For the uninitiated, a Crypto-Anarchist focuses on subverting the current laws and using new technologies to the benefit of the common man.
- Adam Back – 90s Cypherpunk, Inventor of HashCash, CEO of Blockstream
- David D. Friedman – Son of Milton, Anarcho-Capitalist theorist, Not a Cypherpunk but “Crypto-Anarchy” draws a lot from his work
- Eric Hughes – Founding member of the Cypherpunk Mailing List,
- Gregory Maxwell – Bitcoin Core Developer, Blockstream CTO, Controversial figure to the Big Block political faction
- Hal Finney – 90s Cypherpunk, Received first Bitcoin transaction (from Satoshi), Strong candidate for Satoshi
- Ian Grigg – 90s Cypherpunk, Inventor of Ricardian Contracts
- Jim Bell – 90s Cypherpunk, Crypto-anarchist, Author of Assassination Politics
- John Gilmore – Co-founder of the Cypherpunk Mailing List and the Electronic Frontier Foundation
- John Perry Barlow – 90s Cypherpunk, Author of “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”
- Julian Assange – Founder of Wikileaks, Member of Cypherpunk Mailing List in its heyday
- Nick Szabo – 90s Cypherpunk, Creator of Bitcoin Precursor BitGold, Prolific writer of many important papers, Strong candidate for Satoshi
- Paul Calder Le Roux – Author of E4M disk-encryption software, Suspected author of TrueCrypt, Former criminal empire boss (in a very Crypto-Anarchist sense), DEA informant, Currently in US Custody
- Phil Zimmermann – Author of the Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) Public key encryption software
- Pieter Wuille – Bitcoin Core Developer, Holds the number 2 spot on the bitcoin/bitcoin contributors list (2018-05-28), Blockstream co-founder
- Satoshi Nakamoto – Pseudonymous Founder of Bitcoin, May be a person or group, Many people put forward as possible candidates, Very probably the alias of a 90s Cypherpunk
- Timothy C. May – Founding member of Cypherpunk Mailing List, writer of “The Crypto-Anarchist Manifesto” and the “Cyphernomicon” (mailing list FAQ)
- Vinay Gupta – 90s Cypherpunk, Inventor of the Hexayurt, Resilience Guru, Involved with Ethereum
- Wei Dai – 90s Cypherpunk, Cryptographer, Creator of Bitcoin-precursor B-Money
Adam Back – 90s Cypherpunk, Inventor of HashCash, CEO of Blockstream
- Adam Back (born July 1970) is a British cryptographer and crypto-hacker.He is the inventor of hashcash, the proof-of-work system used by several anti-spam systems.
- A similar system is used in bitcoin.
- Hashcash has also been used in a number of other protocols such as combating blog spam, and defending against user namespace pollution.
- He is also known for pioneering the use of ultra-compact code with his 3-line RSA in Perl signature file and non-exportable T-shirts to protest the (now relaxed) United States cryptography export regulations.
- Today he is CEO of Blockstream, a company that seeks to further the development of bitcoin and blockchain technology.
- 03-Feb-2015 Epicenter Bitcoin on Youtube – EB65 – Adam Back & Greg Maxwell: Sidechains Unchained with Gregory Maxwell
- 07-Sep-2015 Epicenter Bitcoin on Youtube – EB95 – Adam Back: Why Bitcoin Needs A Measured Approach To Scaling
- 09-Oct-2016 Kristov Atlas on Youtube – Fungibility Overview by Adam Back and Matt Corallo (Scaling Bitcoin Milan 2016) with Matt Corallo
- 17-Mar-2017 Medium.com – Adam Back and Greg Maxwell aren’t the kings of Bitcoin by Chris Stewart
David D. Friedman – Son of Milton, Anarcho-Capitalist theorist.
Not a Cypherpunk but”Crypto-Anarchy” draws a lot from his work.
- David Director Friedman (born February 12, 1945) is an American economist, physicist, legal scholar, and libertarian theorist. He is known for his textbook writings on microeconomics and the libertarian theory of anarcho-capitalism, which is the subject of his most popular book, The Machinery of Freedom.
- Besides The Machinery of Freedom, he has authored several other books and articles, including Price Theory: An Intermediate Text (1986), Law’s Order: What Economics Has to Do with Law and Why It Matters (2000), Hidden Order: The Economics of Everyday Life (1996), and Future Imperfect (2008).
- David Friedman is the son of economists Rose and Milton Friedman.
- He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University in 1965, with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and physics.
- He later earned a master’s (1967) and a Ph.D. (1971) in theoretical physics from the University of Chicago. Despite his later career, he never took a class for credit in either economics or law.
- He is currently a professor of law at Santa Clara University, and a contributing editor for Liberty magazine.
- He is an atheist.
- His son, Patri Friedman, has also written about libertarian theory and market anarchism, particularly seasteading.
- In his book The Machinery of Freedom (1973), Friedman sketched a form of anarcho-capitalism where all goods and services including law itself can be produced by the free market.
- This differs from the version proposed by Murray Rothbard, where a legal code would first be consented to by the parties involved in setting up the anarcho-capitalist society.
- Friedman advocates an incrementalist approach to achieve anarcho-capitalism by gradual privatization of areas that government is involved in, ultimately privatizing law and order itself.
- In the book, he states his opposition to violent anarcho-capitalist revolution.
- He advocates a consequentialist version of anarcho-capitalism, arguing for anarchism on a cost-benefit analysis of state versus no state.
