I don’t think so.
The magazine, which returned to print this week, returned to news stands with the impressive headline: “Bitcoin’s Face: The Mystery Man Behind the Crypto-Currency“. The author, Leah McGrath Goodman, claims she followed the trail all the way to the end, and found the elusive creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. What do you think?
It turns out, Miss Goodman discovered, that Satoshi used his real full name on the bitcointalk.org forums. That’s odd for a guy who values his privacy. Oh, and he called the cops on the reporter when she wanted to come speak to him. That tells you he’s not afraid to have his name and house associated with a police report about bitcoin.
And while Ms Goodman’s article reads like a cheesy novella thriller, it actually lacks the type of compelling evidence that would seal the deal for crypto-junkies. Proof in the age of bitcoin means showing a signed message on the genesis block or some blocks known to belong to Satoshi.
Whether or not this reporter actually found what she was looking for is in dispute, but Gavin Anderson, lead developer for the Bitcoin team, tweeted his regret.
Reddit is abuzz with speculation with regard to the authenticity of these claims. Many are quick to point out that no definitive proof yet exists that can link this man to Satoshi’s known online identity. But why would Satoshi reveal himself? He must know that producing a figurehead for the currency will put him in the line of sights for angry governments disrupted by the blockchain technology. Some of the top comments on Reddit suggest “doxing” Ms Goodman as retribution.
However Ms Goodman has little to lose and everything to gain by becoming the focal point of hater nerd rage. People will buy Newsweek’s new print edition for its novelty and catchy cover story, television news will be talking about this for a few days, and the internet will be talking about this article for weeks. Whether or not it’s true, it will succeed as click-bait and as a story that everyone is talking about. Until the real identity of Satoshi is revealed with indisputable proof, I’m skeptical of the claim.