But far from being a recluse, Nakamoto is somewhat of a civic activist. Just two days before the Newsweek story was posted, Nakamoto spoke at the March 4 Temple City City Council meeting.
The subject? Nakamoto was concerned about a dangerous intersection in town.
"My name is Dorian Nakamoto," he says just after the 21-minute mark in a video record of the meeting. "And I've been in residence with Temple City since 1967. I love this city very much. I often left the city for a while because of work situation."
The Newsweek story says of Nakamoto:
"Nakamoto's family describe him as extremely intelligent, moody and obsessively private, a man of few words who screens his phone calls, anonymizes his emails and, for most of his life, has been preoccupied with the two things for which Bitcoin has now become known: money and secrecy."
It also says:
"Descended from Samurai and the son of a Buddhist priest, Nakamoto was born in July 1949 in the city of Beppu, Japan, where he was brought up poor in the Buddhist tradition by his mother, Akiko. In 1959, after a divorce and remarriage, she immigrated to California, taking her three sons with her. Now age 93, she lives with Nakamoto in Temple City."
But just before the bitcoin story hit, he hardly seemed like a man afraid to step into the public eye when he stood up at the city council meeting.
Noting that one particular intersection seemed dangerous when he drives and bikes, Nakamoto asks for some additional stop signs to slow down traffic.
"My request today is to make the intersection of Longden and Encinita safe," he says. "I address this before on your previous meetings but felt like it fell on deaf ear."
A city council member offered to ask the city manager look into it.