- It is contrasted with the natural-rights approach as propounded most notably by economist and libertarian theorist Murray Rothbard.
- David D. Friedman on Wikipedia
- David D. Friedman’s Blog
- David D. Friedman’s Personal Website
- 1973 DavidDFriedman.com (Full Book) – The Machinery of Freedom by David D. Friedman
- 04-May-2000 DavidDFriedman.com – Contracts in Cyberspace
- 2005 DavidDFriedman.com – From Imperial China to Cyberspace: Contracting Without the State
Eric Hughes – Founding member of the Cypherpunk Mailing List.
- Eric Hughes is an American mathematician, computer programmer, and cypherpunk.
- He is considered one of the founders of the cypherpunk movement, alongside Timothy C. May and John Gilmore.
- He is notable for founding and administering the Cypherpunk mailing list, authoring A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto, creating and hosting the first anonymous remailer, and coining the motto, “Cypherpunks write code”.
- The May/June 1993 issue of Wired featured a cover photo of three masked cypherpunks, of which Hughes was one.
- On September 27, 2012, Hughes delivered the keynote address, Putting the Personal Back in Personal Computers, at the Amsterdam CryptoParty.
- Eric Hughes on Wikipedia
- 22-Nov-1992 Cypherpunk Mailing List – Crypto Glossary by Eric Hughes and Timothy C. May
- 09-Mar-1993 Cypherpunk Mailing List – A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto by Eric Hughes – the phrase “Cypherpunks write code” comes from this document
- 27-Sep-2012 CryptoParty NL – Eric Hughes Keynote
Gregory Maxwell – Bitcoin Core Developer, Blockstream CTO, Controversial figure to the Big Block political faction
- Greg was one of the key architects of the two-way peg which makes sidechains possible.
- He has been a Bitcoin core developer since 2011, and is one of the most active reviewers of cryptographic protocol proposals in the Bitcoin industrial ecosystem.
- He has contributed to many widely-used techniques in the Bitcoin space, such as the homomorphic key derivation used in BIP32 and trustless privacy-preserving techniques such as CoinJoin and blinded proof of solvency.
- Greg is a long-time free software developer and comes to Blockstream from Mozilla where he contributed to the Daala video compression project and coauthored the Opus audio codec (RFC 6716).
- He also has over 15 years of experience developing, implementing and operating embedded systems and protocols for large-scale networking.
- For many in the Bitcoin community, Greg is likely the person telling you that your protocol is broken and why, but he usually feels pretty bad about it.
- Gregory Maxwell on Blockstream.com/team/
- nullc on Reddit
- Gregory Maxwell on GitHub
- 29-Dec-2014 CoinDesk – Gregory Maxwell: How I Went From Bitcoin Skeptic to Core Developer by Daniel Cawrey
- 03-Feb-2015 Epicenter Bitcoin on Youtube – EB65 – Adam Back & Greg Maxwell: Sidechains Unchained with Adam Back
- 09-Nov-2015 The Bitcoin Foundation on Youtube – Top Bitcoin Core Dev Greg Maxwell DevCore: Must watch talk on mining, block size, and more
- 09-Nov-2015 The Bitcoin Foundation on Youtube – Panel Discussion-DevCore Draper University 2015 with Andreas Antonopoulos, Matt Corallo and Gavin Andresen
- 07-Dec-2015 bitcoin-dev Mailing List – Capacity increases for the Bitcoin system – (Core’s Roadmap)
- 05-Mar-2017 CryptoCoinsNews – Bitcoin Dev Gavin Andresen: Samson Mow and Greg Maxwell = “Toxic Trolls” by P. H. Madore
- 17-Mar-2017 Medium.com – Adam Back and Greg Maxwell aren’t the kings of Bitcoin by Chris Stewart
- 13-Apr-2017 CoinDesk – From AsicBoost to UASF: Greg Maxwell on Bitcoin’s Path Forward by Alyssa Hertig
- 14-Apr-2017 BitcoinTalk – Greg Maxwell doesn’t support BIP 148 UASF
- 06-Jun-2017 TrustNodes.com – Making Gregory Maxwell a Bitcoin Core Committer Was a “Huge Mistake” Says Gavin Andresen by ?
- 09-Sep-2017 CoinJournal.net – Greg Maxwell on the Prospects of SegWit2x And Why Bitcoin Developers May Leave The Project If It Succeeds by Kyle Torpey
Hal Finney – 90s Cypherpunk, Received first Bitcoin transaction (from Satoshi), Strong candidate for Satoshi.
- Harold Thomas Finney II (May 4, 1956 – August 28, 2014) was a developer for PGP Corporation, and was the second developer hired after Phil Zimmermann.
- In his early career, he was credited as lead developer on several console games.
- He also was an early bitcoin user and received the first bitcoin transaction from bitcoin’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
- After graduation from Caltech, he went to work in the computer gaming field for a company that developed video games such as Adventures of Tron, Armor Ambush, Astroblast and Space Attack.
- He later went to work for the PGP Corporation with whom he remained until his retirement in 2011.
- Finney was a noted cryptographic activist.
- During the early 1990s, in addition to being a regular poster on the cypherpunks listserv, Finney ran two anonymous remailers.
- Further cryptographic activism included running a (successful) contest to break the export-grade encryption Netscape used.
- In 2004, Finney created the first reusable proof of work system before bitcoin.
