Wei Dai

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Wei Dai
EducationBachelor of Science degree from the University of Washington in computer science, with a minor in mathematics.
OccupationComputer engineer
Known forb-money, Crypto++, VMAC

Wei Dai (Chinese: 戴维[1] or Chinese: 戴伟[2]) is a computer engineer known for contributions to cryptography and cryptocurrencies. He developed the Crypto++ cryptographic library, created the b-money cryptocurrency system, and co-proposed the VMAC message authentication algorithm.

Education and career[edit]

Dai graduated from the University of Washington[when?] with a degree in computer science[3] and is described as an "intensely private computer engineer".[4] Wei Dai was member of the Cypherpunks, Extropians, and SL4 mailing lists in the 1990s. On SL4 he exchanged with people such as Eliezer Yudkowsky, Robin Hanson, Nick Bostrom, Aubrey de Grey, Anders Sandberg, Eric Drexler, David Pearce, Hal Finney, and others in the nascent "rationalist" community.[5]


Dai has made several contributions to the field of cryptography and has identified critical Cipher Block Chaining (CBC) vulnerabilities affecting SSH2[6] and the browser exploit against SSL/TLS known as BEAST (Browser Exploit Against SSL/TLS).[7][8]


In June 2015 Dai stepped away from the Crypto++ project[clarification needed] to work on other projects. Crypto++ is now maintained by the Crypto++ community.[9]


VMAC is a block cipher-based message authentication code (MAC) algorithm using a universal hash proposed by Ted Krovetz and Wei Dai in April 2007. The algorithm was designed for high performance backed by a formal analysis.[10][non-primary source needed]


In 1998, Dai helped to spark interest in cryptocurrencies[11] with the publication of "b-money, an anonymous, distributed electronic cash system".[12][13] In the paper, Dai outlines the basic properties of all modern day cryptocurrency systems: "...a scheme for a group of untraceable digital pseudonyms to pay each other with money and to enforce contracts amongst themselves without outside help".[14][15]

Influence on the development of Bitcoin[edit]

Described as "money which is impossible to regulate",[16] Dai's b-money described the core concepts later implemented in Bitcoin[17] and other cryptocurrencies:

  • Requires a specified amount of computational work (aka Proof of work).
  • The work done is verified by the community who update a collective ledger book.
  • The worker is awarded funds for their effort.
  • Exchange of funds is accomplished by collective bookkeeping and authenticated with cryptographic hashes.
  • Contracts are enforced through the broadcast and signing of transactions with digital signatures (i.e., public key cryptography).

Relationship with Satoshi Nakamoto[edit]

Wei Dai and Adam Back were the first two people contacted by Satoshi Nakamoto as he was developing Bitcoin in 2008[4] and the b-money paper was referenced in the subsequent Bitcoin whitepaper.[18]

In a May 2011 article, noted cryptographer Nick Szabo stated:

Myself, Wei Dai, and Hal Finney were the only people I know of who liked the idea (or in Dai's case his related idea) enough to pursue it to any significant extent until Nakamoto (assuming Nakamoto is not really Finney or Dai).[19]

However, Dai questions b-money's influence on Bitcoin:

...my understanding is that the creator of Bitcoin, who goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto, didn't even read my article before reinventing the idea himself. He learned about it afterward and credited me in his paper. So my connection with the project is quite limited.[20]

There has been much speculation as to the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, with suspects including Wei Dai himself, Nick Szabo, and Hal Finney, all of whom have denied the putative identification.[21][22][11][23]


  1. ^ Wei Dai (2014-03-18). "Ask A LessWronger Anything".
  2. ^ "你知道以太坊的V神和B-money的戴伟的成长经历有多么相似吗?". 8btc.
  3. ^ Morgen E. Peck (May 30, 2012). "Bitcoin: The Cryptoanarchists' Answer to Cash". IEEE Spectrum.
  4. ^ a b Popper, Nathaniel (May 15, 2015). "Decoding the Enigma of Satoshi Nakamoto and the Birth of Bitcoin". New York Times. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  5. ^ Chivers, Tom (2019). The AI Does Not Hate You: Superintelligence, Rationality and the Race to Save the World. United Kingdom: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-1-4746-0877-0.
  6. ^ ZiJie, Xu. "Some Fixes To SSH" (PDF). International Association for Cryptologic Research. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  7. ^ Goodin, Dan (Sep 21, 2011). "Google preps Chrome fix to slay SSL-attacking BEAST". The Register. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  8. ^ Bard, Gregory V. (2006). "A Challenging but Feasible Blockwise-Adaptive Chosen-Plaintext Attack on SSL". pp. 7–10. CiteSeerX
  9. ^ "Crypto++ 5.6.3 Release Notes". November 20, 2015. Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  10. ^ Krovetz, Ted; Dai, Wei (2007). "VHASH Security". CiteSeerX
  11. ^ a b Peterson, Andrea (January 3, 2014). "Hal Finney received the first Bitcoin transaction. Here's how he describes it". The Washington Post. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  12. ^ Dai, Wei. "B-Money". Archived from the original on March 28, 2018.
  13. ^ Dai, Wei. "b-money, monetary exchange and contract enforcement for digital pseudonyms". Archived from the original on February 19, 1999.
  14. ^ Wei Dai (1998). "B-Money".
  15. ^ Wei Dai (1998). "b-money, monetary exchange and contract enforcement for digital pseudonyms".
  16. ^ Daniel Cooper (May 8, 2013). "The rise (and rise?) of Bitcoin". Engadget.
  17. ^ DuPont, Quinn (2014). "The politics of cryptography: Bitcoin and the ordering machines". Journal of Peer Production. 1 (4).
  18. ^ Satoshi Nakamoto. "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" (PDF).
  19. ^ Nick Szabo (2011-05-28). "Bitcoin, what took ye so long?". Unenumerated. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
  20. ^ Wei Dai. "Wei_Dai comments on Making money with Bitcoin?".
  21. ^ "Satoshi Nakamoto is (probably) Nick Szabo". LikeInAMirror. WordPress. December 2013. Archived from the original on 2014-04-13. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  22. ^ Weisenthal, Joe (19 May 2013). "Here's The Problem With The New Theory That A Japanese Math Professor Is The Inventor Of Bitcoin". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 2013-11-03. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  23. ^ Vigna, Paul (Apr 16, 2014). "Bitcoin Creator 'Satoshi Nakamoto' Unmasked–Again?". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 16 September 2015.

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