Dorian Nakamoto hires lawyer to combat Bitcoin claim

Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, the man recently named by Newsweek as the mysterious creator of Bitcoin, has hired a law firm and issued a statement late Sunday night in what he says was an attempt to “clear my name.”

The statement came in an email from Ethan D. Kirschner, a Los Angeles lawyer.

“This firm has been retained by Dorian S. Nakamoto, the subject of the recent Newsweek cover story on Bitcoin,” Kirschner said in an email. “He has issued the attached prepared statement. No further comment will be made by Mr. Nakamoto or the firm.”

In the statement, Nakamoto says:

“I did not create, invent or otherwise work on Bitcoin. I unconditionally deny the Newsweek report.”

According to Nakamoto, he heard the term “Bitcoin” from his son only in February after he had been contacted by the reporter working on the Newsweek story.

When that story was published in early March, Nakamoto, 64, found himself at the center of a media circus as well as a raging online debate about whether he could be the programmer who created the virtual currency, which has become a billion-dollar global phenomenon.

Part of the story pointed to the fact that Nakamoto, of Temple City, Calif., has programming skills. In the statement, Nakamoto says:

“My background is in engineering. I also have the ability to program. My most recent job was as an electrical engineer troubleshooting air traffic control equipment for the FAA. I have no knowledge of nor have I ever worked on cryptography, peer to peer systems, or alternative currencies.”

The Newsweek story also notes what appears to be a strange gap in his resume in the past decade, the time during which the Bitcoin code was written and released. Nakamoto explains:

“I have not been able to find steady work as an engineer or programmer for ten years. I have worked as a laborer, polltaker, and substitute teacher. I discontinued my Internet service in 2013 due to severe financial distress. I am trying to recover from prostate surgery in October 2012 and a stroke I suffered in October of 2013. My prospects for gainful employment has been harmed because of Newsweek’s article.”

Nakamoto ends by asking to be left in peace:

“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. I offer my sincerest thanks to those people in the United States and around the world who have offered me their support. I have retained legal counsel. This will be our last public statement on this matter. I ask that you now respect our privacy.”

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