- In January 2009, Finney was the bitcoin network’s first transaction recipient.
- He was an early bitcoin user and received the first bitcoin transaction from bitcoin’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
- Finney lived in the same town for 10 years that Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto lived, adding to speculation that he may have been Bitcoin’s creator. Finney denied that he was Satoshi Nakamoto.
- In March 2013, Finney posted on a bitcoin forum BitcoinTalk that he was essentially paralyzed, but continued to program.
- He continued to program until his death; he was working on experimental software called bcflick, which uses Trusted Computing to strengthen bitcoin wallets.
- During the last year of his life, the Finneys received anonymous calls demanding an extortion fee of 1,000 bitcoin. They became victims of swatting — a hoax “where the perpetrator calls up emergency dispatch using a spoofed telephone number and pretends to have committed a heinous crime in the hopes of provoking an armed police response to the victim’s home”.
- In October 2009, Finney announced in an essay on the blog Less Wrong that he had been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in August 2009.
- Prior to his illness, Finney had been an active runner.
- Finney and his wife Fran Finney raised money for ALS research with the Santa Barbara International Marathon.
- Hal Finney died in Phoenix August 28, 2014 and was cryopreserved by the Alcor Life Extension Foundation.
Quotes from Finney on the Cypherpunk Mailing List
It seemed so obvious to me; Here we are faced with the problems of loss of privacy, creeping computerization, massive databases, more centralization – and Chaum offers a completely different direction to go in, one which puts power into the hands of individuals rather than governments and corporations.
The computer can be used as a tool to liberate and protect people, rather than to control them.
- Hal Finney on Wikipedia
- @halfin on Twitter
- 19-Aug-1993 Cypherpunk Mailing List (I think) – Digital Cash & Privacy by Hal Finney
- 15-Oct-1993 (Rev. 13-Mar-1996) http://www.finney.org/~hal/ (Web Archive) – Detecting Double Spending by Hal Finney
- 30-Mar-1994 Cypherpunk Mailing List (I think) – PGP Web of Trust Misconceptions by Hal Finney
- 15-Aug-2004 Cypherpunk Mailing List – RPOW – Reusable Proofs of Work by Hal Finney – link to archive of RPOW website, link to archive of RPOW codebase
- 06-Dec-2006-12-Nov-2010 LessWrong.org – HalFinney’s Posts on LessWrong.com
- 05-Oct-2009 LessWrong.com – Dying Outside by Hal Finney
- 30-Nov-2010-09-Aug-2013 BitcoinTalk.org – Hal’s Posts on BitcoinTalk
- 19-Mar-2013 BitcoinTalk.org – Bitcoin and me by Hal Finney
Ian Grigg – 90s Cypherpunk, Inventor of Ricardian Contracts
fighting for the user, issuing her assets since 1995.
Assets are soft, users are hard.
The issue isn’t the asset, the issue is you.
- @iang_fc on Twitter
- 1998-2000 iang.org – Financial Cryptography in 7 Layers by Ian Grigg
- 06-Jul-2004 iang.org – The Ricardian Contract by Ian Grigg
- 25-Dec-2005 iang.org – Triple Entry Accounting by Ian Grigg
Jim Bell – 90s Cypherpunk, Crypto-anarchist, Author of Assassination Politics
James Dalton Bell (born 1958) is an American crypto-anarchist who created the idea of arranging for anonymously sponsored assassination payments via the Internet, which he called “assassination politics”.
Since the publication of the “Assassination Politics” essay, Bell was targeted by the federal government of the United States.
He was imprisoned on felony charges of tax evasion in 1997.
In 2001, Wired called Bell “[o]ne of the Internet’s most famous essayists” and “the world’s most notorious crypto-convict”.
Quotes about Assassination Markets:
If they continue to work for the government, they deserve it.
My suggestion to these people is to quit now and hope for mercy.
I once believed it’s too bad that there are a lot of people who work for government who are hard-working and honest people who will get hit (by Assassination Politics) and it’s a shame, Well, I don’t believe that any more.
They are all either crooks or they tolerate crooks or they are aware of crooks among their numbers.
John Gilmore – Co-founder of the Cypherpunk Mailing List and the Electronic Frontier Foundation
John Gilmore (born 1955) is one of the founders of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Cypherpunks mailing list, and Cygnus Solutions.
He created the alt.* hierarchy in Usenet and is a major contributor to the GNU project.
An outspoken civil libertarian, Gilmore has sued the Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Justice, and others.
He was the plaintiff in the prominent case Gilmore v. Gonzales, challenging secret travel-restriction laws.
He is also an advocate for drug policy reform.
He co-authored the Bootstrap Protocol in 1985, which evolved into DHCP – the primary way local networks assign devices an IP address.
Gilmore owns the domain name toad.com, which is one of the 100 oldest active .com domains. It was registered on August 18, 1987.
He runs the mail server at toad.com as an open mail relay.
In October 2002, Gilmore’s ISP, Verio, cut off his Internet access for running an open relay, a violation of Verio’s terms of service.
Many people contend that open relays make it too easy to send spam.
Gilmore protests that his mail server was programmed to be essentially useless to spammers and other senders of mass email and he argues that Verio’s actions constitute censorship. He also notes that his configuration makes it easier for friends who travel to send email, although his critics counter that there are other mechanisms to accommodate people wanting to send email while traveling.
The measures Gilmore took to make his server useless to spammers may or may not have helped, considering that in 2002, at least one mass-mailing worm that sent through open relays—W32.Yaha—had been hardcoded to relay through the toad.com mailserver.
