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This article was published on May 15, 2015

You don’t have a right to know the identity of Bitcoin’s creator

You don’t have a right to know the identity of Bitcoin’s creator
Mic Wright
Story by

Mic Wright

Reporter, TNW

Mic Wright is a journalist specialising in technology, music and popular culture. He lives in Dublin. He is on Twitter at @brokenbottleboy. Mic Wright is a journalist specialising in technology, music and popular culture. He lives in Dublin. He is on Twitter at @brokenbottleboy.

Nathaniel Popper writing in The New York Times has become the latest journalist to publish a piece purporting to reveal the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious creator of Bitcoin.

He writes:

Many in the Bitcoin community told me that, in deference to the Bitcoin creator’s clear desire for privacy, they didn’t want to see the wizard unmasked. But even among those who said this, few could resist debating the clues the founder left behind. As I had these conversations with the programmers and entrepreneurs who are most deeply involved in Bitcoin, I encountered a quiet but widely held belief that much of the most convincing evidence pointed to a reclusive American man of Hungarian descent named Nick Szabo.

Throughout the lengthy article Szabo is presented as being uncomfortable with the attention and explicitly denying that he is the man behind the crypto-currency.

Newsweek pinned Bitcoin on an entirely different man in a cover story last year, which was widely criticized and whose subject has talked about suing the publication.

In his piece, Popper actually recounts how uncomfortable Szabo was when he confronted him in person with the idea that he may, in fact, be Satoshi.

This is clear instance of where journalism needs to differentiate between ‘public interest’ and ‘things that interest the public’. We may be curious about who really created Bitcoin, but we’ve no right to know.

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