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Bitcoin mystery: Temple City man denies creating digital currency

A Temple City man denies a magazine report that names him as the creator of digital currency Bitcoin.
March 6, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Newsweek magazine claims it has identified the mysterious founder of the worldwide digital currency called Bitcoin. The Newsweek article, which quickly went viral, suggested the founder of Bitcoin would deny being the founder if he were ever discovered.

"I have nothing to do with Bitcoin," said Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto. "I never worked for the company, I don't know any people there, I never had a contract there or anything like that. I wasn't even aware of the product."

Nakamoto says Mewsweek is wrong. He's not the face or the founder of Bitcoin.

"I never created the code, I never created the concept," said Nakamoto.

Bitcoins are a virtual currency that can be traded instantly. Unlike the dollar, they are not backed by a government and their value fluctuates wildly.

Recently, Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy after a suspected theft of a half-billion dollars.

Last week, 28-year-old Autumn Radke, the American CEO of a Bitcoin exchange in Singapore, was found dead of mysterious "unnatural causes."

Also a mystery: Who exactly founded Bitcoin? For years, the rumored name has been Nakamoto.

"There are so few people who create something so big that want no attention," said Ben Blesoe, who is producing a documentary about Bitcoins. He says the fascination over its founder is intense.

"People aren't sleeping in parts of the world because they're just paying attention, wanting to hear updates," said Bledsoe.

Cameras flocked to Nakamoto's front door Thursday after the Newsweek story.

"I'm not involved in Bitcoin," he said.

Speaking Japanese, Nakamoto's 94-year-old mother told Eyewitness News that she'd never heard of Bitcoin until Thursday. Nakamoto then pulled her away.

Neighbors describe Nakamoto as secretive. Nakamoto lives in a relatively modest Temple City home.

Bitcoin's founder might hold hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of un-cashed Bitcoins.

"I don't have a maid, I don't have a gardener, you think I'm capable of having or making $400 million and live in this house?" said Nakamoto.

So he was asked who he thinks is the face of Bitcoin.

"I don't know. I just believe that somebody put my name in there, but it's not me," said Nakamoto.

Newsweek is standing by its story. Nakamoto says he doesn't even have a working computer or Internet connection.


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