Of late, there has been a lot of speculation about the true identity of Bitcoin’s creator, a popular anonymous figure that goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto. But there hasn’t been a serious focus on the people who might have greatly contributed to Bitcoin’s success as the first ever functional cryptocurrency. One of these people that really deserve to be celebrated is Harold Thomas Finney.
Hal’s Childhood And Education
Hal was born in the Coalinga region within California back in 1956. There, he attended the California Institute of Technology. In 1979, Hal Finney graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering.
Hal’s career life kicked off when he graduated and took up a job in a video game company. While he worked there, the company released some nice video games including Amor Ambush, Astroblast, Adventures of Tron, and Space Attack. Finney was instrumental in the development of these products. Later, he changed employers and joined PGP Corporation where he stayed till he retired in 2011.
During his career as an Engineer, Hal Finney was an ardent enthusiast and activist of cryptography. In fact, he used to manage two anonymous remailers and was an active contributor on cypherpunks forums.
At one time, Hal even hosted a contest that successfully broke Netscape’s strong export-grade encryption. Before Bitcoin even came into being, Hal Finney was in deep with great ideas about using cryptography-based decentralized systems to define the future.
His posts on Cypherpunks portrayed a man who was serious about fostering privacy and freedom – aspects that seemed very much under attack amid the widespread computerization that gave governments almost too much control. In 2004, Finney created the first-ever system based on the Proof of Work (PoW) concept. Bitcoin came out 5 years later in 2009.
Hal Finney, Bitcoin, And Satoshi Nakamoto
Many don’t know this, but Hal Finney was the first person to receive Bitcoin cryptocurrency from its creator Satoshi Nakamoto, meaning that the first transaction on the Bitcoin network happened between Satoshi Nakamoto and Hal Thomas Finney.
Coincidentally, Finney and Satoshi lived in the same town as Satoshi Nakamoto, a fact that has led some people to suggest that Hal Finney may actually be the apparently anonymous Bitcoin creator. However, Finney dismissed those claims.
The Personal Life Of Hal Finney
In October 2009, Hal revealed in a blog named “Less Wrong” that he had ALS. In March 2013, he announced on BitcoinTalk that he was now paralyzed, but he was still programming. At the time, Hal Finney was working on a system he called “bcflick” meant to improve security in Bitcoin wallets. Harold Thomas Finney passed away on 28th August 2014 while in Phoenix. The Alcor Life Extension Foundation cryopreserved him.