Hal Finney is a true pioneer: he was the first person to run the Bitcoin software after Satoshi Nakamoto and he was a key developer during the first year of life of this cryptocurrency.

Hal Finney was born on May 4, 1956 in Coalinga, California. He graduated in Computer Engineering from the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) in 1979. He later began working as a video game developer, working on titles known as Astroblast and Space Attack. He then went on to collaborate on PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) of Phil Zimmerman, who signed him shortly after.

Hal Finney: Vital to Bitcoin's Success

About Bitcoin Hal Finney is known for being the one who most supported this cryptocurrency in its beginnings. After Satoshi published the WhitepaperFinney was a staunch defender of the project, so much so that the existing evidence clearly indicates that after Satoshi he was the first person to download and execute the Bitcoin client.

On January 12, 2009 he received 10 bitcoins from Satoshi in the first bitcoin transaction. During Bitcoin's first year of life crossed many emails with Satoshi to correct errors in the code.

Pre-Bitcoin stage

One of his publications ended up being fundamental for Bitcoin, specifically in 2004 he published RPOW, a review of HashCash. Previously, in 1993 he published a study about Detecting Double Spend and another about 'Digital Cash and privacy'. Until the arrival of Bitcoin he collaborated on various crypto mailing lists and is one of the founders and most influential people in the movement Cypherpunk.

Hal Finney was always interested and committed to crypto and privacy issues, but it is from the creation of the Cypherpunk mailing list that he begins to express his reflections on the subject more assiduously and focus fully on this field.

One of his most notable contributions at the beginning of the cypherpunk movement was the creation (along with Eric Hughes) from the first anonymous remailer. This remailer is called Type I and is known as cypherpunk remailer, and which was used for this group's mailing list.

"Sometimes people pay a price for being extremely intelligent, they have deficiencies in some emotional quality (...) Hal was not like that" Philip Zimmerman told the New York Times about Hal Finney.

Hal Finney: Patient 128

On October 5, 2009 published a letter called 'Dying outside' where he explains that he has ALS. Despite the disease, at no time did he stop programming or put aside working on Bitcoin. Hal Finney's emotions and thinking about his experience with Bitcoin were reflected for the story in his well-known public letter: 'Bitcoin and Me', this was his last post and also his farewell. 

He passed away on August 28, 2014 and was cryopreserved in the Alcor Life Extension Foundation. Hal Finney became the patient number 128 in Alcor, where Ralph C. Merkle He has been a director since 1998. Part of the funding for his cryogenic lethargy was paid for through donations in Bitcoin made by his fans.