Bitcoin Founder Apparently a Fan of "The Purloined Letter"

| Thu Mar. 6, 2014 2:44 PM EST

Newsweek's Leah McGrath Goodman claims to have discovered the true identity of the mysterious "Satoshi Nakamoto" who invented Bitcoin. It turns out he's....Satoshi Nakamoto:

Far from leading to a Tokyo-based whiz kid using the name "Satoshi Nakamoto" as a cipher or pseudonym (a story repeated by everyone from Bitcoin's rabid fans to The New Yorker), the trail followed by Newsweek led to a 64-year-old Japanese-American man whose name really is Satoshi Nakamoto. He is someone with a penchant for collecting model trains and a career shrouded in secrecy, having done classified work for major corporations and the U.S. military.

...."You want to know about my amazing physicist brother?" says Arthur Nakamoto, Satoshi Nakamoto's youngest sibling, who works as director of quality assurance at Wavestream Corp., a maker of radio frequency amplifiers in San Dimas, Calif. "He's a brilliant man. I'm just a humble engineer. He's very focused and eclectic in his way of thinking. Smart, intelligent, mathematics, engineering, computers. You name it, he can do it."

But he also had a warning. "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."

And with that, Nakamoto's brother hung up.

If Goodman is right, Nakamoto is a geeky senior citizen who lives in a suburban stucco house a few miles from Pasadena. He invented Bitcoin because he wanted a currency that wouldn't make financiers rich. "He did not like the notion of banks and bankers getting wealthy just because they hold the keys," says Bitcoin's chief scientist, Gavin Andresen.

He also really, really wants to be left alone. I guess that part isn't working out so well anymore. For what it's worth, I suspect the part about inventing a currency that bankers can't make a profit from might not work out in the long run either.

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