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

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

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.