WASHINGTON (AFP) - Newsweek said on Thursday it had found the enigmatic creator of the online currency bitcoin, a reclusive Japanese American physicist and model train fan whose name is actually Satoshi Nakamoto.
After years of speculation that the name was a pseudonym for another person or a collective, a Newsweek reporter said 64-year-old Dorian S. Nakamoto, who lives in a modest home in suburban Los Angeles, is the creator of the crypto-currency that has rocked the banking world.
Nakamoto did not admit to being behind the online phenomenon that has sparked enthusiasm as a financial revolution and doubts and scandals over its use to trade drugs and launder money.
And he called the police when the magazine's reporter knocked on his door.
But the magazine said the man, who had a quiet career involving classified work for the US military and companies, tacitly acknowledged his role.
"I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it," he said. "It's been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection." Newsweek said Nakamoto was born in Japan in 1949 and immigrated to the United States 10 years later.
He studied physics at California State Polytechnic University, and in retirement has spent much of his time on his model train hobby.
His family - including two younger brothers who are also scientists - did not know of his link to bitcoin.
"He's a brilliant man... He's very focused and eclectic in his way of thinking. Smart, intelligent, mathematics, engineering, computers. You name it, he can do it," his brother Arthur Nakamoto told Newsweek.