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Is Bitcoin's Founder 'Satoshi Nakamoto' Keyser Söze? [UPDATED]

I've been fascinated with the idea of a Satoshi Nakamoto ever since I began researching the Deep Web where Bitcoin's alleged illegal transactions have run rampant. In my post, "Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Bitcoins But Were Too Broke To Ask," I compared his anonymity to the villainous fictional character Keyser Söze from the hit movie, "The Ususal Suspects." As illusive, SN is an enigma that's most difficult to pin down, even though many claim the real reclusive Satoshi Nakamoto is hiding out in plain sight.

Leah McGrath Goodman at Newsweek this week claims the real SN is a shy, retiring 64-yr old Japanese-American man living in Temple City, California where The shy retired 64-yr old NakamotoThe shy retired 64-yr old Nakamotohe's taken on the role of care-giver for his 93-year-old mother. However, she also points to the implausibility of a "man credited with inventing Bitcoin - the world's most wildly successful digital currency, with transactions of nearly $500 million a day at its peak - would retreat to Los Angeles's San Bernardino foothills, hole up in the family home and leave his estimated $400 million of Bitcoin riches untouched."

Additional research points to several Satoshi Nakamotos popping up in North America - both dead and alive - including a Ralph Lauren menswear designer who died in Honolulu in 2008. Others have emerged on social networks. However for a man that was responsible for adding "cryptocurrency" to our lexicon, it's highly doubtful he would only have attracted 109 connections on LinkedIn and a meager 18 on Twitter.

Satoshi Nakamoto LinkedIn & Twitter AccountsSatoshi Nakamoto LinkedIn & Twitter Accounts
On Facebook, I even received a LIKE from another Satoshi Nakamoto, after I posted a status update with a link to one of my blogs.


Facebook's Satoshi apparently envisions himself as as a mythical Samurai swordsman - and much to my surprise, I apparently have 591 mutual friends in common with this would-be founder of Bitcoin.


Shinichi MochizukiShinichi MochizukiComputer visionary Ted Nelson presents an interesting theory that "Satoshi Nakamoto" is actually a pseudonym for a math professor at Kyoto University in Japan who's real name is Shinichi Mochizuki. However without a lot of specifics to justify his suppositions, Mochizurki has yet to be contacted to verify or dispute the claim.

Correspondent Matthew Sparkes from The Telegraph believes the Bitcoin mystery man's name is also a pseudonym, but that no such person actually exists. "Satoshi Nakamoto is a male Japanese name that loosely translates to 'wise,'" notes Sparkes.

He also suggests during the early days when Bitcoin first arrived on the scene, the email address of satoshin@gmx.com was manned by someone, but most likely, not the true founder. Piecing together the trail of emails, he points to phrases like "bloody hard" steering us away from an American towards a Brit who was receiving and sending emails from this account.

So has SN's cover been blown? Is he really living out his days away from the maddening crowd of the digerati in California or is he simply a figment of someone's imagination?

Adding one more log to the fire, my theory is a real-life Keyser Söze waiting in the wings patiently for the day Hollywood strikes a lucrative deal with him for his life story?  After all "the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist - and like that, poof - he's gone! Who's ready to write that screenplay? Any takers, Mr. Spacey?



UPDATE: LA Times, March 7, 2014 - In an interview with the Associated Press, the man Newsweek claims was the founder of Bitcoin denied he had anything to do with the digital currency.




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Ron Callari
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