Ever since bitcoin was created five years ago, the crypto community has been trying to find out the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. Many tried and failed, so eventually Satoshi Nakamoto became the Keyser Söze of the bitcoin world.
As the Söze saying goes, the biggest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn't exist. Nakamoto's biggest trick was convincing the world that his name was a pseudonym.
A new report claims it was not.
Newsweek magazine is reviving its print edition this week and it came back in style, with one of the biggest scoops in bitcoin history (if it turns out to be true, that is). Newsweek's Leah McGrath Goodman apparently managed to find the real Satoshi Nakamoto, and what's even more surprising is that the humble man behind the cryptocurrency craze was hiding in plain sight.
The real Satoshi is not a Tokyo whiz kid, nor a spy or a group of developers – there was never any mystery, or pseudonym. He is 64-year-old Satoshi Nakamoto, a Californian with a love of math, encryption and model trains, McGrath Goodman claims. His background is not entirely clear, but he apparently worked on classified projects for major corporations and the US military.
He is not living out his days sipping cocktails and spending his bitcoin fortune on the French Riviera, either. Nakamoto lives in Temple City, California, in his humble family home. Not what you would expect from a man who is said to hold $400m in bitcoins.
Not too keen to talk
According to McGrath Goodman, Nakamoto was never after fame and was not thrilled when the Newsweek reporter showed up at his home. In fact, he called the police. The police officers were surprised to learn that the 64-year-old was the "real McCoy".
He suggested he played a role in the development of bitcoin, but refused to say anything else.
"I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it," he told the reporter. "It's been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection."
Nobody knew, not even his family, not even his friends or locals. His brother told Newsweek he is a "brilliant man", but also a reclusive man who doesn't like to talk about his work. He added that he would never acknowledge his involvement in bitcoin.
Newsweek tracked Nakamoto down through one of the companies he used to buy components for model steam trains. He gets the parts from Japan and England, he has been working with model trains since his teens and he does the machining himself.
He clearly does not want to spend his time talking to reporters, he has better things to do.