Bitcoin Prequel (3): Crypto Wars in the 90s

These were the years of the cypherpunk movement, a group of cryptographers who were victorious in their fight against government encroachment on citizens’ privacy.

In Part II, we explore Chaum’s ongoing work in public key cryptography and his research on anonymous communication, payments, and decentralized services. His research laid the groundwork for the advent of cypherpunks, which later gave birth to the concept of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

In the third part we will discuss the formation of the cypherpunk movement in response to government violations of individual privacy freedoms. In this movement, TOR, Bit Torrent, WikiLeaks, and Bitcoin gradually emerged. The cypherpunk movement will reveal the significance of Bitcoin and the technology behind it.

from the 80’s

In the 1980s, great advances were made in technology, software, and hardware.

  • In 1982, Adobe, Autodesk, and Sun Microsystems were formed.
  • In 1983, Intuit was founded and Microsoft Word was released.
  • In 1984, Cisco was founded, Dell was founded, Microsoft Word was released, and HP released their first inkjet printer.
  • In 1985, AOL was established.
  • In 1987, McAfee Anti Virus was established.
  • In 1989, Adobe Photoshop 1.0 was released, and Apple broke into the top 100 US companies by revenue.

While the world of technology is rapidly evolving, other areas of life, law and society have not kept pace. The Internet is gradually being ruled by hackers, criminals are becoming more sophisticated, and the US government is still arrogant and dismissive.

Bitcoin Prequel (3): Crypto Wars in the 90s

Bill Clinton and team try to understand Internet trends

FBI Agent Agent Baxter and Star Wars Publisher Autodesk

Rock band lyricist John Perry Barlow was an early user of the Internet and is a member of many online communities. In April 1990, Barlow received a call from the FBI asking for a review, and while Barlow didn’t know why the FBI did this, he knew that denying their request would raise unnecessary suspicion.

FBI agent Agent Baxter arrived at his door a few days later, accusing Barlow of being part of a hacking group called NuPrometheus in connection with the theft of Macintosh ROM source code. Although Agent Baxter offered no evidence to support his allegations, Barlow quickly realized he could be convicted.

Since this is a crime in designing software and technology, you might think that agents with some knowledge of him would be sent to investigate Barlow, but apparently not. According to Barlow’s recollection, Agent Baxter was completely ignorant of computer technology, and the interrogation lasted nearly three hours.

Just as a father might initially laugh at his clumsy son, as Barlow sits in an interrogation room, he begins to worry about America’s future, realizing that Agent Baxter and the rest of the government are unfamiliar with computer technology and misusing user information. May threaten the rights and freedoms of everyone.

After three hours of fruitless interrogation, Agent Baxter let him go. Barlow then posted his experiences on WELL, the world’s first online social forum. WELL was created in 1985, and it was a place where hipsters often browsed at that time.

Not long after, Barlow was contacted by another person with a similar experience, Mitch Kapor, a software mogul in the 1980s and founder of the note-taking software company Lotus. Lortus released the first spreadsheet software, which was acquired by IBM in 1990 for $3.5 billion.

Bitcoin Prequel (3): Crypto Wars in the 90s

80s: Bill Gates on the left, Kapor on the right

Kapor, who is also accused of being a member of the hacker group NuPrometheus, was also struck by the FBI’s ignorance of software and technology. If the authorities don’t know this, how can they protect people’s privacy.

Kapor met Barlow a week later. While the snowstorm was still raging outside Barlow’s office, they talked about their experiences with the charges and the recent FBI’s Operation Sun Devil.

Our experience shows that many computer hacking suspects are no longer misguided teenagers who only know how to play games, but high-tech computer operators who use computers to engage in illegal activities.

People’s safety, homes, documents and belongings must not be unreasonably searched and seized unless there are legitimate reasons, and warrants of arrest must not be issued without corroborating evidence.

This probably means that in order to fight crime, we can now do whatever we want. But we try not to violate and abuse anyone.