Gilmore famously stated of Internet censorship that “The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it”.
He unsuccessfully challenged the constitutionality of secret laws regarding travel security policies in Gilmore v. Gonzales.
Gilmore is also an advocate for the relaxing of drug laws, and has given financial support to, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, the Marijuana Policy Project, Erowid, MAPS, Flex Your Rights, and various other organizations seeking to end the war on drugs.
He is a member of the boards of MAPS, the Marijuana Policy Project, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
- John Gilmore on Wikipedia
- Toad.com – John Gilmore’s Personal Website
- Electronic Frontier Foundation page on this site
- Electronic Frontier Foundation – eff.org
John Perry Barlow – 90s Cypherpunk, Author of “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”.
John Perry Barlow (born October 3, 1947) is an American poet and essayist, a retired Wyoming cattle rancher, and a cyberlibertarian political activist who has been associated with both the Democratic and Republican parties.
He is also a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead and a founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Freedom of the Press Foundation.
He is Fellow Emeritus at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, where he has maintained an affiliation since 1998.
He has been identified by Time magazine as one of the “School of Rock: 10 Supersmart Musicians”.
- John Perry Barlow on Wikipedia
- @JPBarlow on Twitter
- John Perry Barlow on Facebook
- 08-Feb-1996 – A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace
- Electronic Frontier Foundation page on this site
- Electronic Frontier Foundation – eff.org
Julian Assange – Founder of Wikileaks, Member of Cypherpunk Mailing List in its heyday.
Julian Paul Assange (/əˈsɒnʒ/; born Julian Paul Hawkins, 3 July 1971) is an Australian computer programmer and the founder of WikiLeaks, an organisation which he founded in 2006.
He has won accolades including the Sam Adams Award and Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.
Assange founded WikiLeaks in 2006, but came to global prominence in 2010, when WikiLeaks published a series of leaks provided by Chelsea Manning.
These leaks included the Collateral Murder video (April 2010), the Afghanistan war logs (July 2010), the Iraq war logs (October 2010), and CableGate (November 2010).
Following the 2010 leaks, the United States government launched a criminal investigation into WikiLeaks and asked allied nations for assistance.
In November 2010, a request was made for Assange’s extradition to Sweden, where he had been questioned months earlier over allegations of sexual assault and rape.
Assange continued to deny the allegations, and expressed concern that he would be extradited from Sweden to the United States because of his perceived role in publishing secret American documents.
Assange surrendered himself to UK police on 7 December 2010, and was held for ten days in solitary confinement before being released on bail.
Having been unsuccessful in his challenge to the extradition proceedings, he breached his bail and absconded.
He was granted asylum by Ecuador in August 2012. He has since remained in the Embassy of Ecuador in London, and is free to leave, although it is likely that he would then be arrested for the criminal offence of breaching his bail conditions.
On 19 May 2017, the Swedish prosecutors dropped the investigation into rape accusations against Assange and applied to revoke his arrest warrant, although the Metropolitan Police have indicated that an arrest warrant is still in force for Assange’s failure to surrender himself to the British court.
- Julian Assange on Wikipedia
- Wikileaks on Wikipedia
- Julian Assange on Wikiquote
- 1995-2002 – Julian Assange’s messages to the Cypherpunk Mailing List
- 27-Dec-2010 Wired Magazine – 2010: The Year the Internet Went to War by David Kravets
- Oct 2013 Vanity Fair The Man Who Came to Dinner by Sarah Ellison
- 18-Oct-2016 The Telegraph (UK) – Ecuador ‘cuts Julian Assange’s internet access’ after Hillary Clinton leaks
- 21-Aug-2017 New Yorker Magazine – Julian Assange, a Man Without a Country by Raffi Khatchadourian
Nick Szabo – 90s Cypherpunk, Creator of Bitcoin Precursor BitGold, Prolific writer of many important papers, Strong candidate for Satoshi
Nick Szabo is a computer scientist, legal scholar and cryptographer known for his research in digital contracts and digital currency.
He graduated from the University of Washington in 1989 with a degree in computer science.
He holds an honorary professorship at the Universidad Francisco Marroquín.
The phrase and concept of “smart contracts” was developed by Szabo with the goal of bringing what he calls the “highly evolved” practices of contract law and practice to the design of electronic commerce protocols between strangers on the Internet.
Smart contracts are a major feature of cryptocurrency and the programming language E.
Szabo influentially argued that a minimum granularity of micropayments is set by mental transaction costs.
In 1998, Szabo designed a mechanism for a decentralized digital currency he called “bit gold”.
Bit gold was never implemented, but has been called “a direct precursor to the Bitcoin architecture.”
In Szabo’s bit gold scheme, a participant would dedicate computer power to solving cryptographic puzzles.
In a bit gold network, solved puzzles would be sent to the Byzantine fault-tolerant public registry and assigned to the public key of the solver. Each solution would become part of the next challenge, creating a growing chain of new property. This aspect of the system provided a way for the network to verify and time-stamp new coins, because unless a majority of the parties agreed to accept new solutions, they couldn’t start on the next puzzle.
When attempting to design transactions with a digital coin, you run into the “double-spending problem.”
Once data have been created, reproducing them is a simple matter of copying and pasting.
Most digital currencies solve the problem by relinquishing some control to a central authority, which keeps track of each account’s balance.
