Bitcoin's mystery man unmasked?

Mar 06, 2014

Newsweek returned to print today in a big, big way -- by revealing the man who could be Bitcoin's founder. What we can be certain of: this profile showcases a man who shares the alleged name of the founder (Satoshi Nakamoto), and his behavior and responses indicate that the article's author Leah McGrath Goodman has found the right guy. As Anna Phillips with the Tampa Bay Times remarked, it looks  "[t]he father of Bitcoin is a 64yo man 'with a penchant for collecting model trains and a career shrouded in secrecy.'"

But did Newsweek overstep? That's the other question. Goodman also included the city where the supposed founder lives, as well as pictures of the man himself and his house (although both images have since been removed). The comment section is overrun with comments like, "Is Newsweek going to provide 24/7 protection for this man, after you've just outed the name and address of a man potentially worth 1000 million dollars, who likely holds the private keys to his BTC in his home?" Global Post's Patrick Winn reflected, "Newsweek exposes face of reclusive Bitcoin creator. Gets 100+ comments calling story horrifically unethical."

Quartz jumped on this story too, with Christopher Mims penning this conclusion: "Pretty much everything about the real identity of bitcoin’s mysterious creator will surprise you." Or as he put it on Twitter, "I repeat, the creator of bitcoin lives with his mother and plays with trains. Because of course."

About the author

Writes the @MuckRackDaily & runs #muckedup chat. Creator of #100helpfuldays. I can haz media tips?

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