One of the early pioneers of Bitcoin, many believe Hal Finney is in fact Satoshi himself.
Regardless of whether that is true, 14 years ago he was the recipient of the very first Bitcoin transaction, and his impact on crypto is still felt today.
Hal Finney was a cypherpunk and a noted cryptographic activist, who advocated for widespread use of cryptography to help enhance people’s privacy.
Hal’s contributions to Bitcoin began much before the birth of the Bitcoin network in 2009. In 2004, Hal created the first reusable proof of work (RPOW) system before Bitcoin.
RPOW was intended as a prototype for digital cash, and was a precursor to Bitcoin.
When Satoshi posted about Bitcoin in the cypherpunks mailing list, Hal was one one of the first people to respond and the earliest supporters.
He was one of the first to download and execute the Bitcoin client, mine Bitcoin blocks and was one of the earliest contributors to the Bitcoin code and reported many of the early bugs.
On January 12, 2009, he received the very first bitcoin transaction – a test transaction of 10 Bitcoin – from Satoshi.
This was the very first transaction between two people on the Bitcoin network when Satoshi and proved that Bitcoin did indeed work in reality, setting the foundation for its future growth.
He also notably made many bold predictions on the future of Bitcoin.
One of his thought experiments even predicted a $10 million price for Bitcoin
He continued to program until his death in 2014 from ALS.
He was working on experimental software called bcflick, which uses Trusted Computing to strengthen Bitcoin wallets,
Hal Finney’s emotions and thinking about his experience with Bitcoin were reflected in his well-known public letter: ‘Bitcoin and Me, which was his last post and also his farewell.
Hal was a true Bitcoin pioneer critical to its success, and whose contributions continue to impact us positively even today.
Undoubtedly, Hal will be forever remembered!