Leah McGrath Goodman, the Newsweek writer who made waves in the bitcoin community this morning with her cover story that identified the mystery-shrouded creator of the cybercurrency, didn’t expect such an intense reaction to her scoop. The story, “The Face Behind Bitcoin,” profiled Satoshi Nakamoto, a 64-year-old Japanese-American engineer living a humble life in Temple City, California.
Almost immediately upon publication, the story blew up and sparked plenty of debate over issues of anonymity and privacy, both cornerstones of the alternate currency. Prominent bitcoin advocates and commenters on Reddit both praised Goodman’s story and demonized her for the sin of “doxxing” (releasing personal information about someone), though Nakamoto has not been involved with the cryptocurrency since mid-2010.
Goodman tells IBTimes TV that she expected her story would spark plenty of conversation about Nakamoto, adding that it was intended as almost a tribute to a man who “invented something that shaped our world.” She thought that readers would celebrate Nakamoto for his genius. But she didn’t anticipate the outrage and the anger from commenters, some of whom lashed out by publishing personal information about herself with some Redditors claiming that her story “basically slapped a target on [Nakamoto’s] back.”
IBTimes’s Cameron Fuller sat down with Goodman to discuss the story, reveal how she tracked down Nakamoto and her response to the intense reaction.