Hal Finney: Was he the Real Man Behind Bitcoin?

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Bitcoin and its decentralized currency concept is an impact of modern technology. But the founder and identity of Bitcoin’s founder remains pseudonymous and is truly a mystery. The first 50 Bitcoins were mined by this pseudonymous Bitcoin creator, Satoshi Nakamoto and he started the bitcoin payment network. After a hectic chase, investigators found the relation between Satoshi Nakamoto and the late computer scientist, Harold Thomas Finney II.

Who is Hal Finney?

Now, Harold Thomas Finney II was considered to be the developer of Bitcoin currency. He has contributed tremendously towards the development of bitcoin. Hal Finney was a computer scientist and a pre-Bitcoin cryptographic pioneer. Harold Thomas Finney was reportedly the first person, other than Satoshi Nakamoto, to use Bitcoin’s software, file bug reports, and make improvements. But his acquaintance and co-blogger, Robin Hanson, supposed that was “at least” 15% sure that “Hal was more involved than he’s said”. So later, he redacted these claims when new evidence arose.

Hal Finney – Early Career and professional Development 

Harold Thomas Finney II was born on May 4, 1956 in Coalinga, California. He graduated from California Institute of Technology (Caltech) with a BS in engineering in 1979. In his early careers, he was a developer for PGP Corporation and he was credited as lead developer on several console games. While working with PGP Corporation he created some of the first “pretty good privacy” the world had seen. When it came to the crypto field, he was an avid developer for preserving privacy, anonymity and financial autonomy.  His pre-bitcoin accomplishments are anonymous remailer and reusable proof of work (RPOW) digital cash system. 

Hal Finney and Bitcoin

Investigators opinionated that Hal Finney was the anonymous founder of Bitcoin based on many inferences. Among them the strong ones are discussed here. Harold Thomas Finney II was the early bitcoin user and received the first bitcoin transaction from Satoshi Nakamoto. He also lived in the same town in California that Nakamoto lived and this added speculation that he may have been Bitcoin’s creator, even though Harold Thomas Finney II denied that. When taking a more detailed look at some coincidences that proves Hal as Nakamoto, the first though a quote from Finney through a cypherpunks email in 1992. He quoted that, “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 retired from PGP Corporation in 2011 and Satoshi Nakamoto’s last known email correspondence is dated April 26, 2011. Through the email, Satoshi wroted to the writer, “I wish you wouldn’t keep talking about me as a mysterious shadowy figure, the press just turns that into a pirate currency angle. Maybe instead make it about the open source project and give more credit to your dev contributors; it helps motivate them.”  This simultaneous retirement also made investigators’ findings right. As a reply to this email, the writer invited Satoshi that he had been invited to speak at an event connected with the CIA. but Satoshi Nakamoto never replied him back.       

Gerald Rene is a journalist based in the US and the former managing editor of a cryptocurrency news outlet. He has been involved in the cryptocurrency industry for over three years. He has written for many outlets and contributed to cybersecurity and technology publications. And his passion currently lies within scalable securities and stability protocols to help grow cryptocurrency investment and bring mass adoption.

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