Temple City Sheriff's Dept. mum on Newsweek Bitcoin story

Newsweek's cover story on Satoshi Nakamoto has caused a media stir, and the two police officers who witnessed the exchange between the writer and the man she claims is Bitcoins's face are not allowed to comment.

Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Richard Nieva
2 min read
Everyone is talking about Newsweek's cover story unmasking the alleged father of Bitcoin -- everyone that is but the cops who reportedly heard Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto acknowledge a connection.

The magazine's cover story, written by reporter Leah McGrath Goodman and published on Thursday, begins with a confrontation in front of Nakamoto's house between the journalist and Nakamoto, as two police officers from the Temple City Sheriff's Department stand by. The story claims one of the officers said, "This is the guy who created Bitcoin? It looks like he's living a pretty humble life."

The Temple City Sheriff's Department declined to comment on the episode. When asked by CNET if we could speak to the officers mentioned in Goodman's story, the department's watch commander said, "Not a chance," adding that the department would not release the officers' names or information. The department has been getting calls about the incident all day, he said.

When interviewed by the Associated Press, Nakamoto denied any involvement in Bitcoin, saying that he only heard of the crypto-currency three weeks ago. But that directly contradicts what he reportedly said to Goodman: "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."

Nakamoto immigrated to the US from his native Japan when he was 10 and speaks both English and Japanese. But the AP reports that his English isn't flawless. When asked by the AP if he ever made that statement to Goodman, Nakamoto said, "No."

"I'm saying I'm no longer in engineering. That's it," he told the AP of the exchange with Goodman. "And even if I was, when we get hired, you have to sign this document, contract saying you will not reveal anything we divulge during and after employment. So that's what I implied."

In a statement to the AP, Goodman said she stood by the quote and its context in her report.

The original quote was allegedly said in front of the police officers. Perhaps there is nothing more to say, but maybe more eyewitness accounts on the context of the confrontation might be able to shed a bit more light on the confusing situation.