Newsweek issues statement on Bitcoin cover

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Newsweek. (Newsweek.com)
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Newsweek has issued an official statement on the controversy surrounding its cover story by Leah McGrath Goodman this week that purports to unmask the elusive founder of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto.

"Newsweek published this story because we felt it is an important one," the statement reads. "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."

The full statement can be found on Newsweek's website.

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The Bitcoin story was initially seen as a big coup for a venerable title out to make a splash with its first issue back in print in more than a year.

But the piece came under intense scrutiny after the man it identified denied that he was behind the rising crypto-currency, and now media-watchers are debating whether Newsweek should have hedged its headline-making scoop.

The fiasco will no doubt be a conversation starter at Newsweek's party tonight in Austin, where editor-in-chief Jim Impoco and others from the magazine will be out promoting its print relaunch as part of the SXSW Interactive festival.