey

    7. Mr. Soprano would like a word with you. In private. Now.

  2. He certainly dresses like a aspie libertarian.

    1. Members only.

    2. He dresses like an old married man who doesn’t have to dress up to get laid, and doesn’t care what other people think about his dismaying sartorial choices.

      I guess it’s quicker to go with aspie, though.

      1. One of those guys who hits middle age and decides he has enough clothes in his closet to last him the rest of his life, so he can cut clothes purchases out of his budget.

        1. That’s pretty much everyone, really.

          When you stop being interested in dating, you stop being interested in clothes.

          1. Tell that to Gilmore

        1. And mine. He looks like an Asian version of my dad.

    3. I believe it’s called NormCore. He’s hip beyond comprehension.

    4. Looks like a Japanese version of Gale Boetticher.

  3. He would say, ‘Pretend the government agencies are coming after you.’ And I would hide in the closet.”

    THAT’S THE FIRST PLACE THEY LOOK!

    1. The sad thing is, that raid now looks tame by comparison to the local yokels these days.

      1. The copstache still looks aces, though.

  4. Next you’re going to tell me the Tooth Fairy is real. I have to wonder who has more coins though.

  5. How long until Manchin starts a scare campaign against this Right-wing Japanese spy currency? You know, Pearl Harbor and what not.

    1. Nah, the concentration camps this time around will be are for Muslims, not AJAs.

  6. “Nakamoto”

    Did he own a building in Los Angeles? I heard some very bad things happened there.

    1. Close, that was Nakatomi.

      1. +1 Yippee-ki-kay

  7. I’m sure he appreciates having his address and possible net worth outed to the world.

    1. Newsweek is out there digging into the biggest stories, leaving no.stone unturned in.its.quest to expose and hold accountable that most devious of American bugaboos, the successful private innovator. Lord knows the government is the Most Transparent Ever so they need to go fuck up little people’s lives.

  8. I don’t trust people who don’t trust the Government.

    1. “the American CEO of First Meta, an exchange for virtual currencies such as Bitcoin”

      There is no CEO of “Bitcoin”.

    2. First Bitcoin Girl and now this.

      I was wondering if bitcoin was a guy only thing.

      sad about the CEO lady.

      Hey lady bitcoiners don’t kill yourself. If you lose it all day trading and are like 28 and hot you can always find some bitcoin dude who didn’t lose it all.

    3. I love the implications in the article that the crash of Mt. Gox led to her suicide. Therefore all “high pressure trading” is bad and can potentially lead to suicide. I mean, there’s no need to find out if there was anything else going on in her life.

      Oh, and I can think of a few government officials who…yeah, I should stop there.

  9. They fucked up the AM links and put it in 24/7

  10. “He is very wary of government interference in general,” she says. “When I was little, there was a game we used to play. He would say, ‘Pretend the government agencies are coming after you.’ And I would hide in the closet.”

    So, we are painting him as a tin-foil hat wearing kook? Is that supposed to be impressive?

    1. IDK. It almost reads like a parody.

    2. Or a prophet.

  11. So will this stop the “Bitcoin was started by someone anonymous so it could all be a giant libertarian ultraconservative pyramid scam plot” objection which headlines all anti-bitcoin articles?

  12. I’m not sure I buy that it really is the real Satoshi.

    If it is, though, it’s very easy for him to prove he is — just sign a message with the key from the genesis block — first block on the block chain.

    1. Or even better, cash out some of his own bitcoin.

      If he truly is THE Satoshi, he’s going to need real security now that he’s no longer anonymous.

      On a related note, nice job for Newsweek to post a picture of his home. Might as well install a big neon sign pointing to his home proclaiming “Here lives a closet millionaire!”

      1. Anyone want half a billion dollars?!? Just kidnap this guy and go to town! Here’s what his house looks like!

  13. “I don’t think he’s in any trouble,” I say. “I would like to ask him about Bitcoin. This man is Satoshi Nakamoto.”

