The journalist behind a controversial Newsweek investigation into Satoshi Nakamoto says she has new information that could help unmask the anonymous Bitcoin creator.
Leah McGrath Goodman published a report in 2014 suggesting Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, a 64-year-old Japanese-American man and Southern California resident, was the creator of Bitcoin. Although she says Dorian Nakamoto appeared to “tacitly acknowledge” that identity in brief comments made to her, he later categorically denied any involvement in the creation of BTC.
McGrath Goodman, an award-winning reporter who’s published pieces in outlets like the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and the Guardian, tells Anthony Pompliano that she now has new information on the story and is looking to write more.
“Homeland security opened an investigation as my story was coming out. I, of course, got lots of e-mails, but I got an e-mail from one group in particular that had real information to share, and I do hope to write a follow-up story that provides a lot more information surrounding what I reported initially. There is so much more and it isn’t specific to just Dorian, and I think we all knew that. It was not satisfying to just focus on Dorian – there is definitely more, and I hope very much to be able to share that. I also feel like I want to respect the privacy and feelings of some of the people who talked to me.”
McGrath Goodman first started looking into Bitcoin 2013.
Her investigation led her to Southern California, where Nakamoto had formally changed his name in 1973 from Satoshi Nakamoto to “Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto.” McGrath Goodman pointed to the fact that Nakamoto worked as a physicist and engineer, working for decades on classified projects for both the military and private sector companies.
She also interviewed family members who – while uncertain about Nakamoto’s identity as Bitcoin’s creator – indicated that he was a libertarian who distrusted the government and banks. Additionally, she pointed out similar quirks in Dorian Nakamoto and the Bitcoin creator’s writing styles.
When the reporter visited his home in Temple City, California, Nakamoto called the police. When the officers arrived, McGrath Goodman says Nakamoto remarked that he thought he was going to get in trouble if he talked to McGrath Goodman. The reporter then told the police she thought he was the creator of Bitcoin.
“I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it. It’s been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection.”
The police present at the scene later confirmed Nakamoto had been quoted accurately.
In her interview with Pompliano, McGrath Goodman says the subject of her exchanges with Nakamoto before the in-person visit was crystal clear.
“There were weeks of us exchanging e-mails. I even sent him a letter with a Bitcard in it that Gavin [Andresen] had given me. And so when I did interview him, he had already received all this and knew that what we were talking about was Bitcoin, so I think one of the things that was most disappointing to me was in the aftermath him saying he didn’t know that that’s what we were talking about. He definitely knew that we were talking about it. We had been talking about it for weeks before I actually physically visited him.”
McGrath Goodman also says a specific crashed file from when developers were in the early testing stages of Bitcoin supports her theory.
“Before the official launch, [when] they were just trying to get it going, there was a crashed file with Hal Finney. At one point Satoshi had written to Hal and said, ‘Send me the data so I can figure out what went wrong.’ And he was supposed to send it privately to Satoshi, but instead Hal posted it publicly on a forum, so everyone could look at it. And that had an IP address in it that led us to the same neighborhood Dorian lives in, in LA.”
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