This was an unacceptable solution for Szabo. “I was trying to mimic as closely as possible in cyberspace the security and trust characteristics of gold, and chief among those is that it doesn’t depend on a trusted central authority,” he said.
In 2008, a mysterious figure who wrote under the name Satoshi Nakamoto released a proposal for bitcoin.
Nakamoto’s true identity remained a secret, which led to speculation about a long list of people suspected to be Nakamoto.
Although Szabo has repeatedly denied it, people have speculated that he is Nakamoto.
Research by financial author Dominic Frisby provided circumstantial evidence but, as he admits, no proof that Satoshi is Szabo.
Speaking on RT’s Keiser Report, he said “I’ve concluded there is only one person in the whole world that has the sheer breadth but also the specificity of knowledge and it is this chap…”.
In a July 2014 email to Frisby, Szabo said “Thanks for letting me know. I’m afraid you got it wrong doxing me as Satoshi, but I’m used to it.”
Nathaniel Popper wrote in The New York Times that “the most convincing evidence pointed to a reclusive American man of Hungarian descent named Nick Szabo.”
In 2008, prior to the release of bitcoin, Szabo wrote a comment on his blog about the intent of creating a live version of his hypothetical currency.
In 2015, the subsequent blockchain Ethereum named a subunit of the Ethereum value token the “Szabo”.
- Nick Szabo
- @NickSzabo4 on Twitter
- “Unenumerated”, Nick Szabo’s Personal Blog
- 1993 szabo.best.vwh.net (Web Archive) – Multinational Small Business by Nick Szabo
- 1996 szabo.best.vwh.net (Web Archive) – Negative Reputation by Nick Szabo
- 1997 szabo.best.vwh.net (Web Archive) – Formalizing and Securing Relationships on Public Networks by Nick Szabo
- 1998/1999 szabo.best.vwh.net (Web Archive) – Secure Property Titles with Owner Authority by Nick Szabo
- May 1999 szabo.best.vwh.net (Web Archive) – Micropayments and Mental Transaction Costs by Nick Szabo
- 1999 szabo.best.vwh.net (Web Archive) – Intrapolynomial Cryptography by Nick Szabo
- 1999 szabo.best.vwh.net (Web Archive) – Contracts with Bearer by Nick Szabo
- 1999 http://www.theiia.org (Web Archive) – The God Protocols by Nick Szabo
- 2002 szabo.best.vwh.net (Web Archive) – Trusted Third Parties are Security Holes by Nick Szabo
- 2002 szabo.best.vwh.net (Web Archive) – A Formal Language for Analyzing Contracts by Nick Szabo
- 2002 szabo.best.vwh.net (Web Archive) – Shelling Out: The Origins of Money by Nick Szabo
- 2002 szabo.best.vwh.net (Web Archive) – The Playdough Protocols by Nick Szabo
- 2002 szabo.best.vwh.net (Web Archive) – Measuring Value by Nick Szabo
- 2003 szabo.best.vwh.net (Web Archive) – Advances in Distributed Security by Nick Szabo
- 2004 szabo.best.vwh.net (Web Archive) – Scarce Objects by Nick Szabo
- Dec 2005 Unenumerated (Nick Szabo’s Blog) – Bit gold
- 30-04-2014 MisesChrist.com – Satoshi Revealed: An Inside Look at the Man behind Bitcoin
- 12-Sep-2015 Let’s Talk Bitcoin on Youtube – Let’s Talk Bitcoin! #246 Smart Contracts with Nick Szabo
- 29-Oct-2015 MadBitcoins on Youtube – Nick Szabo speaks at Bitcoin Investor (Las Vegas)
- 09-Nov-2015 BitcoinInvestor on Youtube – Origins & Future of Bitcoin – Nick Szabo
- 12-Nov-2015 BitcoinInvestor on Youtube – All-Star Panel: Ed Moy, Joseph VaughnPerling, Trace Mayer, Nick Szabo, Dr. Craig Wright
- 14-Nov-2015 How to Create Resilience on Youtube – Nick Szabo – History of the Blockchain
- 06-Apr-2016 Swiss Re on Youtube – Nick Szabo, Global Financial Assets, on bitcoin, blockchain and the benefits of smart contracts
- 07-Apr-2016 Lykke on Youtube – Nick Szabo on Blockchains and Smart Contracts
- 12-Dec-2016 Chamber of Digital Commerce on Youtube – Nick Szabo – Keynote – Smart Contracts Symposium
- 10-Feb-2017 Bitcoinist.com – Nick Szabo: Lightning Would Help Bitcoin Retain Censorship Resistance by William Suberg
- 04-Jun-2017 Tim Ferris’s Podcast – The Quiet Master of Cryptocurrency — Nick Szabo (youtube link)
- 20-Jun-2017 CryptoCoinsNews.com – Nick Szabo Talks Necessity of Second Layer Blockchain on Top of Bitcoin by Joseph Young
Paul Calder Le Roux – Author of E4M disk-encryption software, Suspected author of TrueCrypt, Former criminal empire boss (in a very Crypto-Anarchist sense), DEA informant, Currently in US Custody
Paul Calder Le Roux (born December 24, 1972 in Bulawayo, Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe) is a former programmer, former criminal cartel boss and informant to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
He created E4M, an open-source free Windows disk encryption software program, in 1999, and is a suspected creator of the open-source TrueCrypt, which is based on E4M’s code.
