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Bitcoin founder unmasked (maybe), and questions over death of exchange head

March 6, 2014
Personal Finance
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The topsy-turvy story of Bitcoin took two dramatic turns Thursday, as Newsweek claims to have found the mystery man who created the digital currency living quietly in California, and the 28-year-old head of a Bitcoin exchange was found dead outside her Singapore apartment.

Satoshi Nakamoto, which many thought was a pseudonym meant to conceal the creator of the currency, is the actual name of a 64-year-old Japanese-American engineer and model-train enthusiast who did classified work for the U.S. military, according to Newsweek. Despite some $400 million in Bitcoin riches, he drives a Toyota Corolla and lives in a modest house in Temple City, Calif., about 20 minutes outside of Los Angeles.

“I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it,” Nakamoto told Newsweek. “It’s been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection.”

Meanwhile, police in Singapore said they were investigating the “unnatural” death of Autumn Radtke, the American chief executive of Singapore-based First Meta, AFP reported. Police said she was found dead on Feb. 26 at the bottom of her Singapore apartment block, but suicide—not foul play—was suspected.

News of Radtke’s death came after the collapse of Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, one of the world’s largest Bitcoin exchanges, due to a suspected theft worth nearly $500 million. The value of Bitcoin has swung wildly, from nearly $1,200 in December to as low as $130 in February. On Thursday it was trading at $656.

Read more on NerdWallet: Bitcoin: Black Market Bait or Shrewd Investment?