Man denies he created Bitcoin after magazine names him as founder
A Bitcoin ATM sticker is posted to the window of a coffee shop in downtown Vancouver, Monday, Oct. 28, 2013. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Karolyn Coorsh, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, March 6, 2014 2:22PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, March 6, 2014 9:41PM EST
The man a U.S. magazine claims is the creator of Bitcoin denies having anything to do with the virtual currency.
In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Satoshi Nakamoto said he had never heard of Bitcoin until a few weeks ago.
On Thursday, Newsweek published “The Face Behind Bitcoin,” which claimed that the 64-year-old was the elusive creator behind the troubled virtual currency.
A crush of media greeted Nakamoto outside his Los Angeles home on Thursday, and subsequently followed him throughout the city.
“No questions right now, I want my free lunch,” Nakamoto said as he emerged from his home.
Asked how he’s involved in Bitcoin, Nakamoto responded: “I’m not involved in Bitcoin, OK.”
Nakamoto, who is a Japanese-American physicist, and an Associated Press reporter were followed by reporters and photographers to a sushi restaurant and to the AP bureau, where Nakamoto gave the new agency and exclusive interview in which he strongly disputed Newsweek’s claims that he created Bitcoin.
Nakamoto, when I asked him in elevator why he told Newsweek he used to be involved with #bitcoin: "No no no I was never involved."— Andrea Chang (@byandreachang) March 6, 2014
The Newsweek feature is the result of a two-month investigation by reporter Leah McGrath Goodman.
In her story, McGrath Goodman said after extensive online digging that included interviews with Nakamoto’s family members and Bitcoin developers, she was able to track him down at his California home.
She describes a short encounter with Nakamoto, where he “tacitly” acknowledges his role in the Bitcoin project but says he no longer has any connection with it.
“‘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,” McGrath Goodman writes.
Created in 2009, Bitcoin is an encrypted virtual currency free from financial institution backing and traded online. The virtual currency’s popularity had been on the rise since its creation in 2009, however, growing controversy over its vulnerability to fraud and hacking has seen the currency’s value plummet in recent months.
With files from The Associated Press