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Reported Bitcoin Creator Denying Newsweek Claim Hires Lawyer

Dorian S. Nakamoto
Dorian S. Nakamoto, identified by Newsweek magazine as the founder of Bitcoin, exits his home surrounded by members of the media in Temple City, California, U.S. Photographer: Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg

March 17 (Bloomberg) -- A California engineer identified by Newsweek magazine as the creator of the digital currency Bitcoin “unconditionally” denied the report and retained a lawyer.

Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, a Temple City resident who formerly worked for the Federal Aviation Administration and defense companies, previously denied Newsweek’s March 6 story in an interview with the Associated Press. In a statement today, he said he hired a lawyer, Ethan Kirschner of Los Angeles.

“I did not create, invent or otherwise work on Bitcoin,” Nakamoto said in a written statement. “I unconditionally deny the Newsweek report.”

The magazine said March 7 that it “stands strongly” behind the cover story about the 64-year-old Nakamoto, which was the result of a months-long investigation by reporter Leah McGrath Goodman. The report marked the return of the publication’s print edition.

“Newsweek has not received any statement or letter from either Mr. Nakamoto or his legal counsel,” the magazine said today in a statement. “If and when we do, we will respond as necessary.”

Nakamoto said in his statement that he hadn’t been able to find steady work as an engineer or programmer for 10 years, and that he discontinued his Internet service in 2013 “due to severe financial distress.” Nakamoto also said the Newsweek story was the source of “a great deal of stress” for him and his family, and had harmed his prospects for gainful employment.

Bitcoin, the most popular digital currency, was created in 2009 by a programmer or group of programmers who remained anonymous and signed communications with the name Satoshi Nakamoto. The Temple City man was born as Satoshi Nakamoto in Japan and changed his first name to Dorian in 1973, Newsweek reported, citing court documents.

To contact the reporter on this story: Carter Dougherty in Washington at cdougherty6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Maura Reynolds at mreynolds34@bloomberg.net Lawrence Roberts, David Scheer

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