Alleged Bitcoin Founder Raises Money To Sue Newsweek

In response to Newsweek's story identifying Dorian Nakamoto as bitcoin's inventor, Nakamoto is denying involvement and raising funds to sue Newsweek.

Alleged Bitcoin Founder Raises Money To Sue Newsweek

It's been several months since Newsweek published a controversial story claiming the outlet had found the creator of bitcoin.

Newsweek released its first print issue since 2012 in March of this year. It's been more than five months since that publication, and still no one is sure if the California man the publication identified even had anything to do with bitcoin.

That man, Dorian Nakamoto, has denied any involvement with bitcoin and now has a website raising money on his behalf to sue Newsweek.

The website Newsweeklied.com explains"If a private citizen like Dorian can be targeted and victimized by a reckless news organization, it could happen to others. Please help us to remind Newsweek and the press community of their continuing legal and ethical responsibilities to the broader public."

TechCrunch says Nakamoto's lawsuit may hit some roadblocks due to subtleties in the story's language. Leah McGrath Goodman wrote in the original Newsweek piece, "Standing before me, eyes downcast, appeared to be the father of bitcoin." Their use of "appeared to be" instead of a verb definitively declaring him to be the founder may cause a judge to question the suit.

Nakamoto's attorney confirmed to Business Insider his law office is behind the website and the fund, but Nakamoto himself declined to comment.

Newsweek published an article a few days after the story was posted, standing behind it. And for all the trouble Nakamoto says Newsweek caused him, the outlet says his former legal name has come up before.

A trained physicist and engineer for much of his life, Newsweek wrote Nakamoto's name appeared as "Satoshi Nakamoto" on a paper from 2008 describing the online currency on the Bitcoin Foundation's website — though this was originally thought to be a pseudonym, not the author's actual name.

Another striking piece of evidence comes from a quote Goodman included in her story, where Nakamoto says he is "no longer" involved in the currency, suggesting he once was. The Los Angeles Times received confirmation Nakamoto said that from two Los Angeles police officers who Nakamoto called to his house after Goodman rang his doorbell and were present during the interview.

Nakamoto's fund accepts credit, debit and — of course — bitcoin.

This video includes an image from Getty Images.