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The target of a piece about the creator of bitcoin published in Newsweek yesterday has denied, well, being the creator of bitcoin. This most recent turn of events is not surprising considering that fact that the man who created bitcoin, who goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto, has worked hard to stay as anonymous as possible, while the person depicted in the Newsweek piece—Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto—similarly attempted to avoid contact with the article’s author, going so far as to call the police on her when she arrived at his doorstep.

Late yesterday, the Associated Press published an article based on an interview with the latter Nakamoto, who said that the quote the Newsweek piece links to his involvement with bitcoin was misconstrued and taken out of context:

“I’m saying I’m no longer in engineering. That’s it. And even if I was, when we get hired, you have to sign this document, contract saying you will not reveal anything we divulge during and after employment. So that’s what I implied.

“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.”

Asked point blank about whether or not he is, indeed, the creator of bitcoin, Nakamoto said “I got nothing to do with it.”

And the original piece’s quote is certainly ambiguous enough to signify that the Nakamoto depicted may never have said one word about bitcoin one way or the other. As the piece writes:

“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.”

The beauty of non-specific third-person pronouns—“it” could mean just about anything.

Complicating matters further, today Digits reports that the Internet-presence that has typically been pegged as bitcoin’s Satoshi Nakamoto (the one who does take credit for creating the crypto-currency, but who has looked to stay anonymous) has reappeared in the forum thread on the P2P Foundation saying, simply, “I am not Dorian Nakamoto.”

Newsweek says California-resident Dorian Nakamoto is the creator of bitcoin. Nakamoto denies it. (Photo via AP)
Newsweek says California-resident Dorian Nakamoto is the creator of bitcoin. Nakamoto denies it. (Photo via AP)

Of course, maybe that’s a different guy than the man who was interviewed by the AP. Maybe it is the guy interviewed by the AP looking to get attention off of him. Either way, one thing is clear: Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto has no desire to be associated with bitcoin. And considering the fact that the crypto-currency has nothing to do with Satoshi Nakamoto at this point anyway, the question of why we need to bother digging this guy up in the first place is difficult to ignore.

If he is bitcoin’s Nakamoto, he doesn’t want to talk to anyone about the work he did to create bitcoin—a project he has, by all accounts, nothing to do with. If he is not bitcoin’s Nakamoto, Newsweek and the accompanying flurry of press attention has managed to invade the privacy of a man who happens to share a name with the person who claims to have invented bitcoin.

Either way, one has to wonder if we wouldn’t have spent our time a little better over the last couple days.

[Sources: AP, Digits]

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