Remembering Hal Finney, the first Bitcoin recipient on his 8th death anniversary
The invention of Bitcoin created a revolutionary era that will forever be remembered throughout history. With over 20,756 cryptos available to the public, Bitcoin will forever hold the reigns and reign supreme as the king of cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin enthusiasts and the entire crypto community are not new to Hal Finney and his contributions to the bitcoin community. Although he left the world on August 28, 2014, he will forever be remembered for the impact he created on Bitcoin and its underlying technology.
Hal Finney, the first Bitcoin recipient
Hal Finney began his work in the crypto realm with Phil Zimmermann, for the early version of PGP. Finney continued to work for PGP until his retirement and later continued his involvement with Cypherhunks. Finney also ran the first anonymous remailer powered by cryptography, along with several notable activities. It allowed people to send encrypted mail, keeping their identity anonymous.
Among other notable works, Finney is widely known for being the first recipient to receive the first Bitcoin from none other than Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin.
“When Satoshi announced the first release of the software, I grabbed it right away. I think I was the first person besides Satoshi to run bitcoin.“
Finney has taken to the Bitcointalk forum to recount his entire crypto journey and how he ended up as one of the first lucky ones to get his hands on Bitcoin.
“I mined block 70-something and I was the recipient of the first bitcoin transaction, when Satoshi sent me ten coins as a test. I continued an email conversation with Satoshi over the next few days, mostly reporting bugs and him fixing them.“
Finney, who was also one of the early testers of bitcoin, had spent a few days reporting to Satoshi via email to address any bugs and fixes. He also expressed how difficult it was to mine bitcoin back in the day when his computer used to run very hot and the fan noise used to bother him. Those were the times when the mining difficulty was 1.
ALS took over Hal Finney in 2009
Finney was diagnosed with a fatal disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2009. The disease was named after the famous baseball player who was diagnosed with it.
He was in one of the best forms in that phase. He has even lost a lot of weight and has run several marathons. But ALS slowly started to kick in and take over his body. Finney slowly began to lose his speech and lost strength in his hands and legs.
ALS kills the ability to carry signals from the brain to the muscles and gradually paralyzes the body. He was even fed through a tube and he used a speech synthesizer to power his voice.
Although ALS killed him eight years ago, he secured bitcoin for his children. His battle with ALS ended when he was 58. An avid supporter of technology, he was one of the early adopters of human cryopreservation. The process basically freezes the body and preserves it in hopes of reviving it in the future.
After his death, scientists replaced his body fluids with chemicals called Alcor calls that prevented the freezing and death of his cell membranes. Even eight years after his death, his contributions and works are still remembered.