Dorian Nakamoto disputes Newsweek story, says he’s not Satoshi Nakamoto

As we reported Thursday, Newsweek magazine dropped a bomb on the Bitcoin community by either outing Satoshi Nakamoto or doxing an innocent man in California.

Dorian Nakamoto — whose middle name is Satoshi and was identified by reporter Leah McGrath Goodman as the creator of Bitcoin — said in his lone follow-up interview with the Associated Press that he is not the Satoshi Nakamoto who allegedly created Bitcoin.

“I got nothing to do with it,” he told the AP.

Here is Goodman’s money quote that provides the backbone to her story:

“‘I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it," he says, dismissing all further queries with a swat of his left hand. ‘It's been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection.’”

Dorian Nakamoto told reporters after that story came out that the quote resulted from a misunderstanding on his part, as English is not his native language.

He also said he had never heard of Bitcoin until he was contacted by McGrath Goodman some three weeks ago.

Yet as soon as the Newsweek story broke, Nakamoto’s house — a photo of which ran in the original piece — was swarmed with journalists. He initially refused to answer the door, until he finally came out and said he would speak to whichever journalist would buy him lunch.

An AP reporter ended up taking Nakamoto for sushi.

McGrath Goodman stands by her story. She said so herself in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

The fallout

As we noted earlier this week, many people reacted negatively to what they perceived as Newsweek’s intruding on the privacy of a 64-year-old man who recently had a stroke.

Andreas Antonopoulos took to the /r/Bitcoin subreddit on Friday to raise funds for Dorian Nakamoto.

“I have no idea if this person is Satoshi, though it seems increasingly unlikely,” Antonopoulos wrote. “However, it doesn't matter either way. If this person is Satoshi, then the funds are a small ‘thanks’ and won't make much of a difference.

“However, if this person is not Satoshi, then these funds will serve as a ‘sorry for what happened to you’, help with medical bills his family is facing, any legal bills they may incur, or anything else. Most of all, it serves to soften the damage caused by irresponsible journalism and to demonstrate the generosity and empathy of the community, which I know is huge.”

At the time of writing, the donation wallet has 36.6 Bitcoins in it, and donations will be accepted through the end of March.


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