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Elusive founder of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, revealed at last

The true identity of bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto has long been one of the tech world's biggest secrets.

The name first appeared in a 2008 white paper introducing the crypto currency, but many believed it was just an alias for some Tokyo-based computer genius, or even a group of hackers set on challenging traditional currencies.

But now, the mystery might be solved — and the answer is somewhat less exciting than you might have hoped. In a much buzzed-about cover story published online on Thursday, Newsweek claims to have tracked down bitcoin's creator, a reclusive 64-year-old Japanese-American man whose name really is Satoshi Nakamoto.

Described as "someone with a penchant for collecting model trains," the man lives a humble life, residing in his family's home in California, despite being worth an estimated $500 million (£298 million) in bitcoins.

Newsweek finance editor Leah McGrath Goodman explains in the piece how she spent two months trying to track down the elusive founder of the troubled virtual currency.

When she finally arrived at the front door of his home in Los Angeles's San Bernardino foothills, she didn't exactly get a warm welcome. In fact, Nakamoto promptly called the cops.

Whether or not he actually is the founder of bitcoin is still up for debate. The man never explicitly confirmed that he is, indeed, the virtual currency's founder. He acknowledged having a role in the project, but did not go into specifics.

"I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it," Nakamoto said, according to Newsweek. "It's been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection."

The piece has garnered a considerable amount of controversy among readers who have criticized the magazine for posting photos of the man and his family, along with an image of his house and car. Newsweek has since removed the photo of his house and car from its story.

Meanwhile, the piece is full of fun facts about the supposed father of bitcoin. Born in July 1949 in the city of Beppu, Japan, he is "descended from Samurai and the son of a Buddhist priest." These days, he might be worth millions, but he drives a Toyota Corolla.

His family describes him as an "extremely intelligent, moody and obsessively private" man, a genius who displayed a high aptitude for math and science from an early age.

Not everyone is a fan, though. "My brother is an a***ole," said his youngest brother, Arthur Nakamoto. "He'll deny everything. He'll never admit to starting bitcoin."

The revelations come an uncertain time for bitcoin. Following the epic collapse of Mt. Gox, formerly the world's biggest bitcoin exchange, Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, called for a ban on the virtual currency.

"This virtual currency is currently unregulated and has allowed users to participate in illicit activity, while also being highly unstable and disruptive to our economy," Manchin wrote in a letter to top US regulators.

That, however, prompted a rather tongue-in-cheek response from Representative Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat, who wrote a letter asking regulators to ban dollar bills.

"The exchange of dollar bills, including high denomination bills, is currently unregulated and has allowed users to participate in illicit activity, while also being highly subject to forgery, theft, and loss," Polis wrote, mimicking Manchin's language.