Pinning the Tail on Satoshi Nakamoto – How Journalists Misused Years of Circumstantial Evidence to Identify Bitcoin’s Creator – Bitcoin News

The search for Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious creator of Bitcoin, has been an ongoing hunt for the past 13 years. Dozens of candidates have been named since 2014, but none of them have convinced the larger community that they are the creator of Bitcoin. Additionally, journalists from publications such as Newsweek have singled out certain individuals, and almost all of them have denied playing a role in the creation of the world’s leading crypto asset. In October 2011, a journalist thought he had discovered Nakamoto’s identity, or felt that he had provided enough convincing evidence that he might have created the first digital currency.

Putting a false face on the person behind Bitcoin

Eight years ago, Newsweek reporter Leah McGrath Goodman published a story called “The Face Behind Bitcoin,” and in the article she claimed that Satoshi Nakamoto was a retired physicist named Dorian Nakamoto. A Newsweek reporter published an exposé about Dorian’s life, despite Dorian’s denials from the start. She said there are several similarities between Dorian and Bitcoin’s anonymous creator.

Pinning the Tail on Satoshi Nakamoto - How Journalists Misused Years of Circumstantial Evidence to Identify Bitcoin's Creator
Dorian Nakamoto writes for Newsweek. Dorian denied being Satoshi Nakamoto and told Newsweek reporter Leah McGrath Goodman that he understood.

Dorian was not happy about being exposed and told the crowd that he felt victimized and that he didn’t quite understand Goodman’s questions. Bitcoiners weren’t too happy with Goodman’s Newsweek story, and the community backed up Dorian’s victim opinion by showing a photo of his home in California where Newsweek reporter Doxed Dorian. Goodman has received a lot of backlash for her story, but she’s not the only journalist trying to pin Nakamoto’s identity on a specific individual.

‘I’m not Satoshi – even if I were I wouldn’t tell you.’

About two and a half years before Goodman exposed Dorian Nakamoto, a New York reporter tried to do the same thing. In the year On October 3, 2011, when Bitcoin (BTC) was trading at $5.03 per unit, Joshua Davis of New York claimed to have discovered the mysterious creator, whose name is apparently Michael.

Pinning the Tail on Satoshi Nakamoto - How Journalists Misused Years of Circumstantial Evidence to Identify Bitcoin's Creator
Irish computer science student Michael Clear denied being Satoshi, but a New York reporter decided to publish the story anyway. In the year In 2013, he wrote a candid blog post asking people to stop sending him emails asking about bitcoin and its connection to Satoshi Nakamoto. “I was naturally shocked when he thought I could be Satoshi, and there were some jokes and regrettable mistakes on my part,” Clare said at the time. However, further reports of various misinterpretations and loss of context and some misleading conclusions have, unfortunately, thrown the whole thing into overdrive.

Davies first came across Clear when he attended the Crypto 2011 conference and began targeting audiences based in the UK or Ireland. The six cryptographers all attended the University of Bristol, but when asked about their involvement with bitcoin, one of the cryptographers said:

It is of no interest to us.

Davies said Clear was a cryptography graduate student at Trinity College in Dublin. Clare was awarded the College’s highest Bachelor of Computer Science in 2008. Following the award, Clear went to work for Allied Irish Banks and published a paper on peer-to-peer (P2P) technology, which Davies says was the paper. Written in British style.

In the year In 2011, Clare met with Davis during the reporter’s investigation and told the reporter he wanted to keep a low profile. Davis said the 23-year-old had been programming since the age of ten, and the cryptographer was also very good at C++. Davis emphasized to the editor that Clear was responsive and stable when asked about Bitcoin.

“My area of ​​focus right now is fully homogenous cryptography,” Clear told Davis. “I haven’t been following Bitcoin lately.” Clear also told Davis that it was reviewing the Bitcoin codebase, and later insisted in an email that it could clearly “identify Satoshi.” Clear said he believed it was unfair to dox Nakamoto after all the steps the creator had taken to remain anonymous.

“But you may want to contact a specific individual who matches the writer’s profile on many levels,” Clear said. The man in question is Willy Lehdonvirta, who immediately stated that he should not be involved with the creation of Bitcoin. Davis then reconnected with Clear and told him that “Lehdonvirta made a convincing denial.”

New Yorker author Satoshi Nakamoto again asked Clear. “I’m not Satoshi,” Clear replied. But even if it were me, I wouldn’t tell you. Clear adds that downloading bitcoins is extremely difficult. “You can’t kill him,” Claire said. “Bitcoin will survive a nuclear attack.”

72 hours before the registration of, three people and encryption keys were patented

Despite the rejection, Davis and the New Yorker decided to publish the article about Michael Clear, and the story was picked up by several media that year. Speaking to reporters from the publication, he insisted that it was clearly not Nakamoto again.

“When I said ‘I wouldn’t tell you if I were you,’ it lacked humor, it was said in jest,” explained Clear. “[I] I find it funny that he thinks I’m Satoshi, a New Yorker journalist, but I’ve always (aside from conversational jokes like the quote above) vehemently denied it. I can never let someone else take credit for my creativity and hard work.

Pinning the Tail on Satoshi Nakamoto - How Journalists Misused Years of Circumstantial Evidence to Identify Bitcoin's Creator
United States Patent #20100042841A1 by Neil King, Vladimir Oxman and Charles Bree.

The New Yorker was one of the first times a reporter tried to pin someone’s identity on the creation of Bitcoin, but it wouldn’t be the last. A week later, Fast Company and reporter Adam L. Penberg published another Nakamoto story with a mysterious angle.

Pennenberg believed the evidence was more convincing and identified a patent created three days before was registered for “updating and distributing encryption keys.” This was enough evidence for Pennenberg to question the inventors of the patent: Neil King, Vladimir Oxman, and Charles Brie.

Similar to the New York expose, all three suspects denied any involvement with the creation of Bitcoin. Pennenberg concluded that the editorial’s main point was not that Fast Company found Nakamoto, but “to show how the empirical evidence on which the New Yorker drew conclusions does not match the truth.”

Although both of these editorials led nowhere into dead ends and rabbit holes, the journalists who hunted down Nakamoto went to great lengths to expose the creator of Bitcoin and tell the world who this remarkable individual was. So far, none of Satoshi Nakamoto’s revelations have revealed what Bitcoin’s creator is looking deeper into – guesswork and coincidences that make little sense.

Tags in this story

Adam L. Pennenberg, Bitcoin, Inventor of Bitcoin, Inventor of Bitcoin, BTC, Charles Brie, Dorian, Dorian Nakamoto, Fast Company, Joshua Davis, Journalists, Leah McGrath Goodman, Media Reports, Michael Clipp, Nakamoto, Neil King, New York, New York The Yorker’s Joshua Davis, Newsweek, Satoshi Nakamoto, Satoshi Nakamoto Exposed, Willy Lehdonvirta, Vladimir Oxman

What did you think of Satoshi Nakamoto’s first exposé published in New York in October 2011? Let us know what you think about this in the comments section below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the news lead at and a financial tech journalist based in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He is passionate about Bitcoin, open source code and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written over 5,700 articles for News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, United States Patent #20100042841A1, Reddit,

DisclaimerThis article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services or companies. does not provide investment, tax, legal or accounting advice. Neither the Company nor the Author shall be liable, directly or indirectly, for any damages or losses arising out of the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services referred to in this paragraph.

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