Leah McGrath Goodman’s recent cover story for Newsweek, investigating the identity of Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto, has generated an immense amount of international attention, including denials from Mr. Nakamoto, criticism of Ms. Goodman’s reporting and ad hominem attacks on her character.
Newsweek published this story because we felt it is an important one. While the virtual currency has become popular, it remains mysterious and volatile. We recognized a public interest in establishing some core facts about Bitcoin and better informing those who might invest money in it.
Ms. Goodman’s research was conducted under the same high editorial and ethical standards that have guided Newsweek for more than 80 years. Newsweek stands strongly behind Ms. Goodman and her article. Ms. Goodman’s reporting was motivated by a search for the truth surrounding a major business story, absent any other agenda. The facts as reported point toward Mr. Nakamoto’s role in the founding of Bitcoin.
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It is natural and expected for a major news revelation such as this to spark debate and controversy. Many of the greatest journalistic scoops have prompted similar reaction. Such debate is part of the democratic process and essential to the functioning of a free press. Newsweek is committed to furthering that spirit of open discourse. At the same time, Newsweek encourages fellow members of the press and the public at large to focus on analysis of the facts at hand rather than rush to assumptions or resort to emotion.
Moreover, it encourages all to be respectful of the privacy and rights of the individuals involved.