    “What?” The police officer balks. “This is the guy who created Bitcoin? It looks like he’s living a pretty humble life.”

    I find it highly unlikely that a random police office has heard the name Satoshi Nakamoto before. This whole story reads like “How I became a famous reporter” slash fiction.

    1. Not to mention the fact that he adds expositional dialogue.

      “Who as we both know is the creator of Bitcoin and should be living quite luxuriously!”

      1. Yeah. Based on how implausible that exchange was, I’m assuming that most of the dialogue about Bitcoins is equally made up, and this is really just a delusional account of how Leah McGrath Goodman spent the last six months stalking some random Japanese guy.

        1. Maybe the real story here is that Leah McGrath Goodman just got exposed as the cover for Stephen Glass.

          1. +1

  14. His next five children were with his second wife, Grace Mitchell, 56, who lives in Audubon, N.J., and says she met Nakamoto at a Unitarian church mixer in Cherry Hill, N.J., in the mid-1980s

    I used to live in Audubon. I grew up in the neighboring town. Never been to the Unitarian Church in Cherry Hill, though. Phil Zimmerman was from Pennsauken, NJ which is only a few miles from Audubon. Funny how so many of these cryptographers lived in South Jersey.

  15. You know what would be really hilarious?

    If he didn’t own any bitcoin.

    1. Most of the initially mined coins have never been spent. So, if it is him, those would be worth half a billion or so.

      It’s entirely possible that the real Satoshi destroyed the keys for those early coins to make them unspendable.

      1. Fuck that.

  16. “He is very wary of government interference in general,” she says. “When I was little, there was a game we used to play. He would say, ‘Pretend the government agencies are coming after you.’ And I would hide in the closet.”

    Best. Dad. Ever.

    1. Except that he was the government.

  17. Newsweek posting photos of the (supposed) man’s home, car, license plate as well as so many other tidbits about his life and family connections really goes beyond responsible journalism. I feel sorry for this man, as there’s a strong possibility (what’s left of) his life will be spent in fear.

    1. By the time I got to the article — about 9:00 AM PST — there were no house or car photos. There were very many excoriating comments on the article about those photos, so maybe Newsweek was persuaded to remove them.

      1. No, they are still there

        http://mag.newsweek.com/2014/0…..amoto.html

        And the author’s bullshit retort to outing all these details about the guy? (as opposed to simply getting her story out but at least protecting the guy)

        “”This man invented something that shaped our world. Should all inventors now fear murder?”

        Someone actually said this.

        This is one of those moments when I really do think people are stupider than they used to be.

        1. The house/car photo is there now (17:30 PST), but was not this morning when I both read the entire story and then scrolled through the entire story looking for the photo after encountering comments about the photo.

  18. I thought for sure he was Tulpa.

  19. I hope he is well armed. This article published the full legal name, address, DOB and current photo of a person who potentially has $500M dollars worth of BTC in his home that doesn’t appear to have a private security detail. Yikes.

    1. Apparently he has a glock. I’m not a firearms person, so IDK how well that works.

  20. “”When I was little, there was a game we used to play. He would say, ‘Pretend the government agencies are Newsweek is coming after you.’ And I would hide in the closet.”

    What has the world gained by busting this guy’s anonymity, exactly?

    1. ad revenue for their failing media outlet.

  21. Why do so many people assume that innovation comes only from “whiz kids?” Progressive whiz kids, at that?

  22. This for me raises the question of what qualifies as being “in the public interest” as far as defining what ‘journalism’ actually is.

    Yes, this person may have in fact done some investigating and in fact found someone ‘hiding’ in plain sight.

