Man called Bitcoin's father denies any ties, wrangles free lunch

TEMPLE CITY, California Thu Mar 6, 2014 5:59pm EST

1 of 4. Satoshi Nakamoto is surrounded by reporters as he leaves his home in Temple City, California, March 6, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/David McNew

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TEMPLE CITY, California (Reuters) - A reclusive Japanese American man thought to be the father of Bitcoin emerged from his Southern California home and denied any involvement with the digital currency, before leading reporters on a car chase leading to the headquarters of the Associated Press.

Satoshi Nakamoto, a name known to legions of bitcoin traders, practitioners and boosters around the world, appeared to lose his anonymity on Thursday after Newsweek published a story that said Nakamoto lived in Temple City, California, just east of Los Angeles, and included a photograph.

Dozens of reporters encircled a modest two-story house thought to be his residence on Thursday morning. No one answered the doorbell, though several times, someone pulled back the drapes on an upstairs window, suggesting the person was keeping an eye on the street.

In the afternoon, Nakamoto stepped outside and told reporters he had nothing to do with bitcoin but was looking for someone who understood Japanese, to buy him a free lunch.

An AP reporter said yes, and the two made their way to a nearby sushi restaurant with media in tow, before leaving and heading downtown.

According to a Los Angeles Times reporter, who followed his car, Nakamoto was driven to the Associated Press offices in downtown Los Angeles, where he again denied any involvement with bitcoin.

Bitcoin enthusiasts have come under fire in recent weeks, following the sensational collapse of Mt. Gox, once among the largest of the bitcoin exchanges, and the closure of Canadian bitcoin lender Flexcoin.

The collapse of Mt. Gox has shaken confidence in the digital currency, which advocates believe will smooth financial transactions across the world. Opponents criticize it as a risky, unregulated investment.

Bitcoin is a digital currency that, unlike conventional money, is bought and sold on a peer-to-peer network independent of central control. Its value soared last year, and the total worth of bitcoins minted is now about $7 billion.

(Reporting by Brandon Lowrey; and Aron Ranen, writing by Edwin Chan, editing by Peter Henderson)

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Comments (4)
jabberwolf wrote:
Shaken? its still at 660.00 and climbing !
The only people doing the shaking is the media…
You want to see a fiat currency that REALLY has no worth, look to the USD if and when Obamas spending plan passes. USD will start to descend into freefall when we hit about 20-21 trillion in debt. The only way to catch up (maintain) would be if GDP rose to 6% wich is a pipe dream.

Mar 06, 2014 6:10pm EST  --  Report as abuse
uncoveror wrote:
He waved his hand and said, “I am not the droid you are looking for”, but the Jedi mind trick doesn’t seem to work on these reporters

Mar 06, 2014 7:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Loothor wrote:

Given that bitcoins had a value of over 900.00 less than 3 months ago, I’d say a current value of under 700 (and a value of under 600 when Mt. Gox first collapsed) more than justifies describing investors confidence as “shaken.”

If you really want to (stupidly) make comparisons about the stability of bitcoins vs. the USD, tell me the last time the USD dropped in value by over 30% in two months.

Bitcoins may or may not be a great investment at this point, but pretending the USD is a more risky currency is ludicrous and pretty much just makes you sound like a nut job who hasn’t the slightest grasp on reality.

As far as your rambling about the USD value, it’d be nice if our debt was lower in relation to our GDP, but the GDP is rising and the deficit fell almost 40% last year, so your gloom and doom about some sort of major “freefall” in the near term seems largely unfounded. The US debt:GDP ratio is firmly in the middle of the pack for first-world economies, I’d hardly panic at this point.

I’m gonna guess you’re one of those highly-partisan morons who is simple enough to think you can legitimately…
(A) Blame the President for the entire economy, neglecting the huge roles that the House, Senate, Treasury, and entire Banking system play (among a million other variables).
(B) Predict that everything is going to fall apart within a year or two every year of your adult life and somehow never look back and realize that you’re an idiot.
(C) Never ever note the fact that many things in America have, in fact, been much worse in the past.

Mar 06, 2014 8:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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