25 February 2021
Bitcoin - the first cryptocurrency and also the first largest cryptocurrency was launched in 2009, its specification and proof-of-concept were published in a cryptography mailing list by Satoshi Nakamoto. He published a link to a white paper called - ‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’. Satoshi left the project in the year of late 2010, however, he/she did not reveal much about their identity. Nobody owns the Bitcoin network and the network is controlled by all the BItcoin users across the world. Even though there has been many theories and guess-work on who could possibly be Satoshi Nakamoto but to date, the identity has been managed to stay mysterious. Satoshi Nakamoto could be anyone from being an individual to a group of developers or organizations and one such speculation has revolved around Dorian Nakamoto.
In this blog, we are going to discuss Why was Dorian Nakamoto called Satoshi?
In March 2014, Dorian Nakamoto - a then 64-year-old man - model train enthusiast, living in Los Angeles was claimed by the Newsweek to be ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’. The Newsweek columnist, Leah McGrath Goodman published a story - “The Face Behind Bitcoin” that claimed Dorian Nakamoto - a retired physicist to be “Satoshi Nakamoto”. The background behind this article goes back to when McGrath studied Dorian’s life for over two months and visited his house along with two police officers. The police escorted and witnessed when McGrath asked Dorian about his involvement in Bitcoin. To that Dorian replied, “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 ones that did believe the articles was because it leveraged evidence that consisted of the Japanese-American Dorian for being worked with classified projects, his work with major corporations and U.S. military and his graduation in physics from California Polytechnic.
Dorian spoke to a reporter from Associated Press (AP) and denied his involvement with Bitcoin and said that he was confused when McGrath questioned him,
“I have nothing to do with Bitcoin”. He added about what he implied was, “I’m saying I’m no longer in engineering. That’s it. And even if I was, when we get hired, you have to sign this document, contract saying you will not reveal anything we divulge during and after employment. So that’s what I implied,”
Eventually, the article by the Newsweek was reflected by critics to be on the negative side to one’s privacy and that the facts did not support her theory since Dorian denied and said he did not know what he was talking about BItcoin. Through his lawyer, the man has stated, “Newsweek’s false report has been the source of a great deal of confusion and stress for myself, my 93-year old mother, my siblings, and their families.” Dorian Nakamoto also did a video with Andreas Antonopoulos about his side of the story.
During the three year period of time since he was misidentified as Satoshi Nakamoto, the question arose for many when Dorian Nakamoto attended a bitcoin conference miles away from home that included a gathering of Bitcoin luminaries and blockchain startups in Colombia in the year 2017 at Bitconf. In the intervening years, Dorian also attended the fifth annual Bitconf in Bogotá and the press conference with the organizers of the event.
During his time at Bitconf, Dorian Nakamoto had stated his worries about being doxxed as Satoshi Nakamoto which also affected his personal life. He confessed, “I had to make a big decision. Should I fight Newsweek or not? And finally I said no.”
Ever since many have claimed or have been identified as Satoshi Nakamoto, the one that stood clear for many years was Dorian Nakamoto. The picture of Dorian Nakamoto is almost everywhere when you search Satoshi Nakamoto - be it just pictures or memes. But the question that makes it curious is why would anyone dissuade the fame and moreover a multi-billion cryptocurrency like Bitcoin?