Newsweek magazine’s claim that it has found the creator of the Bitcoin virtual currency sparked controversy.
Before now it was assumed that the name behind Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, was a pseudonym for the group of coders who developed the system.
Now Newsweek claims Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto is a 64-year-old model train enthusiast who lives on the outskirts of Los Angeles.
The claim has drawn criticism with many saying Newsweek had only circumstantial evidence for its assertion.
Newsweek reporter Leah Goodman said she tracked Satoshi Nakamoto down by seeking public records for US citizens bearing that name. She then investigated people whose background, education and employment history showed they might be capable of creating the crypto-currency.
Leah Goodman’s enquiries focused on one candidate in particular who seemed to have the right profile and whose involvement was hinted at by other Bitcoin developers.
Further evidence, she said, arose when talking to his family members revealed his obsession with privacy, his political leanings and his facility with maths.
The evidence led Leah Goodman to confront Satoshi Nakamoto as his home where she asked if he was the creator of Bitcoin.
In response, Satoshi Nakamoto said: “I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it.”
Many Bitcoin commentators on social networks have expressed skepticism about the find saying the evidence Leah Goodman gathered was not convincing. The story was called “fake” by some commentators on the Bitcoin Talk forum who demanded Satoshi Nakamoto carry out signed Bitcoin transactions to prove that he was the currency’s originator.
Others criticized Newsweek for publishing a picture of Satoshi Nakamoto and revealing so much about his life.
On Twitter, Leah Goodman said Newsweek magazine had only printed information that was publicly available.
Read Newsweek full article here.