You’ve likely seen all the fuss about the discovery of the true identity of the creator of Bitcoin – but it seems this has been a case of much ado about nothing.
The mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, the name attached to the creator of the virtual currency back in 2008, was supposedly identified by a Newsweek article, who pinned him down as a 64-year-old Japanese-American recluse. Here was the Bitcoin mastermind, they said, a model train enthusiast from LA.
Newsweek seemed to have the word from the horse’s mouth. As we discussed in our earlier report, he allegedly acknowledged having a role in the project, and told Newsweek: "I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it. It's been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection."
But now, in an interview with the Associated Press, Nakamoto has said that this key quote, saying he was “no longer involved” and implying that was relating to Bitcoin, was actually misunderstood. Nakamoto, whose English isn’t perfect, told AP that he was actually saying he was no longer involved in engineering – not Bitcoin.
Nakamoto stressed to the AP: “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.” He also repeatedly told the AP: “I got nothing to do with it” (Bitcoin, that is).
Furthermore, he kept referring to the cryptocurrency as “Bitcom.”
The Newsweek article writer remains unrepentant (perhaps unsurprisingly so, given this was a huge cover story). She told the AP: “I stand completely by my exchange with Mr Nakamoto. There was no confusion whatsoever about the context of our conversation – and his acknowledgment of his involvement in Bitcoin.”
Nakamoto did admit that much of Newsweek’s article was correct in its digging and details – just not the rather crucial bit about Bitcoin.
Jeff Garzik, one of Bitcoin’s core developers, also chimed in with a blog post stating that there was “zero conclusive evidence” that 64-year-old Nakamoto was in fact the creator of Bitcoin.
Even the core devs have always been unaware of Nakamoto’s true identity, and have presumed that the name is a pseudonym – as would seem to be likely from a common sense point of view.
Garzik wrote: “Satoshi’s identity may or may not be revealed in time. Based on current research from Sergio Lerner, Satoshi does not appear to have moved or spent any Bitcoins. Satoshi is unlikely to be sitting on a beach in Tahiti, next to a multi-million dollar mansion. Satoshi is unlikely to be prepared for determined, potentially violent thieves and curiosity seekers. Curiosity in Satoshi’s identity is understandable, but please consider responsible disclosure, and the danger such a revelation may generate.”
Nakamoto’s final words in the AP article sum things up quite nicely. "How long is this media hoopla going to last?" he asked.
Sadly, we doubt it’s close to blowing over yet, Mr Nakamoto.