Remembering Hal Finney, the First Bitcoin Recipient on His Eighth Death Anniversary

Vignesh Karunanidhi
Remembering Hal Finney, the First Bitcoin Recipient on His Eighth Anniversary
Source: Bitcoin News

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 reign and be supreme as the king of cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin enthusiasts and the whole crypto community are not new to Hal Finney and his contributions to the bitcoin community. Even though he left the world on August 28, 2014, he will forever be remembered for the impact that 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 working for PGP till his retirement and later continued his work with his involvement with the 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 identities anonymous.

Among other notable works, Finney is widely know for being the first recipient who received 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 narrate his whole 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 ten coins to me as a test. I carried on an email conversation with Satoshi over the next few days, mostly me reporting bugs and him fixing them.

Finney, who was also one of the early testers of bitcoin, and had spent a few days reporting to Satoshi over the mail to address any potential bugs and fixes. He also expressed how difficult it was to mine bitcoin back in the days as the 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 shapes during that phase. He has even lost a lot of weight and has run several marathons. But ALS started to slowly kick in and take over his body. Finney slowly began losing his speech and lost the strength in his hands and legs.

ALS kills the signal carrying capacity from the brain to the muscles and it gradually makes the body paralyzed. He was even fed through a tube and he used a speech synthesizer to power his voice.

Even though ALS took his life eight years ago, he secured his bitcoin for his children. His battle with ALS came to an end when he was 58. He is an ardent believer in technology, and he was one of the early adopters of human cryopreservation. The process basically freezes the body and preserves it in the hope 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.