Earlier today, Newsweek outed a 64-year-old Japanese-American engineer Satoshi Nakamoto as THE Satoshi Nakamoto who invented Bitcoin. But the article provides little more than circumstantial evidence to prove the point.

Now Nakamoto is denying it. An LA Times reporter who went out to lunch with Nakamoto today claims he's maintained that he's not involved in Bitcoin, and he has told the swarming press corp that himself.

Is Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto THE Satoshi or is the Newsweek article full of it?

  • 2
    Most likely it's going to take a while for enough evidence to be revealed to definitively call it one way or the other.
    – rjzii
    Mar 6, 2014 at 23:57
  • 2
    It reads fairly convincingly, but I tend to agree with the majority of comments there: outing him to the point of showing photos of his house and giving his address is out of order.
    – Benjol
    Mar 7, 2014 at 8:13
  • his wiki page is also full of speculation Mar 7, 2014 at 9:02
  • 1
    ArsTechnica had a pretty good article investigating it and concluded "no"
    – user5341
    Apr 2, 2014 at 3:18

1 Answer 1


Here's what we know:

A good example of a publication laying these facts out is the article "The colossal arrogance of Newsweek’s Bitcoin 'scoop'" from Ars Technica. Here, I think, is the most relevant section:

“It still comes down to the fact that we could not rule him out,” said the forensic analyst. “I said, ‘I think I know this guy—he wears a pocket protector, has a slide rule, he comes from that genre,’” she said. Mentions of “disk space” and “Moore’s law” suggested an older computer scientist, she said, but those concepts resonate in Silicon Valley today, as Marc Andreessen noted.

The Newsweek story posited various similarities between Dorian Nakamoto and "Satoshi Nakamoto," some more convincing than others. For instance, Goodman wrote that Dorian Nakamoto’s writing style is similar to the key paper describing Bitcoin. Once writing samples were analyzed by people without months invested in an investigation, however, it became pretty clear that the writing styles aren’t, in fact, similar at all. Goodman had seized on small things like “double spaces after periods and other format quirks,” which she believed supported the Dorian-Satoshi connection.

Other “similarities” between Dorian Nakamoto and the creator(s) of Bitcoin are thin, to put it generously. Dorian Nakamoto is good at math; he has libertarian-leaning views; and he hasn’t been employed since 2001, which is when some people believe work on Bitcoin began.

While Goodman repeatedly cited Dorian's “career path” as evidence in interviews, that element points directly away from a Dorian-Satoshi connection. Dorian Nakamoto knows about computers, but he studied physics—in the 1960s. While a portrait of the lone inventor working in quiet isolation may sound romantic, the Bitcoin inventor(s) knew cryptography well—and there’s no evidence whatsoever that Nakamoto is conversant with the relevant crypto or distributed algorithms. Monday, he explicitly denied such knowledge.

From the same article, note that a lot of the evidence stemmed from his name, and how flimsy of a case that makes:

The idea that Bitcoin founder “Satoshi Nakamoto”—long thought to be a pseudonym—was living in a modest house in a Los Angeles suburb, and under his real name, was irresistible. ... Dorian Nakamoto ... hasn’t gone by the name “Satoshi” in almost 40 years.

Newsweek’s “forensic research” boiled down to background research on a preset list of candidates, which included everyone they could find named Satoshi Nakamoto. (Of course, there was no good way to produce a sufficient set of candidates not named Satoshi Nakamoto.)


Other things just didn’t add up, either. Why would Satoshi Nakamoto publish under his real birth name when he clearly wants to be anonymous?

I think the answer to your question can pretty clearly be supplied as "no."

  • Ofcourse he would deny newsweek, if he had to come out he would have on his own.
    – user11777
    May 29, 2015 at 6:58

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