Newsweek Writer Invades Privacy of Man Named Satoshi Nakamoto
Upon sending the article to her publisher at Newsweek, freelance writer Leah McGrath Goodman was undoubtedly feeling pretty proud of herself.
She had found Satoshi Nakamoto! Yes, the father of Bitcoin, the elusive billionaire.
In a detailed exposé, Goodman describes a 64-year-old Japanese-American man living in California who wants to be left along to work on his model trains.
The journalist tracked Nakamoto – his name is actually Satoshi Nakamoto it turns out – to his home and intruded his privacy to the point that the police were called.
Nakamoto alleged admitted some past involvement in being the father of Bitcoin but did not want to say more.
“I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it,” he says, dismissing all further queries with a swat of his left hand. “It’s been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection.”
Journalistic Integrity, Where Art Thou?
On one hand, this is the scoop of the century. Since Bitcoin started its meteoric rise in 2013, journalists everywhere have been clamoring to find the real identity of the man behind the cryptocurrency.
On the other hand, the published article portrays a litany of arguably unethical behavior by a freelance writer, including:
- Posting a photo of Nakamoto’s California home including the license plate number of his car
- Posting a photo of Nakamoto himself
- Posting names and details about Nakamoto’s family and personal finances
The man identified as the creator of Bitcoin is not living the billionaire lifestyle that his original investment could afford him. On the contrary, he seems to be getting by and has had his own run of personal finance troubles such as foreclosed mortgages.
This mean’s that Nakamoto, if truly the originator of Bitcoin, has access to incredible wealth but has not cashed out and created the appropriate protections for that wealth, both in terms of personal security and financial diversification.
In other words, Leah McGrath Goodman may have just told the world where to find the private keys to hundreds of millions of dollars in Bitcoin.
Immediately, responses to the article began taking the form of:
“This is one of the most moronic and grossly irresponsible pieces of journalism I’ve ever seen in my life.”
“Your speculative article on the person behind bitcoin was blatantly disrespectful, a breach of journalist integrity, and has placed this man and his family in potentially life-threatening danger.”
“What a disgusting, irresponsible exercise in sensationalism and attention-whoring.”
Goodman seems defiant in her approach, suggesting that she didn’t reveal anything non-public.
— Leah McGrath Goodman (@truth_eater) March 6, 2014
For our part, we won’t be reposting details about the man’s identity until he himself comes forward and willingly acknowledges his involvement in Bitcoin.