Bitcoin’s reputed founder, Dorian S. Nakamoto, a 64-year-old former government physicist who denies he is the inventor of the digital currency, has received $28,000 in donations from Bitcoin enthusiasts.  These supportive donations stand as a drop in the bucket when compared to the nearly $1 billion worth of Bitcoin Nakamoto is said to own.

Bitcoins Fraud

Trying to escape media, Nakamoto engages in car chase through LA

Newsweek named Nakamoto the founder of Bitcoin in their recently revived print edition, creating a splash of media interest surrounding Nakamoto, who at one point last week was engaged in a car chase around Los Angeles trying to escape the media.  Bitcoin supporters, upset at treatment given Nakamoto and as a show of support for Bitcoin, made a total of 1,800 payments, or 44 Bitcoins, to a wallet set up at Blockchain.info, according to a Bloomberg report.  “It serves to soften the damage caused by irresponsible journalism and to demonstrate the generosity and empathy of the community,”  Andreas Antonopoulos, chief security officer for Blockchain.info, was quoted as saying.

White paper bearing same last name key clue

A white paper that was said to be the foundation of Bitcoin was written under the name of “Satoshi Nakamoto,” but this was thought to be a pseudonym for a group of programmers or another individual who wanted to hide their identity.

Bitcoin’s origins are as anonymous as the digital currency was designed to be. Founded on the basis of privacy and a lack of control to a central government authority, the digital payment system gained an early reputation for illicit use in drug dealings and other illegal uses, highlighted when the US government shut down Silk Road, an anonymous ecommerce web site operated with Bitcoin that allowed users to purchase drugs, among other items.

Bitcoin price

Bitcoin’s profile grew along with the value of the currency until 2013, when it exploded in value. Trading mostly in the single digits and teens, in 2013 it started to gain value and reached a high of $1,113 on December 4.  While it gained popularity and additional mainstream acceptance, the digital currency couldn’t shake its troubled past.  This was highlighted when the largest Bitcoin exchange, Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, which filed for bankruptcy protection after more than $500 million in customer Bitcoin stored at the exchange went missing.

Mt Gox: “Magic The Gathering Online Exchange”

The Mt Gox company was initially designed as an exchange for trading magic cards and the Mt Gox name was really an acronym for “Magic The Gathering Online Exchange,” highlighting the nature of the currency and some of its colorful early participants.  A criminal investigation is now underway to find the missing Bitcoins, and the price of the currency has experienced significant volatility, currently trading near the $633 level, according to Coinbase, which tracks Bitcoin pricing.