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Ear to the Ground

Unveiling Bitcoin’s Creator, Satoshi Nakamoto

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Posted on Mar 6, 2014

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Newsweek journalist Leah McGrath Goodman claims to have revealed the face, name, location and other key details about the founder and original coder of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto.

In an investigative bid to find every detail about Nakamoto—first by tricking him into talking to her about his interest in trains—Goodman has shed light on the life of a man who has gone to extremes to keep himself out of the public eye and has uncovered the history of how Bitcoin was created.

According to Goodman’s story, which was published Thursday, Nakamoto has not only lived humbly but, perhaps surprisingly, even faces heavy financial burdens today. His pre-Bitcoin employment history included a stint at financial information service Quotron Systems Inc. (eventually sold to Reuters) and classified work for the military on defensive electronics and communications.

Nakamoto was laid off twice in the 1990s and struggled to keep up with his mortgage payments and taxes, which led to a home foreclosure. According to his eldest daughter, this helped shape her father’s views on being a libertarian. Although the date of when he started working on the Bitcoin code is not exactly known, it seems that his job lapse, starting in 2001, falls directly in sync with the currency’s timeline. 

According to Goodman, Nakamoto has never used the estimated 400 million of his Bitcoin profit. He currently lives in Southern California and stopped working on the currency in April 2011, when Bitcoin’s chief scientist Gavin Andresen announced he would be talking about Bitcoin at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Va.

In the face of criticism for the invasiveness of her story, and in her defense, Goodman has noted that Nakamoto was effectively hiding in plain sight: “Pictures and info people are asking about (including residence and car) already public,” she tweeted Thursday. “His name too.” Goodman also feels she has left the “intimate” details out. Read her full story here.

—Posted by Donald Kaufman

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