Hal Finney (cypherpunk)

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Hal Finney (born May 4, 1956) is a developer for PGP Corporation, and was the second developer hired after Phil Zimmerman. In his early career, he is credited as lead developer on several console games (Adventures of Tron, Armor Ambush, Astroblast, Space Attack).[1] He is a 1979 graduate of the California Institute of Technology, holding a BS in engineering.

Finney is also a noted cryptographic activist.[2] During the early 1990s, in addition to being a regular poster on the cypherpunks listserv, Finney ran two anonymous remailers.[3] Further cryptographic activism included running a (successful) contest to break the export-grade encryption Netscape used.[4]

In 2004, Finney created the first reusable proof of work system before Bitcoin.[citation needed][5] In January 2009, Finney was the Bitcoin network's first recipient transaction.[6]

In October 2009, Finney announced on an essay on the blog Less Wrong that he was been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in August 2009.[7] Prior to his illness, Finney had been an active runner. Finney and his wife Fran Finney now raise money for ALS research with the Santa Barbara International Marathon.[8][9][10] As of March 2013, Finney posted on a Bitcoin forum that he is essentially paralyzed, but continues to program.[11] He is working on experimental software called bcflick, which uses Trusted Computing to strengthen Bitcoin wallets.[12]

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