This is part one of a two-part interview with Finn Brunton, author of ‘Digital Cash: The Unknown History of the Anarchists, Utopians, and Technologists Who Created Cryptocurrency’.
In this part we dig into the secret pre-history of Bitcoin, including the World War 2 origins of public/private key cryptography, how Proof Of Work was initially proposed as a means to fight spam, and how the ‘Extropian’ movement – which, Finn explains, stood for ‘more life, more energy, more time, more space, more money… more everything! – collected an uncanny number of the early engineers contributing to what would eventually become Bitcoin.
If there’s one key takeaway from this episode, it’s that there’s no one Satoshi Nakamoto — Bitcoin’s a bricolage of math, technology and ingenuity stretching back at least seventy years.
Steal This Show aims to release bi-weekly episodes featuring insiders discussing crypto, privacy, copyright and file-sharing developments. It complements our regular reporting by adding more room for opinion, commentary, and analysis.
Host: Jamie King
Guest: Finn Brunton
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Produced by Jamie King
Edited & Mixed by Lucas Marston
Original Music by David Triana
Web Production by Eric Barch