The first target of Operation Sun Devil was a hacker group known as the Legion of Doom. Members named Acid Phreak, Phiber Optik and Scorpion were raided shortly after, accused of hacking the phone system. The FBI kicked their doors, searched their residences, turned their houses upside down, and confiscated their computers along with books, note-taking phones, audio recordings and other suspicious electronic devices. Their families were not spared either.

After Kapor and Barlow concluded their discussion, they both realized that the FBI’s actions violated the rights of citizens and were ready to take some steps to defend their rights.

Bitcoin Prequel (3): Crypto Wars in the 90s

The Matrix takes inspiration from three teens

 Founding of the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Within a week, Kapor and Barlow had formed a legal team in New York to defend the three teens and covered all legal costs. They work with RBSKL, a law firm known for defending civil liberties rights. This defense also became the first conflict between government and individuals over computer networks in the 1990s.

When a reporter followed up on Barlow’s experience with the FBI, Barlow talked about his debate on hacking with Kapor. Unexpectedly, the headline in the newspaper a few days later was “LOTUS founder defends hackers”.

The headlines swept the public, and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak joined as an adviser to fund the defense, as did tech entrepreneur John Gimore.

Gimore is a self-taught programmer and the fifth employee of Sun Microsystems, holding substantial stock options in Sun Microsystems. In his opinion, unless it is the right job for sure, it will never be accepted. Known as a troublemaker, he regularly annoys the NSA. As recently as 1989, he leaked a cryptography paper banned by the NSA. In the late ’80s, he hosted the ALT Forum, known as a gathering place for anarchists, lunatics, and terrorists. In 1989 he founded a company called Cygnus Support in pursuit of his insistence on freedom of speech, software and encryption.

Not long after that, the U.S. Secret Service once again seized a game company called Steve Jackson Games. The game company was making a video game called Cyberpunk, and the Secret Service thought it was a computer crime manual, so they seized their office and even deleted many of their internal emails. This incident further illustrates the recklessness of the Secret Service, which has no concept of digital rights at all.

On June 8, 1990, Barlow published his famous paper, “Crime & Puzzlement,” in which he wrote and defended everything Kapor, Wozniak, and Gilmore were involved in. He believes that the United States is entering the information age, but has neither the law nor the awareness to properly protect and deliver the information itself. At the end of the article, he revealed the establishment of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which will make efforts to expand the cyberspace for the law of digital information protection, and at the same time defend and provide financial support for the law that personal privacy is violated.

Proposition of legal provisions on personal data privacy

In early 1991, Senator Biden added an element to Bill 266 that would allow the government, when duly authorized by law, to access the plain-text content of personal voice, data, and other communications. In other words, the government can basically monitor all available communications at will.

At the time, a software engineer named Phil Zimmerman was building encryption programs, and he has been a central figure in a lot of liberal politics over the past decade. Recently he was building a tool that would allow anyone with a computer to encrypt messages and files using the RSA encryption algorithm. RSA was military grade at the time and was only used in the commercial field, but Phil Zimmerman believed that everyone should be able to use strong cryptography and anonymous communication. The program he built was called PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), inspired by a A grocery store called Ralph’s Pretty Good Grocery.

He had been thinking about how to get the PGP out there, and when he heard about Bill 266, he thought it was the best time. The government is about to legalize espionage, which is exactly what he wants to prevent with PGP. He sees bill determination as a final period to put the PGP in as many hands as possible. Phil Zimmerman turned down five acquisitions, saying it was not a commercial product, but a human rights product.

He released PGP in May 1991 and wrote an article on the topic “Why I Write PGP”. Due to lack of funds, tight time and other reasons, the user experience of PGP1.0 version is not very good. In this article, he proposes:

If privacy is outlawed, then only criminals will have privacy. Good cryptography is available to intelligence agencies, big arms, drug dealers, defense contractors, oil companies, and other corporate giants, but military-grade public key cryptography is largely unavailable and affordable to ordinary people and grassroots political organizations. And now, PGP enables people to take privacy into their own hands. Society will demand it more and more. That’s why I created it.

