The man identified in a report as Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of the Bitcoin alternative currency, has denied any involvement with the project.
Los Angeles Times reporter Salvador Rodriguez posted video (from the Instagram account of Hunter Schwarz of Buzzfeed) of what appeared to be Nakamoto on the front steps of his home in Temple City, Calif. Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, the name he prefers to be called by, apparently chose an Associated Press reporter to buy him lunch. The Times reported that a number of reporters pursued him by car.
In the video, embedded below, Nakamoto denies having anything to do with Bitcoin.
In an expose released Thursday by Newsweek, the 64-year-old Japanese-American said that he’s “no longer involved” with the Bitcoin project. In the video, Nakamoto can be heard saying, “I’m not involved in Bitcoin, okay?” Nakamoto then says “I want free lunch first; I’m gonna go with this guy.”
In Newsweek’s version of the story, Nakamoto is described as a brilliant mind who has a degree in physics and spent most of his career as a computer engineer working on classified projects for large companies and the U.S. military.
It’s noteworthy that Schwarz’s Instagram post is full of the same types of comments that have circulated around the Internet—namely, that the media has gone too far to expose Nakamoto’s personal information and his involvement with Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency walks an odd line between privacy and transparency: transfers of Bitcoin currency are publicly accessible, but anonymized. For years, many felt that Nakamoto was merely an alias used by one or more individuals involved with the currency.
For now, Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto’s hopes of privacy seem to be dashed. Bloomberg reported that he and the AP reporter drove to a local sushi restaurant, then to an AP bureau after reporters descended upon the restaurant. Will Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto ever be proven to be the founder of Bitcoin? For all we know, he could be confirming the story to the AP right now.