Technology

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Has mysterious Bitcoin creator 'Satoshi Nakamoto' finally been found?

Subject is cover story of newly re-launched Newsweek magazine

Matthew Sparkes

Published 06/03/2014|14:20

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The mysterious creator of Bitcoin, "Satoshi Nakamoto", has reportedly been unmasked as a 64-year-old father of six living near Los Angeles

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Newsweek magazine claims to have tracked down the mysterious and reclusive creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, and found that he is a 64-year-old father of six living in the San Bernardino foothills around Los Angeles. Until now the identity of the currency's creator has been shrouded in secrecy.

Bitcoin's history can be traced back to a scientific paper written by "Satoshi Nakamoto" and quietly published via a cryptography mailing list in 2008. The author laid out a plan for an "electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust".

In the years since it has been slowly taken over by a thriving group of open source developers and the currency is growing in popularity and value.

Satoshi Nakamoto was widely believed to be a pseudonym and the author had diligently avoided the limelight ever since.

Many people have been identified as possible creators of Bitcoin but all have denied it. Now Newsweek claims that it is actually a 64-year-old Japanese-American man living near Los Angeles and that Nakamoto has admitted to founding the cryprto-currency.

The son of a Buddhist priest, he was described as secretive by his family and said to have worked on classified projects for the US military and as an engineer at Hughes Aircraft.

He is said to have graduated from California State Polytechnic University with a degree in physics, and changed his name at the age of 23 to Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto.

When questioned in person by Newsweek, Nakamoto reportedly said: "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."

Because of his early involvement in bitcoin, Satoshi is thought to be extremely wealthy. New Bitcoins are "mined" by performing complex cryptographic calculations which also serve to authenticate transactions. In the early days Bitcoins were far easier to mine than they now are, and worth far less.

Security researcher Sergio Demian Lerner believes - but can’t categorically prove - that Satoshi mined around 1,000,000BTC and has never spent any. At a price of $1,000 each, that would make him worth around a billion dollars - around the same as the GDP of the Seychelles.

Newsweek pulled its print edition in 2012 and has re-launched this week with the Bitcoin features as a cover story. Staff writer Leah McGrath claims to have tracked him down after a two-month long investigation.

Telegraph.co.uk

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