Technology

After Hacks and Claims of Money Laundering, Bitcoin Returns to Life

On March 6, 2014, a gray-haired Japanese-American man in wire-rimmed glasses swept past a swarm of television crews that had been staking out his home. He jumped into a car and led a chase through Los Angeles, the likes of which had not been seen since O.J. Simpson's white Bronco hit the freeways. That morning, Newsweek had reported in a cover story that this man was the elusive inventor of bitcoin, the notorious online currency whose price has seesawed for years between pennies and thousands of dollars apiece.

But the man, Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, eventually gave in and told the media the Newsweek report was false. The then-64-year-old, California-trained engineer said, "I did not create, invent, or otherwise work on bitcoin. I unconditionally deny the Newsweek report." Added his lawyer, Ethan Kirschner: "Newsweek terrorized Mr. Nakamoto. [The magazine] scared his elderly mother, obtained his email address by deception, and misquoted or invented quotes from both him and his brothers."