Le Roux is currently in US custody for ordering the assassinations of six people.
- Paul Calder Le Roux on Wikipedia
- 27-Nov-2012 – Body on Tonga drugs yacht identified
- 18-Mar-2014 – North Korean Meth, Motorcycle Gangs, Army Snipers, and a Guy Named Rambo by Keegan Hamilton
- 11-Dec-2014 Vice News – ‘Rambo’ Has PTSD: The Strange Case of an International DEA Murder-For-Hire Drug Sting by Keegan Hamilton
- 30-Dec-2014 The Daily Mail (UK) – Revealed, the most successful criminal mastermind you’ve never heard of: The real-life Bond villain behind a cocaine and gun empire spanning four continents who’s now turned super-snitch by Richard Shears
- 10-Mar-2016 Atavist Magazine – The Mastermind – 7 Part Article Series by Evan Ratliff
- 30-Mar-2016 The New Yorker – The Strange Origins of TrueCrypt, ISIS’s Favored Encryption Tool by Evan Ratliff
- 02-Apr-2016 The Australian – The geek Paul Calder Le Roux, the guns, the drugs and the bodies by Mark Schliebs
- 18-Apr-2016 Vice News – Meth, Murder, and the DEA’s Mysterious Deal With the ‘Most Dangerous Man in the World’ by Keegan Hamilton
- 31-May-2016 Vice News – ‘Rambo’ Gets 20 Years for Drug and Murder Plots, but His Boss’s Fate Remains a Mystery by Keegan Hamilton
- 06-Mar-2017 Star Tribune – Surprise acquittal for two defendants in international drug trial in St. Paul
- 07-Mar-2017 Vice News – Devil of a deal by Keegan Hamilton
Phil Zimmermann – Author of the Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) Public key encryption software
Philip R. “Phil” Zimmermann, Jr. (born February 12, 1954) is the creator of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), the most widely used email encryption software in the world.
He is also known for his work in VoIP encryption protocols, notably ZRTP and Zfone. Zimmermann is co-founder and Chief Scientist of the global encrypted communications firm, Silent Circle.
He was born in Camden, New Jersey. His father was a concrete mixer truck driver.
Zimmermann received a B.S. degree in computer science from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida in 1978, and thereafter moved to the San Francisco Bay Area.
In the 1980s, Zimmermann worked in Boulder, Colorado as a software engineer and was a part of the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign as a military policy analyst.
Phil Zimmermann was a key player in the 90s Crypto Wars.
The PGP software he authored was considered as munitions by the US government and subject to export licenses.
The US government at this time was keen to avoid strong crypto falling into the hands of civilians and foreign governments.
At this time the US government was also pushing for specialised key-escrowed chips that would perform encryption, but make the plaintext readable to NSA if necessary.
This was rightly considered a gross violation of privacy, rights, and a huge security hole by the cypherpunks.
- 90s Crypto Wars page on this site
- Phil Zimmermann on Wikipedia
- Crypto Wars on Wikipedia
- Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) on Wikipedia
- 1991 PhilZimmermann.com – Why I Wrote PGP by Phil Zimmermann
- 01-Jan-1993 Wired Magazine – Crypto Rebels by Steven Levy
Pieter Wuille – Bitcoin Core Developer, Holds the number 2 spot on the bitcoin/bitcoin contributors list (2018-05-28), Blockstream co-founder.
Pieter discovered Bitcoin in November 2010 and became a member of the Bitcoin Core development team in May 2011.
Since then, he has rewritten significant parts of the reference client’s code, in particular to improve performance and code organization.
He wrote Bitcoin Improvement Proposals 30, 32, 42 and 62, and is the primary author of libsecp256k1, a library for efficient elliptic curve cryptography for use in Bitcoin.
Before Blockstream, Pieter worked as a Site Reliability Engineer at Google.
Pieter received his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Leuven, where he focused on programming language design.
He grew up in Belgium, but is currently living in Switzerland.
In his free time, Pieter likes throwing discs around (not the type used to store the blockchain) and playing board games.
- @pwuille on Twitter
- Pieter Wuille on GitHub
- Pieter Wuille on LinkedIn
- Pieter Wuille Facts (humorous)
- 14-Dec-2015 SF Bitcoin Developers on Youtube – Pieter Wuille: Segregated witness and its impact on scalability
- 29-Mar-2017 SF Bitcoin Developers on Youtube – Pieter Wuille: New Address Type for SegWit Addresses
Satoshi Nakamoto – Pseudonymous Founder of Bitcoin, May be a person or group, Many people put forward as possible candidates, Very probably the alias of a 90s Cypherpunk
Satoshi Nakamoto is the name used by the unknown person(s) who designed bitcoin and created its original reference implementation.
As part of the implementation, they also devised the first blockchain database.
In the process they were the first to solve the double spending problem for digital currency.
They were active in the development of bitcoin up until December 2010.
Nakamoto has claimed to be a man living in Japan, born on 5 April 1975.
However, speculation about the true identity of Nakamoto has mostly focused on a number of cryptography and computer science experts of non-Japanese descent, living in the United States and Europe.
As of 24 May 2017, Nakamoto is believed to own up to roughly one million bitcoins, with a value estimated at approximately $4.2 billion USD as of August 2017.
Quote from P2P Foundation Announcement
I’ve developed a new open source P2P e-cash system called Bitcoin. It’s completely decentralized, with no central server or trusted parties, because everything is based on crypto proof instead of trust. Give it a try, or take a look at the screenshots and design paper:
Download Bitcoin v0.1 at http://www.bitcoin.org
The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that’s required to make it work.