He uploads PGP on different forums and websites, and it is open source, free, and does not require any license for commercial use. He wanted to put military-grade encryption into everyone’s hands, and with the help of his friends, PGP started spreading. Within a week, people were using PGP all over the world, and within a month, thousands had downloaded it.

Meanwhile, Biden eventually removed the item due to opposition to Bill 266 by civil liberties groups including the EFF, a move that disguised the PGP’s popularity among the public.

May and Hughes, two crazy people

The following year, Gilmore threw a party in San Francisco and invited numerous cryptographers to attend. At this party, Eric Hughes met Timothy C. May.

Hughes is a young mathematician who has been working at David Chaum’s Digicash since coming to Amsterdam. Originally a hardware engineer at Intel, May spent the past three years trying to write an unconventional novel about the future world depicted by David Chaum.

Although Eric is in his 20s and May is in his 30s, they immediately bond because of the same crazy liberal views. And they’re equally obsessed with David Chaum’s work.

Timothy C. May was raised by a naval officer with an outgoing and rugged personality. He has been a libertarian since he was 12 years old. When Chaum liked to play with combination locks and safes since he was a child, May’s favorite was AR-15 assault rifles and drinking. He liked to hold heavy, cold metal guns and enjoy the feeling of freedom and liberation. He later became a hardware engineer.

In the 1980s, May was drawn to the wild west of the online world, fantasizing that encryption technology could make many online activities easier and more secure. In 1986 he chose to quit his job after reading David Chaum’s dissertation, wanting to write a novel about the world David Chaum depicted. After leaving Intel, May has a lot of stock options, so he doesn’t have to worry about no income, so he can focus on the “Degrees of freedom” novel.

May sought to build a world ruled by digital currencies, data “safe havens” (what we now understand as blockchains), time stamps, and NSA surveillance. Yet like most teenagers who wanted to write spy novels, he never finished his novels. Not content with imagining an imaginary world in fiction, he began to create a real world.

Eric Hughes studied mathematics at Berkeley as an undergraduate. He approached David Chaum at a cryptography conference.

Chaum has been talking about digital currency systems, and he stressed the importance of anonymous payments in an increasingly digital world. Unlike others, Hughes was drawn to cryptography and its political implications. After a brief consultation, he moved to Amsterdam to start working at Digicash under David Chaum. Despite his fascination with his research, Hughes said he wasn’t too fond of Chaum’s character, and after a brief stint at Digicash, he returned home.

 In early May 1991, Hughes applied to Berkeley graduate school. May offered to help as he looked for a place to live, and they lived together for a while.

Hughes and May have been discussing cryptocurrencies for days in a row. A rich and failed writer who talks math, protocols, programming languages, and secure anonymous systems all day with a 20-something.

The first crypto-liberal meetup

In late September 1991, May, Hughes, and Gilmore wanted to hold a regular meeting of techno-liberals and chose the venue at Hughes’ newly rented house. So on a Saturday morning in September, some 30 or so academics, engineers and cryptocurrency advocates began a heated discussion on the empty floor.

May prepared a 57-page handout detailing cryptography concepts and future visions, and distributed a software copy of PGP 2.0 released the previous week.

After the ceremonial distribution of the packets, he began reading aloud what he called the manifesto of crypto-anarchism.

This article is a political manifesto written during May’s brief career as a writer in 1988, and it paints a vision of a future, a free world ruled by the laws of cryptography and mathematics. He originally wrote it for the cryptography conference CRYPTO88, and distributed hundreds of copies to attendees, but no one cared too much about the political implications of cryptography.

But unlike those in attendance at CRYPTO88, when May read out the manifesto, the crypto nerds sitting on the floor nodded in agreement.

