Newsweek Editor-in-Chief: We Stand by Our Bitcoin Story

Newsweek isn’t backing down. Hours after publishing Leah McGrath Goodman’s 4,5oo-word profile of a 64-year-old Temple City engineer named Dorian S. Nakamoto—who, Goodman claims, is the long-mysterious inventor of Bitcoin—the magazine faced a cascade of evidence contradicting the ambitious cover story of its freshly revived print edition. Nevertheless, its editor-in-chief tells Gawker that the publication stands by the story.

In a post-car-chase interview with the Associated Press, Nakamoto denied knowing anything about Bitcoin, the digital currency, until Goodman contacted his son 3 weeks ago, and clarified that Goodman misunderstood him in a brief interview outside his home in suburban Los Angeles. (Nakamoto is not a native speaker of English.) “It sounded like I was involved before with Bitcoin and looked like I’m not involved now,” he told the AP. “That’s not what I meant.” Instead, he meant to say that he no longer worked on engineering projects with the U.S. government.

Goodman, in a statement to the AP, disagreed: “There was no confusion whatsoever about the context of our conversation—and his acknowledgment of his involvement in Bitcoin.” At the same time, she has yet to supply evidence supporting her stance, such as an audio recording of the exchange. (Goodman also stopped answering questions about her story on Twitter several hours ago.)

Other contradictory evidence is, like some of the Newsweek story, circumstantial. On Thursday evening, someone with access to a P2P Foundation account owned by Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto wrote, “I am not Dorian Nakamoto.” (The account had not been active since 2011.) And an email written by a “Dorian Nakamoto” of Temple City to an employee of the Los Angeles Metro Rail indicates a much weaker grasp of English grammar and spelling than emails sent by Satoshi Nakamoto around the same time period.

Asked if Newsweek still stood by Goodman’s account, editor-in-chief Jim Impoco wrote back: “Yes. Standing by our story. Yes.”

To contact the author of this post, email trotter@gawker.com

[Photo credit: Newsweek]