The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust.
Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve.
We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts.
Their massive overhead costs make micropayments impossible.
A generation ago, multi-user time-sharing computer systems had a similar problem.
Before strong encryption, users had to rely on password protection to secure their files, placing trust in the system administrator to keep their information private.
Privacy could always be overridden by the admin based on his judgment call weighing the principle of privacy against other concerns, or at the behest of his superiors.
Then strong encryption became available to the masses, and trust was no longer required.
Data could be secured in a way that was physically impossible for others to access, no matter for what reason, no matter how good the excuse, no matter what.
It’s time we had the same thing for money.
With e-currency based on cryptographic proof, without the need to trust a third party middleman, money can be secure and transactions effortless.
One of the fundamental building blocks for such a system is digital signatures.
A digital coin contains the public key of its owner.
To transfer it, the owner signs the coin together with the public key of the next owner.
Anyone can check the signatures to verify the chain of ownership.
It works well to secure ownership, but leaves one big problem unsolved: double-spending.
Any owner could try to re-spend an already spent coin by signing it again to another owner.
The usual solution is for a trusted company with a central database to check for double-spending, but that just gets back to the trust model. In its central position, the company can override the users, and the fees needed to support the company make micropayments impractical.
Bitcoin’s solution is to use a peer-to-peer network to check for double-spending.
In a nutshell, the network works like a distributed timestamp server, stamping the first transaction to spend a coin.
It takes advantage of the nature of information being easy to spread but hard to stifle.
For details on how it works, see the design paper at http://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
The result is a distributed system with no single point of failure.
Users hold the crypto keys to their own money and transact directly with each other, with the help of the P2P network to check for double-spending.
Satoshi Nakamoto http://www.bitcoin.org
PGP Public Key:
This is a public key which is believed to have belonged to Satoshi:
-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)
mQGiBEkJ+qcRBADKDTcZlYDRtP1Q7/ShuzBJzUh9hoVVowogf2W07U6G9BqKW24r piOxYmErjMFfvNtozNk+33cd/sq3gi05O1IMmZzg2rbF4ne5t3iplXnNuzNh+j+6 VxxA16GPhBRprvnng8r9GYALLUpo9Xk17KE429YYKFgVvtTPtEGUlpO1EwCg7FmW dBbRp4mn5GfxQNT1hzp9WgkD/3pZ0cB5m4enzfylOHXmRfJKBMF02ZDnsY1GqeHv /LjkhCusTp2qz4thLycYOFKGmAddpVnMsE/TYZLgpsxjrJsrEPNSdoXk3IgEStow mXjTfr9xNOrB20Qk0ZOO1mipOWMgse4PmIu02X24OapWtyhdHsX3oBLcwDdke8aE gAh8A/sHlK7fL1Bi8rFzx6hb+2yIlD/fazMBVZUe0r2uo7ldqEz5+GeEiBFignd5 HHhqjJw8rUJkfeZBoTKYlDKo7XDrTRxfyzNuZZPxBLTj+keY8WgYhQ5MWsSC2MX7 FZHaJddYa0pzUmFZmQh0ydulVUQnLKzRSunsjGOnmxiWBZwb6bQjU2F0b3NoaSBO YWthbW90byA8c2F0b3NoaW5AZ214LmNvbT6IYAQTEQIAIAUCSQn6pwIbAwYLCQgH AwIEFQIIAwQWAgMBAh4BAheAAAoJEBjAnoZeyUihXGMAnjiWJ0fvmSgSM3o6Tu3q RME9GN7QAKCGrFw9SUD0e9/YDcqhX1aPMrYue7kCDQRJCfqnEAgA9OTCjLa6Sj7t dZcQxNufsDSCSB+yznIGzFGXXpJk7GgKmX3H9Zl4E6zJTQGXL2GAV4klkSfNtvgs SGJKqCnebuZVwutyq1vXRNVFPQFvLVVo2jJCBHWjb03fmXmavIUtRCHoc8xgVJMQ LrwvS943GgsqSbdoKZWdTnfnEq+UaGo+Qfv66NpT3Yl0CXUiNBITZOJcJdjHDTBO XRqomX2WSguv+btYdhQGGQiaEx73XMftXNCxbOpqwsODQns7xTcl2ENru9BNIQME I7L9FYBQUiKHm1k6RrBy1as8XElS2jEos7GAmlfF1wShFUX+NF1VOPdbN3ZdFoWq sUjKk+QbrwADBQgA9DiD4+uuRhwk2B1TmtrXnwwhcdkE7ZbLHjxBfCsLPAZiPh8c ICfV3S418i4H1YCz2ItcnC8KAPoS6mipyS28AU1B7zJYPODBn8E7aPSPzHJfudMK MqiCHljVJrE23xsKTC0sIhhSKcr2G+6ARoG5lwuoqJqEyDrblVQQFpVxBNPHSTqu O5PoLXQc7PKgC5SyQuZbEALEkItl2SL2yBRRGOlVJLnvZ6eaovkAlgsbGdlieOr0 UwWuJCwzZuBDruMYAfyQBvYfXZun3Zm84rW7Jclp18mXITwGCVHg/P5n7QMbBfZQ A25ymkuj636Nqh+c4zRnSINfyrDcID7AcqEb6IhJBBgRAgAJBQJJCfqnAhsMAAoJ EBjAnoZeyUihPrcAniVWl5M44RuGctJe+IMNX4eVkC08AJ9v7cXsp5uDdQNo8q3R 8RHwN4Gk8w==
-----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
- Satoshi Nakamoto on Wikipedia
- Satoshi’s PGP Key
- 31-Oct-2008 Cryptography Mailing List – The Bitcoin Whitepaper by Satoshi Nakamoto – link to original announcement
- 11-Feb-2009 P2P Foundation – Bitcoin open source implementation of P2P currency – Posted by Satoshi Nakamoto
- Bitcoin Source: Pre-Release, v0.1.0 and v0.1.3
- Cryptography Mailing List Emails
- Forum Posts
- Satoshi Quotes
- Emails between Satoshi and Hal Finney
- Mike Hearn’s Satoshi Emails
Timothy C. May – Founding member of Cypherpunk Mailing List, writer of “The Crypto-Anarchist Manifesto” and the “Cyphernomicon” (mailing list FAQ)
As an Intel engineer, he solved the “alpha particle problem” which affected the reliability of integrated circuits at microchip scales.
