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Bitcoin Encryption

Hal Finney, PGP and Bitcoin Pioneer, Dies At 58 40

New submitter brokenin2 writes Hal Finney, the number two programmer for PGP and the first person to receive a Bitcoin transaction, has passed away. From the article on Coindesk: "Shortly after collaborating with Nakamoto on early bitcoin code in 2009, Finney announced he was suffering from ALS. Increasing paralysis, which eventually became near-total, forced him to retire from work in early 2011."
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Hal Finney, PGP and Bitcoin Pioneer, Dies At 58

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  • Dies... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 30, 2014 @03:26AM (#47789807)

    ... and was cryogenically frozen. You'd think this would be mentioned in a Slashdot article.

    Thank you for everything Hal, you were an inspiration to many. My condolences to your family.

  • Assisted suicide (Score:2, Insightful)

    by skovnymfe ( 1671822 ) on Saturday August 30, 2014 @04:28AM (#47789927)
    The guy was paralyzed enough to not be able to do any work on a computer in 2011, and yet he doesn't die until 3 years later. I know that Christianity runs strong in the blood of American politics and that this prevents assisted suicide from ever becoming a thing over there, but God damn it. That has got to fucking suck. Dibs on that not happening to me.
  • Yes, he was cryopreserved.

    On the plus side, knowing your own death is coming and being at a hospital already gives the best chances for cryopreserving the brain before it begins to degrade. You can get a "standby" watch as the time approaches.

    On the minus side, ALS is a neurological disease. It affects the motor neurons, not the ones responsible for cognition, but that includes the "upper" motor neurons... including the ones in the brain.

    Maybe we'll be able to repair ALS-damaged neurons before we figure out how to safely reverse cryopreservation. Maybe we won't, but life support systems will be good enough it'll be worth bringing him out anyhow. Maybe we'll achieve brain uploading and ALS will be irrelevant. Any which way you look at it, though, he's going to need some work.

    That's actually one of the (many) problems with cryopreservation research. We can't bring people out of full suspension right now, so cryopreserving a living person is legally considered killing them. Thus, it can only be done to people already legally dead. Legally dead people tend to have died *of* something. There just isn't any point to bringing people out of cryonics until we can repair (or replace) their bodies.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas