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Bitcoin inventor 'found'; Singapore virtual currency exchange boss dead

06 March 2014  |  8375 views  |  0 bitcoins

US magazine Newsweek claims to have found the mysterious inventor of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, identifying him as a 64-year-old Japanese-American living near Los Angeles.

Newsweek claims that the elusive founder of the crypto-currency really is called Satoshi Nakamoto and that he "tacitly acknowledged" his role to the magazine but added "I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it."

The Nakamoto identified by Newsweek is described as a twice-married libertarian with a physics degree who has worked on defence projects and has a passion for model trains.

Gavin Andresen, lead developer on the Bitcoin Project, who corresponded with Nakamoto weekly via email for around a year in its early stages is quoted in the article but has now backtracked:

Separately, Singapore police are investigating the "unnatural" death of the American boss of virtual currency exchange First Meta.

Autumn Radtke, the 28 year-old CEO of First Meta, was found dead last week, with local media reports suggesting she was discovered at the bottom of an apartment block. Police are investigating her "unnatural" death but "preliminary investigations showed no foul play is suspected".

In a brief statement on its site, the exchange says: "The First Meta team is shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and CEO Autumn Radtke."

Radtke moved to Singapore in 2012 to run First Meta, an exchange for buying and selling virtual currencies. The platform initially let users trade the currency used in Second Life but has since expanded and last year began letting people sell bitcoin for dollars.

Radtke's friend Steve Beauregard, CEO and founder of GoCoin, told Reuters: "She had a phenomenal network of highly successful people around her, and here she is running this little exchange and it just isn't taking off in the way anybody had hoped."

News of the death comes with the spotlight already on bitcoin thanks to the collapse of Tokyo-based exchange Mt.Gox, which last week filed for bankruptcy protection amid revelations that it has lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the virtual currency.

Singapore has become an Asian hub for bitcion, with regulators taking a fairly relaxed attitude to the currency, issuing clear guidance to users in January on how to handle taxation issues arising from transactions.

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