Amir Taaki

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Amir Taaki
Amir.taaki.Bratislava.December.2012.jpg
Taaki in Bratislava, 2012
Nationality English
Known for Crystal Space, Game development, Bitcoin

Amir Taaki (born 6 February 1988) is a British-Iranian[1] video game and computer software developer. Taaki is best known as a Bitcoin project developer and for pioneering many open source projects.[2] Forbes listed Taaki in their top 30 entrepreneurs of 2014.[3][4][5]

Biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

Amir Taaki was born 6 February 1988 in London, the eldest of three children of a Scottish-English mother and an Iranian father.

From an early age Taaki took an interest in computer technology, teaching himself computer programming.[6] At high school, Taaki became involved in computer hacking, an activity which led to his expulsion.[6]

Free software[edit]

After briefly attending several British universities, Taaki gravitated to the free software movement. Taaki assisted in the creation of SDL Collide, an extension of Simple DirectMedia Layer, an open source library used by video game developers.[7]

In 2006, Taaki became heavily involved in Crystal Space development under the pseudonym of genjix.[8] He also developed a number of video games making use of free software, including the adventure game Crystal Core[9] and the futuristic racer game Ecksdee.[10] Taaki was also a participant in the Blender project Yo Frankie!.[11]

Taaki was a speaker at the 2007 Games Convention in Leipzig.

Bitcoin[edit]

In 2009 and 2010, Taaki made his living as a professional poker player.[6] His experience with online gambling attracted him to the Bitcoin project.[12] He founded a UK Bitcoin exchange called "Britcoin", which was succeeded in 2011 by a new British exchange called Intersango, in which he is a principal.[13]

In April 2011, Taaki and Donald Norman established the Bitcoin Consultancy, a group focused on bitcoin project development.[14]

Taaki created the first full reimplementation of the Bitcoin protocol named libbitcoin,[15] worked on the Bitcoin client Electrum[16][17] and created other command line utilities around Bitcoin and the network.[18] The Bitcoin standardisation procedure (Bitcoin. Improvement. Proposals.) was started by Taaki.[19][20]

In 2014, together with Cody Wilson, he launched the DarkWallet project after a crowdfunding run on IndieGoGo which raised over $50,000.[21][22][23] Taaki, along with other developers from Airbitz, Inc. (producers of a bitcoin business directory and mobile bitcoin wallet) at a Bitcoin hackathon in Toronto,[24] also created the prototype for a decentralised marketplace called "DarkMarket" in 2014, which was forked into the OpenBazaar project.[25]

Activism[edit]

Taaki has been outspoken in favour of internet activism such as Anonymous, likening them to modern day freedom-fighters.[26] A long-time contributor to free software, he advocates total data freedom.[14] Taaki has labelled censorship policies as being a wedge towards ever-increasing censorship.[26] He proposes a shift away from specialist thinking towards a creative society of generalist knowledge workers.[27]

Taaki self-identifies as an anarchist but believes that ideologies should not remain fixed against evidence. He states that beliefs should not be a matter of contention when ideas change all the time due to new knowledge and information.[14]

Taaki is a speaker of Esperanto, which he promotes as an auxiliary country-neutral international language to preserve local languages. He writes that Esperanto serves to break down barriers and help the flow of media across cultural boundaries.[28]

Amir Taaki is currently living in an anarchist squat in Barcelona, Spain.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.forbes.com/pictures/elld45eemkm/amir-taaki-25/
  2. ^ "Hacktivists in the frontline battle for the internet". The Guardian (London). 20 April 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ a b c "Speakers 2011," 11th International EPCA Summit, European Payments Consulting Association, www.epcaconference.com/ Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  7. ^ SDL Collide, Sourceforge, sourceforge.net/
  8. ^ "Blender & CrystalSpace" in Blender Conference 2006, Youtube.
  9. ^ "Pablo Martin Moreno and Amir Taaki," Blender Conference 2006 Proceedings, www.blender.org/
  10. ^ 2006 Crystal Space Conference Report, Crystal Space, www.crystalspace3d.org/
  11. ^ Yo Frankie developer list, www.yofrankie.org/
  12. ^ James Ball, "Bitcoins: how do they work?" The Guardian, 22 June 2011.
  13. ^ "About Us: Personal Statements," Intersango, britcoin.co.uk/ which has since closed down taking customers bitcoins and not allowing BFF withdrawals
  14. ^ a b c "Amir Taaki Answers Your Questions About Bitcoin," Slashdot, 22 June 2011.
  15. ^ libbitcoin github project
  16. ^ Electrum server github project
  17. ^ Electrum client github project
  18. ^ subvertx command line utilities
  19. ^ BIP Wiki page (first version)
  20. ^ BIP 0001
  21. ^ Del Castillo, Michael (24 September 2013). "Dark Wallet: A Radical Way to Bitcoin". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  22. ^ Greenberg, Andy (31 October 2013). "Dark Wallet Aims To Be The Anarchist's Bitcoin App of Choice". Forbes Online. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  23. ^ Greenberg, Andy (29 April 2014). "'Dark Wallet' Is About to Make Bitcoin Money Laundering Easier Than Ever". Wired. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  24. ^ http://www.coindesk.com/airbitz-wins-toronto-bitcoin-expo-hackathon-darkmarket/
  25. ^ Greenberg, Andy (24 April 2014). "Inside the 'DarkMarket' Prototype, a Silk Road the FBI Can Never Seize". Wired. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  26. ^ a b This Week in Startups TV interview with Amir Taaki and Gavin Andresen
  27. ^ n-1.cc letter to James Burke
  28. ^ n-1.cc Esperanto page
  29. ^ [4]

External links[edit]