|‘Face of bitcoin’ Nakamoto gets legal help
The man Newsweek magazine claimed is the creator of bitcoin has hired a lawyer in an attempt to clear his name, repeating a denial he made to The Associated Press more than a week ago that he has never had anything to do with the digital currency.
In a statement issued by his lawyer, Ethan Kirschner, Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto said Monday that he “did not create, invent or otherwise work on'' bitcoin. In the magazine's return to print this month after more than a year, Newsweek's cover story declared Nakamoto to be the “face behind bitcoin.'' Despite the repeated denials, the magazine has stood behind the story.
Nakamoto, 64, did not say whether he plans to sue the magazine.
Nakamoto added that he is trying to recover from prostate surgery in 2012 and a stroke he suffered last October.
“My prospects for gainful employment has been harmed because of Newsweek's article,'' he said in the statement. “Newsweek's false report has been the source of a great deal of confusion and stress for myself, my 93-year-old mother, my siblings, and their families.''
Newsweek said in a statement that it “has not received any statement or letter from either Mr. Nakamoto or his legal counsel. If and when we do, we will respond as necessary.''
On March 6, the day Newsweek posted its story online, about a dozen journalists descended on the home where Nakamoto lives with his mother in Temple City, California. Nakamoto denied ever being involved with bitcoin multiple times, including during an exclusive two-hour interview with the AP in which he discussed his life, career, family and addressed the assertions in Newsweek's piece.
The magazine developed its thesis on the creator's identity by matching Nakamoto's name, educational history, career, political views and writing style to the alleged creator of bitcoin, who has been known only as “Satoshi Nakamoto.'' Many believe the name to be a pseudonym.
It's not clear whether Nakamoto sought out legal counsel or was approached after the story and his denial reverberated around the globe. Kirschner's website says he handles business and entertainment matters, and a listing on movie database IMDbPro indicates that the rapper KRS-One is a former client.
Nakamoto said his statement will be his last public statement on the matter. Neither he nor his lawyer responded to requests for further comment.
In the days since the Newsweek story and Nakamoto's denial made headlines, a barrage of criticism has been leveled at the magazine.