    To what degree does this have any ‘journalistic’ value? –

    Quoting the Omsbudsman blog

    http://newsombudsmen.org/colum…..c-interest

    = “The Press Complaints Commission code defines the public interest as including but not confined to detecting and exposing crime, or serious impropriety; protecting public health and safety and preventing the public from being misled by an action or statement of an individual or organization”

    a far looser definition used by some =

    ” …public interest means the fundamental health of a free society, and that it is always served by the truth and damaged by the failure to tell it

    I think in the balancing act here, I find it incredibly hard to see how any public interest is served by outing this guy in the manner he was that isn’t grossly overwhelmed by the costs it imposes upon him as an individual. Very Low Public Benefit, Very High Personal Cost.

    1. They way that they did it was pretty bad. The photos have since been taken down, but they show his house and car (with license plate unobscured).

  23. I love it when people call themselves libertarians, then suckle from the teat of government, working for regulators, then for the grossly destructive military industrial complex.

    1. You know who else called himself libertarian and worked for regulators?

  24. That instagram makes me sad…and pissed off.

    Fucking piece of shit reporters.

    1. “I am not involved in bitcoin”

      reporter “Whose involved in bitcoin?”

      Fucker who asked that needs a fist planted in his face.

  25. I wonder if the parasites are going to hound Leah McGrath Goodman like they are this guy poor guy for being an incompetent shit house rat of a reporter.

    1. Maybe Newsweek will publish her address, lic. plate and the rest of the info they published about the guy.
      I know I’d be happy to mail her a note!

      1. They should claim that she has a large amount of untraceable currency too! It’ll be just like the movie SWAT, but with 4 times the amount of money!

        1. Use bearer bonds in the movie.

    2. FTA: Forensic analysts Sharon Sergeant and Barbara Mathews contributed to research for this piece.

      Add them to the list.

  26. “When I was little, there was a game we used to play. He would say, ‘Pretend the government agencies are coming after you.’ And I would hide in the closet.”

    If only it were that easy.

  27. and there’s the article on the denial

    Good game, Newsweek. Hopefully the nutters who hear about the original will remember their eventual retraction and not hound the guy.

    1. I heard he got a free lunch with the interview.

      It is nice he got something out of being treated like shit for a day.

      1. And coming home to find the media on his lawn, etc.

      2. There’s no such thing as a free lunch!

  28. Brockwell is now Bitcoin Girl? I was so disappointed when I clicked the link. I was hoping there would be pictures of her covered in bitcoins.

  29. reply to original bitcoin announcement thread from same account that started it denying being Dorian Satoshi.

    Certainly possible that the real satoshi lost access to that account or some sysadmin or hacker is having fun with it.

    Bitcoin world is going ape shit.

    1. From the comments in that link.

      How will this help to change the big issues of our world such as global warming, food security, population, et al?

      Holy crap Robert Searle is a dipshit.

  30. It’s a clue! He said he wanted a “free lunch”, but all libertarians know there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch!!!

    He probably posted that comment using his smartphone while he was in the car!

  31. Guys, isn’t there like a billion Chinese people, and only a couple of dozen Chinese last names? I don’t think looking in the phone book is an efficient way of correctly finding out who made up Bitcoin.

  32. He is Japanese.
    Nakamoto is like an epitome of a Japanese name.

  33. Shinichi Mochizuki is the name of the first suspected bitcoin creator.
    He has a PHD in mathematics from Princeton, or graduated second in his class in three years from Princeton.
    He has the smarts. He was born in the USA but is now teaching in Japan, bilingual, fluently.
    He seems like more the candidate.
    This guy, could have, but considering how complex bit coin is, sounds like it was created by someone within a more formal structure.

    1. This guy, could have, but considering how complex bit coin is, sounds like it was created by someone within a more formal structure.

      Yeah, and William Shakespeare couldn’t have written Hamlet because it’s implausible that a commoner could read and write.

  34. QUADRUPLE UPDATED: it has not no effect on the currency’s utility

  35. Newsweek has been heavily criticized for publishing pictures of Nakamoto’s home and address, license plate, and more.

    It was in Newsweek, though, so he’s still anonymous.

  36. So it looks like the Newsweek reporter found a Japanese guy with some slight anti-government leanings and went from there. I really wonder how bitcoin stories became all about trashing libertarians. Even stories about how bitcoin are good talk about having to get rid of its kooky libertarian roots.