He’s discussed here as a founding member of the Cypherpunk Mailing list. As the author of the Crypto Anarchist Manifesto and the Cyphernomicon (the mailing list FAQ), he is one of the key figures who really distilled the core philosophy of the list.
Timothy C. May, better known as Tim May, is an American technical and political writer, and was an electronic engineer and senior scientist at Intel in the company’s early history. He retired in 2003.
May was a founding member of, and has been one of the most voluminous contributors to, Cypherpunks electronic mailing list. He wrote extensively on cryptography and privacy from the 1990s through 2003.
May wrote a substantial cypherpunk-themed FAQ, “The Cyphernomicon” (incorporating his earlier piece “The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto”), and his essay “True Nyms and Crypto Anarchy” was included in a reprint of Vernor Vinge’s novel True Names.
In 2001 his work was published in the book Crypto Anarchy, Cyberstates, and Pirate Utopias.
From the Crypto-Anarchist Manifesto
A specter is haunting the modern world, the specter of crypto anarchy.
Arise, you have nothing to lose but your barbed wire fences!
His email signature
Timothy C. May | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money, firstname.lastname@example.org | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero 408-688-5409 | knowledge, reputations, information markets, W.A.S.T.E.: Aptos, CA | black markets, collapse of governments.
Vinay Gupta – 90s Cypherpunk, Inventor of the Hexayurt, Resilience Guru, Involved with Ethereum
I had to put my humanitarian work on the back burner a few years ago.
I couldn’t make a living, not even enough to support myself in poverty.
It was becoming a problem, and I was not being effective.
I looked at Elon Musk, and realized there was a better way.
I had always had profound talent for technology, and so I went back to my original trade full time, helped launch Ethereum (a >$15bn blockchain project), and now run hexayurt.capital, a VC in London.
I hope one day I will get back to doing humanitarian design full time.
But this time with a staff to help me realize my hope for the world.Vinay Gupta, London, May 2017
Beyond good taste and evil.
Global resilience guru.
What do you do after it all goes wrong?
And what about the poor, for whom it’s never yet been right?
Humanitarian turned technocrat. Runs a new deep tech VC.
Launched @EthereumProject a $15+bn blockchain.
@Hexayurt shelter designer.
- @leashless on Twitter
- Vinay Gupta on Medium
- myhopeforthe.world by Vinay Gupta
- 05-Nov-2014 Bitcoin Magazine – ‘Bitcoin is Teaching Realism to Libertarians’: An Interview With Old-School Cypherpunk Vinay Gupta by Aaron van Wirdum
- 18-Jan-2016 Epicenter Bitcoin on Youtube – EB114 – Vinay Gupta: From Lawyer Capitalism To Programmer Capitalism
Wei Dai – 90s Cypherpunk, Cryptographer, Creator of Bitcoin-precursor B-Money
Wei Dai (戴维 in Pinyin). is a computer engineer and cypherpunk best known as creator of b-money and the developer of the Crypto++ library.
Dai is listed as inventor on U.S. patents 5724279 and 6081598 which were assigned to Microsoft.
Mr. Dai graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in computer science and is described as an “intensely private computer engineer”.
His profile as a member of the advisory board for the (now defunct) VoteHere.net indicated:
“Mr. Dai worked in the Cryptography Research Group at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, Washington.
While at Microsoft, he was involved in the study, design and implementation of cryptosystems for specialized applications.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Mr. Dai was a programmer with TerraSciences of Acton, Massachusetts.
Mr. Dai holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Washington in computer science, with a minor in mathematics.”
I am fascinated by Tim May’s crypto-anarchy.
Unlike the communities traditionally associated with the word “anarchy”, in a crypto-anarchy the government is not temporarily destroyed but permanently forbidden and permanently unnecessary.
It’s a community where the threat of violence is impotent because violence is impossible, and violence is impossible because its participants cannot be linked to their true names or physical locations.
Regarding Speculation That He is Satoshi Nakamoto:
Hi Clippy, what made you think that I might be able to?
If you read the Wikipedia article, you should know that I didn’t create Bitcoin but only described a similar idea more than a decade ago.
And my understanding is that the creator of Bitcoin, who goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto, didn’t even read my article before reinventing the idea himself.
He learned about it afterward and credited me in his paper.
So my connection with the project is quite limited.