Forbes: Linguistic analysis shows Dorian Nakamoto isn't Bitcoin creator

Home » Forbes: Linguistic analysis shows Dorian Nakamoto isn't Bitcoin creator
Still from video of Dorian Nakamoto being interviewed by AP.

Still from video of Dorian Nakamoto being interviewed by AP.

Last week, Newsweek declared Temple City, California, engineer Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto to be the mysterious creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. This launched a media firestorm, and unleashed a swarm of investigation from the world media and armchair detectives across the internet. The more details came in, the worse it looked for writer Leah McGrath Goodman’s conclusion. Most notably, Dorian Nakamoto denied the claims, the seemingly real Satoshi came out of digital seclusion to agree.

The final nail in the coffin of the Newsweek story may come from a simple writing analysis. Forbes reached out to Juola & Associates, a firm that uses an forensic technique called stylometry to identify writers by examining language use and writing structure. While the field is still experimental, it already has a few major successes: Juola was one of the analysts to identify J.K. Rowling as the author of the mystery novel The Cuckoo’s Calling, which had been published under a pseudonym.

Juola’s team has already examined the writings of Satoshi Nakamoto against several known experts in cryptography, mathematics and related fields, finding the strongest correlations with long-theorized creator Neal J. King. They ran the same analysis with examples from Dorian Nakamoto’s publicly available writing:

These included an e-mail he had sent to his local government, letters sent to model train magazines, and postings on message boards about model trains and firearms.

The results? Not impressive.

Noecker concluded that King still seemed like the most likely candidate in the lineup; no method ever identified Dorian as being a more likely to be the Bitcoin creator than King, who still can’t be said to be a likely suspect.

“This does let us say fairly confidently that it’s not Dorian,” Noecker says. “If this were a [police] lineup, if everyone picks the same guy that doesn’t mean that guy is the perp. But if they’re picking the same guy and it’s not you, you’re not the perp.” At another point, he said that he can say “with some conviction” that Dorian is not Satoshi Nakamoto.

Forbes also reached out to Newsweek author Goodman, who responded by noting that there was not enough data for any meaningful conclusion.

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