Hal Finney (cypherpunk)
|Born||Harold Thomas Finney II
May 4, 1956
|Died||August 28, 2014
|Alma mater||California Institute of Technology (B.S., Engineering, 1979)|
|Known for||Reusable proof-of-work system
First Bitcoin recipient
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 (Adventures of Tron, Armor Ambush, Astroblast, Space Attack).
Early life and education
After graduation from Caltech, he went to work in the computer gaming field for a company that developed video games like 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 October 2009, Finney announced on 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. In March 2013, Finney posted on a Bitcoin forum that he was essentially paralyzed, but continues to program. He was working on experimental software called bcflick, which uses Trusted Computing to strengthen Bitcoin wallets.
- AtariAge - Programmers - Hal Finney
- Popper, Nathaniel, "Hal Finney, Cryptographer and Bitcoin Pioneer, Dies at 58", The New York Times, August 30, 2014
- "For instance, many ACLU members do not share the generalized antipathy toward government that is a common premise of "cypherpunk" activists like Hal Finney and Tim May." David Brin, The Transparent Society ch2
- Prospects for Remailers
- "Give Us Some Credit: Your Card is Safe", The Washington Post, 1996
- Dying Outside
- Fight for a Cure for ALS: A Marathoners Story
- Hal and Fran Finney Are Running for a Cause
- After a Year of ALS, Reality Begins to Hit Home for Hal and Fran Finney
- "Bitcoin and me (Hal Finney)". 2013-03-19.
- "[ANN] bcflick - using TPM's and Trusted Computing to strengthen Bitcoin wallets". 2013-03-17.
- Max More (2014-08-28). "Hal Finney being cryopreserved now".
- Andy Greenberg (2014-08-28). "Bitcoin’s Earliest Adopter Is Cryonically Freezing His Body to See the Future".
- Hal Finney home page
- Hal Finney posts on Bitcoin Forum
- Review: Vernor Vinge’s ‘Fast Times’ (review by Finney in Extropy)
- Hal Finney's profile in Forbes Magazine