Did Newsweek just validate Bitcoin conspiracy theory?
FORTUNE — For years, a favorite hobby of Bitcoin enthusiasts has been trying to discern the “real” identity of the crypo-currency’s secretive creator Satoshi Nakamoto. Today, Newsweek tried to put the mystery to rest by reporting that “Satoshi Nakamoto” is really… well, a 64 year-old Japanese-American named Satoshi Nakamoto. He apparently lives just outside of Los Angeles, and has never discussed his Bitcoin involvement with family members.
As you might imagine, there are more than a few skeptics. Newsweek’s Nakamoto never explicitly acknowledges being the mythical coder, and there is an inherent contradiction in the idea of someone being fiercely protective of his privacy (he refused to communicate via phone while communicating with other early Bitcoin developers) who used his real name in email conversation with those same developers.
But there is one piece of the Newsweek story that does fit into one of the more popular conspiracy theories: That Bitcoin was actually created by the NSA, or some other U.S. intelligence agency.
Here is what Nakamoto’s brother told Newsweek:
“What you don’t know about him is that he’s worked on classified stuff. His life was a complete blank for a while. You’re not going to be able to get to him. He’ll deny everything. He’ll never admit to starting Bitcoin.”
To be clear, I’m pretty much an Ockham’s razor sort of guy. But there is not necessarily anything inconsistent between Bitcoin being founded by SoCal Satoshi Nakamoto and it also being founded as a government program. Moreover, it is basically the only existing conspiracy theory that could still hold water, if Nakamoto is who Newsweek says he is.
Or maybe I just hate the end of a good mystery…