TECH

'Bitcoin' Creator Worth Estimated $400 Million Found Living 'Humble' Life In California

06/03/2014 14:44 GMT | Updated 07/03/2014 08:59 GMT

UPDATE: Dorian S. Nakamoto now denies he is the creator of Bitcoin.

The creator of Bitcoin has potentially been found, after 'disappearing' into obscurity six years ago.

A Newsweek report managed to track down a man named Satoshi Nakomoto, who it is thought is the same individual by that name who created the digital cryptocurrency.

Nakamoto is thought to personally own hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin, but the man found by Newsweek is said to be living a "humble" life in California.

Bitcoin is the world's most popular digital currency, and despite recent troubles now powers a pseudo-economy worth up to $500 million in transactions every day.

The identity of its creator has long been a mystery, with many supposing that Satoshi Nakomoto was a pseudonym or some other obscured identity.

But as it turns out, Nakamoto appears to just be a secretive, slightly nerdy man who enjoys collecting model trains.

His identity as the Bitcoin founder has not been completely confirmed - a fact addressed in the article - but the reporter Leah McGrath Goodman described the following quote as a "tacit" admission on Nakamoto's part:

"I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it," Nakamoto told Newsweek when confronted outside his house.

"It's been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection."

The reporter didn't manage to spend much time with Nakamoto, but did speak to dozens of other people including his brother who said that not only was his relative an "asshole", but was "very focused and eclectic in his way of thinking. Smart, intelligent, mathematics, engineering, computers. You name it, he can do it".

The report is fascinating, and in-depth, but will obviously prove controversial, not least as it also includes pictures of Nakamoto's house and details of his private life - though Goodman maintains those were already public.

Gizmodo reports that some commenters at Reddit are furious that his identity has been exposed.

"This man's life is in danger," one wrote. "Because people believe he owns 500 million dollar worth of Bitcoin. He doesn't want anything to do with Bitcoin anymore, he deserves to be left alone."