The most important lesson from the Dorian Nakamoto story

The great irony in Newsweek reporter Leah McGrath Goodman’s story outing Dorian Nakamoto as Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto revolves around the role of trust in her reporting.

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The most important lesson from the Dorian Nakamoto story

The great irony in Newsweek reporter Leah McGrath Goodman’s story outing Dorian Nakamoto as Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto revolves around the role of trust in her reporting.


Bitcoin’s primary innovation is it removed the need for trust in upholding the value or security of a currency.


Bitcoin users don’t need to trust third parties such as banks to keep their money safe, nor do they need to trust governments to keep the currency valuable. The public ledger known as the blockchain makes all Bitcoin transactions confirmable, and thus the need for trust is replaced with simple proof.


Satoshi Nakamoto made trust an obsolete concept in the realm of money.


And yet, this very thing Nakamoto and Bitcoin rendered mood is being used as a weapon against Dorian Nakamoto, who may or may not be Bitcoin’s creator.


McGrath Goodman cannot prove with convincing satisfaction that the man she has outed as THE Satoshi Nakamoto is actually Satoshi Nakamoto. There is some circumstantial evidence, but nothing concrete. She has no real proof.


That means she has to rely on our trust in her as a journalist and in her employer’s credibility if we are to walk that last mile that connects curiosity to believability.


Newsweek needs our trust, the very thing the subject of the story purportedly rendered unnecessary.


In the absence of proof, appeals to trust are a shortcut. And falling back on this shortcut has allowed a reporter to dox a man who is either technically irrelevant to or straight-up uninvolved with Bitcoin.


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