A reclusive engineer fingered by Newsweek as the mystery founder of online crypto-currency Bitcoin, has denied it, saying he even cancelled his internet service last year to save money.
Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto said in a letter released by his lawyer on Monday that he had not heard of the revolutionary currency until February, when his son mentioned it after being contacted by the magazine.
“I did not create, invent or otherwise work on bitcoin. I unconditionally deny the Newsweek report,” the 64-year-old Japanese-American said.
Earlier in March, Newsweek relaunched its print edition with a cover story identifying Dorian Nakamoto as the creator of bitcoin.
The reporter said that after extensive research into his background, and an ostensible verbal “confirmation” by him, she concluded he is the “Satoshi Nakamoto” who invented the online currency.
People in the bitcoin development community know “Satoshi Nakamoto” as the person or group of people who originated the ingenious concept and the computer coding behind it.
But no one ever saw the presumably pseudonymous creator — he, she or they only communicated on the internet.
Dorian Nakamoto denied involvement to reporters after the story broke on March 6.
But Monday’s announcement was the first formal statement he has made since then. He said Newsweek’s claims have caused confusion and stress for himself and his family.
He said he had never agreed to speak to Newsweek reporter Leah McGrath Goodman and called the police when she showed up at the door of his modest two-storey home in suburban Los Angeles.
“My background is in engineering. I also have the ability to program,” he said. “I have no knowledge of, nor have I ever worked on, cryptography, peer to peer systems, or alternative currencies.”
Nakamoto added that he had not had steady work as an engineer or programmer for 10 years, instead working odd jobs like a poll-taker and substitute teacher.
“I am trying to recover from prostate surgery in October 2012 and a stroke I suffered in October of 2013,” he said. “I discontinued my internet service in 2013 due to severe financial distress.”