Dorian Nakamoto is a 65-year-old unemployed engineer living in Temple City, California. A hardware engineer for various companies over the last three decades, Dorian's area of expertise was troubleshooting air traffic control systems. He has had no training, education, or work experience with cryptography, peer to peer systems, or alternative currencies. He is not the face of Bitcoin.
The first time Dorian heard the word "bitcoin" was from his son just prior to the article's publication, who called him after speaking to the Newsweek reporter. In an AP video interview in March, after the article's publication, he clearly mispronounces "bitcoin," calling it "bitcom," and denies "communicating with bitcoins."
Dorian suffered a stroke in October 2013. His recovery is ongoing. He is separated from his wife, lives with his 93-year-old mother, and has been unemployed as an engineer for at least ten years. Though he continues to look for work, he is experiencing "severe financial distress," in his own words, and has significant trouble meeting his basic needs. He cancelled his internet service in 2013 because he couldn't afford it.
Dorian's family was confused by Newsweek's article. He and his brothers were misquoted. In some cases, words were attributed to them that were never said. In the chaos, his mother believed that the authorities were planning on removing her from her home to put her in a care facility. His estranged wife and children were alienated by the story, which portrayed a person and situation different from their understanding of their husband and father.
The Bitcoin community has been generous to Dorian, donating approximately $23,000 worth of Bitcoin to Dorian for his personal use. He is extremely grateful for this gesture.
Dorian's Legal Defense Fund is a separate effort, authorized and endorsed by Dorian, to raise money to hold Newsweek accountable for their article. A lawsuit against Newsweek will be very expensive. Dorian does not have the resources to pay the costs of such a suit, let alone attorneys' fees. Monies raised by the Fund will be used to further Dorian's legal claims against Newsweek; anything remaining will be given directly to Dorian for his expenses.
If a private citizen like Dorian can be targeted and victimized by a reckless news organization, it could happen to others. Please help us to remind Newsweek and the press community of their continuing legal and ethical responsibilities to the broader public.