    1. Libertarians are the new Goldstein. The whole “war on women” thing is petering out and the next Democrat nominee will not be black so the “everyone is a racist” attack won’t work either. Without those two and with the GAYZ likely not to be a big issue, it is hard to use the SOCONs as the Goldstein. Since the popular movement will be to do something about government, Libertarians are now the enemy.

      1. I for one welcome our (new?) status as Goldstein.

    2. Even worse, she found a Japanese American with the same name, and then exposed a bunch of details about his life, and told everyone he has $600 million dollars on his computer. Entirely irresponsible article.

  37. If the government wants to and does shut bitcoin down, how long before they shut off credit card bonus points? I can transfer my credit card points to Amazon and buy virtually anything. Sure, I only get those point by using my credit card. But so what? I can only get bitcoins by purchasing them with my credit card usually.

    When you think about it, all Bitcoins are are green stamps. If we ever do hit a no kidding inflationary spiral, there are tons of ways people could use alternative currencies to hedge against it. In a really high or hyper inflation environment, credit card companies and banks would just let people buy bonus points as a hedge against inflation, and would make money by side deals with merchants and by of course charging a premium for the hedge.

    Sadly, in such an environment, the central bankers would quickly want that sort of thing banned.

    1. Bonus points are pegged to dollars, usually at 100 to 1, so I don’t think that would work.

      1. Bitcoins are pegged to dollars too. Everyone is paid in dollars for the most part. Our wealth is in dollars. So bitcoins will always have a value in dollars or people wouldn’t be able to buy into them.

        1. The value of a bitcoin varies relative to a dollar. The value of a bonus point doesn’t/

          1. Yes it does.

        2. err…

          Go to https://btc-e.com/

          It tracks lots of currencies cypto and fiat from around the world.

          BTCe is probably the second largest exchange.

          When gox was going i am pretty sure you could use yen in that exchange.

          Bitcoins are not pegged to dollars and the percentage of traders who use other fiat currencies that are not the dollar is growing.

          Note: There maybe a joke between you and hazel that i am not getting and may have ruined by being all serious. Sorry if that is the case.

  38. I’m not 100% convinced this isn’t the guy.

    Whoever Satoshi Nakamoto is, he apparently doesn’t want media attention. Thus if someone did identify him, he would probably deny it.

    1. by the way, this is the same argument being used by hordes of retards as well.

      Not saying you’re not *right*… its just the logic of a complete imbecile.

      By the way, do you have AIDS?

      I will take your silence for a yes. A denial is DOUBLE YES.

      1. The newsweek article quotes him as saying “I am not involved with that anymore.”

        Which is a pretty clear yes.

        1. Go down and read Gilmore and the stuff the writer who wrote that article is saying.

          Newsweek is not a trustworthy source.

          Also read the article the part about the cop.

          If that does not read like Stephen Glass level bullshit I don’t know what does.

  39. Newsweek is the new Weekly World News

  40. How bone-crushingly stupid is Leah McGrath??

    “”This was not meant to be hostile,” McGrath Goodman told BuzzFeed today. “I think some people saw this as an act of war.”

    “I have to say that because I care about the family, I hate to see people saying that this guy could end up in trouble or be the subject of violence. There are wealthy people and they’re not not in the phone book. The idea that you can invent something and be successful and that it’s dangerous and you could be murdered is really repugnant. I worry about people saying it. That being said at all just turns my stomach.””

    Act of war?

    Not not in the phone book?

    People ‘saying’ something obvious like, ‘repugnant’? And you worry about people saying these obvious things that make you feel ill? What does that EVEN MEAN?

    Is there a rule in public life where if you’ve really screwed the pooch on something, just spout unintelligible nonsense so that no one understands what you’re really saying and so many different interpretations emerge that no one can decide what to think?

    1. Getting a strong Dick Thornburg vibe from ms. goodman.

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