The mysterious and practically mythical Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto is a 64-year old man living in Southern California who is actually named Satoshi Nakamoto, a Newsweek investigative report claims.
If true, the news deflates one of the core mysteries behind Bitcoin, a digital currency whose identity seems to exist somewhere between massive technological innovation and voodoo. It’s certainly far less exciting than the mythology that’s been built up around Bitcoin’s creator — which typically paints him as a rebellious young programmer based in Tokyo, who took up the Nakamoto moniker as an alias.
Instead, what we have is an aging Japanese American man living a surprisingly simple life. Even though Nakamoto’s estimated worth is around $400 million, he lives in a single-family home in Los Angeles’ San Bernardino foothills and drives a Toyota Corolla.
Not surprisingly, Nakamoto didn’t divulge much about his work with Bitcoin. He mainly communicated with Newsweek reporter Leah MgGrath Goodman via email. Once she tracked down and visited his home address, Nakamoto called the cops.
“I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it,” he said during his lone face-to-face encounter with Goodman. “It’s been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection.”
While the report finally puts a face to the Nakamoto name, plenty of questions still remain. His career is mostly an enigma, for example — although he did do some classified work for the U.S. military and some corporations. He’s a math whiz, unsurprisingly, and he now spends his time designing model steam trains.
His brother, Arthur Nakamoto, confirmed the Bitcoin creator’s brilliance. He gave the reporter a brief-yet-revealing statement:
“My brother is an asshole. What you don’t know about him is that he’s worked on classified stuff. His life was a complete blank for a while. You’re not going to be able to get to him. He’ll deny everything. He’ll never admit to starting Bitcoin.”
VentureBeat is studying social media marketing
, and we’ll share the data with you.