Bitcoin creator unmasked as 64-year-old, Toyota Corolla owner

Newsweek claims to have tracked down Keyser Söze figure behind cyber currency

Nakamoto’s estimated worth is around $400 million. Photograph: Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Nakamoto’s estimated worth is around $400 million. Photograph: Jim Urquhart/Reuters

 

Newsweek claims to have unmasked the identity of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

Since the cyber currency was introduced five years ago, the person behind it has remained a mystery - something of a Keyser Söze figure - which has afforded him almost legendary status in financial circles.

However, according to the US magazine, he is a 64-year old Japanese American man living in Southern California who is actually called Satoshi Nakamoto

It had been assumed Satoshi Nakamoto was merely a moniker for the individual behind the original Bitcoin program.

Even though Nakamoto’s estimated worth is around $400 million, he is said to live in a modest single-family home in the Los Angeles suburb of San Bernardino and drive a Toyota Corolla.

He is understood to have kept his pioneering work on Bitcoin secret even from his family

Nakamoto declined to provide Newsweek reporter Leah MgGrath Goodman with much in the way of information about his work.

“I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it,” he said. “It’s been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection.”

The digital currency is traded on a peer-to-peer network independent of central control.

Its value has soared in the past year, and the total worth of bitcoins minted is now said to be about $7 billion.

However, it has also engendered a wave of creative criminality - from bitcoin theft by hacking online platforms to potentially using the crypto-currency in money laundering, bribery and buying illicit products.

The most recent incident involved Tokyo-based Mt Gox, once the world’s dominant bitcoin exchange.

Last month, the exchange filed for bankruptcy after claiming it had lost bitcoins and cash worth some half a billion dollars due to hacker attacks on what it said was its lax computer system security.

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