Bitcoin Pioneer and First Bitcoin Recipient Hal Finney Passes Away
The bitcoin world lost one of its earliest pioneers today with the legal passing of Hal Finney, the recipient of the world’s first bitcoin transaction and its first identified developer after Satoshi Nakamoto. He was 58 years old.
Finney had been diagnosed with the disease ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease) in 2009 and was wheelchair-bound for the last few years of his life. Despite this, he remained as active as possible in the bitcoin community, even giving interviews as recently as March of this year.
Finney was also a key figure in the world of cryptography, having worked as the second developer after Phil Zimmermann on the popular PGP system, and was a regular contributor to the legendary ‘cypherpunks’ cryptographer mailing list.
Finney developed computing’s first reusable proof-of-work system called RPOW, (based on Adam Back’s Hashcash) with an aim to implementing it in a digital currency system.
This post was published at Coin Desk on August 29, 2014.