Alleged Bitcoin Creator Hires Lawyer To Fight Newsweek Story

67-2014-3-14-coverNearly two weeks after Newsweek claimed to unmask the true identity of elusive Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, the man at the heart of that controversial article — Dorian S. Nakamoto — is exploring legal avenues to, as he states it, “clear my name.”

In a statement to the L.A. Times, the 64-year-old California man reiterates his position that he is not the person behind the popular digital currency.

“I did not create, invent or otherwise work on Bitcoin,” he writes. “I unconditionally deny the Newsweek report.”


He continues by explaining that while he does have some experience that one might assume the currency’s creator would possess, he does not have the expertise to come up with something like Bitcoin: “My background is in engineering. I also have the ability to program. My most recent job was as an electrical engineer troubleshooting air traffic control equipment for the FAA. I have no knowledge of nor have I ever worked on cryptography, peer to peer systems, or alternative currencies.”

The Newsweek article speculated that Nakamoto was working on Bitcoin during the decade-long gap in his recent work experience. But the engineer claims he was doing other things to try to earn any sort of living during this time period.

“I have not been able to find steady work as an engineer or programmer for ten years,” writes Nakamoto. “I have worked as a laborer, polltaker, and substitute teacher. I discontinued my internet service in 2013 due to severe financial distress. I am trying to recover from prostate surgery in October 2012 and a stroke I suffered in October of 2013. My prospects for gainful employment has been harmed because of Newsweek’s article.”

A Los Angeles-area lawyer confirmed to the Times that it had been retained by Nakamoto, who was born Satoshi Yakamoto but who eventually changed his first name to Dorian.

“Newsweek’s false report has been the source of a great deal of confusion and stress for myself, my 93-year old mother, my siblings, and their families,” writes Nakamoto, who has received thousands of dollars in unsolicited donations from supporters who either believe that Newsweek has the wrong person, or that the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is a non-issue.

“I offer my sincerest thanks to those people in the United States and around the world who have offered me their support,” he concludes in his statement to the Times. “I have retained legal counsel. This will be our last public statement on this matter. I ask that you now respect our privacy.”

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.