TECH
07/03/2014 08:24 GMT | Updated 07/03/2014 08:59 GMT

Alleged Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto Denies Involvement, Leads Press On Chase Around LA

The man identified by Newsweek as the founder of Bitcoin now says he did not create the digital currency.

Satoshi Nakamoto, a Californian 64-year-old model train collector who does at least share the name of the legendary, though mysterious Bitcoin founder(s?), told AP he had never been involved.

Bitcoin is a purely digital currency, in which code-based 'coins' are produced with enforced scarcity and complexity. Combined with an easy, untraceable transfer mechanism it has ballooned in value as a pseudo economy - though it is also prone to fluctuation.

At its height a single Bitcoin was worth more than $1,000 and more than $500 million worth of Bitcoin transactions were carried out in a single day.

The name 'Satoshi Nakamoto' has always been associated with Bitcoin's inception about six years ago. But the identity of the currency's creator has always remained a mystery - even though it has been estimated he could be worth at least $400 million.

Until now - maybe. On Thursday Nakamoto was 'unmasked' by Newsweek in an extensive profile of "the mystery man behind the crypto-currency".

In the article Nakamoto appeared to confirm that he had created the currency:

"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."

But now Nakamoto denies involvement, speaking exclusively to a reporter from AP before apparently leading reporters on a chase through LA.

In the interview Nakamoto said he had not heard of Bitcoin until his son mentioned he had been contact by a reporter.