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Car chases, bankruptcy, hackers: What's next for bitcoin?

Nicole Goodkind
Nicole Goodkind
Daily Ticker

In a bizarre story that seems like the plot of a 90s cyber thriller, a reclusive 64-year-old man thought to be the founder of bitcoin led reporters on a high-speed car chase through Los Angeles Thursday. 

Related: Stakes rise for bitcoin backers as hackers attack

Satoshi Nakamoto, who is worth an estimated $400 million and was recently revealed to be the creator of bitcoin by Newsweek, denied any involvement with the cryptocurrency to a swarm of reporters camped outside of his house.

"I'm not involved in bitcoin. Wait a minute, I want my free lunch first. I'm going with this guy," said Nakamoto, pointing to an AP reporter. "I'm not in bitcoin, I don't know anything about it."

He then sped off in his car only to be chased by reporters who followed him to a sushi restaurant.

Despite his denials, Newsweek reporter Leah McGrath Goodman stands by her claim that Nakamoto is the founder of bitcoin: "I don't have any doubt in my mind," she told Business Insider.

Related: Bitcoin needs to grow up if it wants to survive Mt. Gox collapse

As comical as the story is, it has some serious implications for Bitcoin.

“This is not a proud moment in the history of bitcoin, I think everyone involved was happier without this man having cameras all over his lawn,” says Yahoo Finance’s Jeff Macke.

Heavy bitcoin investors like Marc Andreessen would rather not talk about Nakamoto, says Macke, because this story puts the icing on the cake of a month riddled with bad news for the new currency.

On Feb. 25 Mt. Gox, an exchange that handled 70% of all bitcoin transactions, shut down and declared bankruptcy after admitting that 850,000 bitcoins (or about $450 million USD) belonging to customers had gone missing.

Editor's note: Join Yahoo Finance's Aaron Task & NASDAQ's Bob McCooey as they co-host a discussion with PayPal's John Lunn and BitPay's Tony Gallippi on virtual currencies and the real world economic challenges they're trying to solve. The event takes place Monday, March 10, from 4pm CT to 5:30pm CT at Brazos Mail Hall in Austin, Texas (204 E. 4th Street). If you're in town, stop by!

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