The search – which is, quite boringly, based on looking through records of naturalized U.S. citizens named Satoshi Nakamoto – seems to have homed in on one man, Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto. Nakamoto changed his name in the 1970s and he was a major, if cranky, player in early Bitcoin planning.
Newsweek’s Leah McGrath Goodman dug through old records and finally “obtained Nakamoto’s email through [the] company he buys model trains from.”
Apparently Nakamoto worked closely with the progenitors of bitcoin but then dropped out of the scene in 2011. He has been living quietly in California, caring for his 93-year-old mother. He also apparently worked in the defense industry and is, by all rights, a mathematics genius who used Reverse Polish Notation in his computer code.
“My brother is an asshole,” Nakamoto’s brother, Arthur Nakamoto, told Goodman. “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.”
In some ways that’s just fine. The project has flourished without him and, unlike other famous founders like Linus Torvalds and John Carmack, the pioneer who led the wagon train no longer wants to talk. I doubt this will change much about Bitcoin – except that we can assume Nakamoto has millions of bitcoins in his possession and he may or may not be happy about that fact. It will, nonetheless, be fascinating to see where this goes.
[Image via Newsweek]