May does not believe that companies will protect privacy and freedom, instead he believes that mathematics can.

May commented in a 2017 video conference that at least one or two people present likely created bitcoin.

By now you’ve probably realized what a huge geek pioneer these guys are.

For the rest of the time, they use paper and envelopes to play a game with digital currency, information markets, anonymity mechanisms, trading systems. Over the course of the game, they naturally ran into Chaum’s initial encounter with metadata exploitability issues, frustrated with how little cryptography has progressed since the 80s. They spent the night discussing cryptography, such as how to implement Chaum’s hybrid network solution, and many ended up falling asleep on the bare floor.

While May and Hughes were shopping for breakfast the next day, it occurred to them why limit the club to the physical world when there are so many potential crypto fanatics operating in cyberspace? They realized that chat rooms could be set up on the Internet.

In just a week, Hughes developed mailing list 1.0, which can be used to send mail to different users and hide the original sender information. The mailing list is still being improved, Hal Finney uses PGP2.0 to encrypt mail, and Cottrell hides the timing of sending mail through message batching.

Tech magazine editor-in-chief Jude Milhon, who was Hughes’ girlfriend at the time, commented: “You guys are just a bunch of cypherpunks.”

Gradually, cypherpunk and cryptography became a symbol of political contempt and another pride for freedom-seeking geeks. One month after the first meeting, the mailing list was put into use, and members could subscribe to by email to communicate with each other.

Thirteen years later, David Chaum’s hybrid network concept has finally come to fruition.

The Birth of Cypherpunk

The Mailing list soon became the country’s most secretive gathering place for crimes such as cryptography, drug dealing, and assassinations. Julian Assange and the creators of TOR, Bit Torrent may be among them, and Bitcoin may have been on the Mailing list or discussed long ago.

Within a week, it had 100 subscribers. By the end of the year, more than 2,000 similar mailing list addresses had appeared around the world.

On October 10, 1992, they released their first community announcement, announcing the specifics of the second cypherpunk offline meeting, where Google is currently located.

Bitcoin Prequel (3): Crypto Wars in the 90s

 Part of the announcement of the second meeting

Summarize cypherpunks with a few simple features:

  1. Cypherpunks think privacy is a good thing and want more privacy. 
  2. Cypherpunks are therefore committed to cryptography. 
  3. Cypherpunks love to practice.
  4. Cypherpunks write code.

Unlike other political movements in history, the Cypherpunks were able to defeat the government through direct action on equal terms.

Bitcoin Prequel (3): Crypto Wars in the 90s

Eric Hughes, Timothy C. May and John Gilmore Front Page Wired Magazine

Gilmore’s shenanigans

While Gilmore was running his company, organizing a meetup of crypto rebels, he also kept fighting the NSA and won another victory for the cypherpunks.

In June 1991, Gilmore learned of some books published by cryptographer William Friedman, and after reading two volumes, he found that the other four were classified and unavailable. William Friedman is the founder of the US Signals Intelligence Agency, the predecessor of the National Security Agency. Gilmore wants to know the contents of the remaining four volumes classified as classified.

Eventually, with the help of a friend, he came to Virginia, found the exact book at the NSA, and mailed it to himself.

However, things were not so simple. When the NSA learned of this, Gilmore was asked to hand over the books it had taken, but he refused: “These are textbooks on relatively simple cryptography, and are In order to avoid further interruption by the NSA, Gilmore told the media about the incident. In order to avoid the influence of the NSA, the NSA was forced to give up the tracing of Gilmore and the book. Soon after, the book was completely disclosed. .

In fact, what specific value do these books have for Gilmore and the cypherpunks?

Obviously of no real value, Gilmore just wanted to stand up to the NSA and prove that the government could be defeated, and this time he succeeded.

PGP2.0 is in trouble

In early 1993, PGP began to enter the attention of the US government. As a result of the RSA intellectual property dispute, regulators began to pay attention to Zimmerman and launched a criminal investigation into violations of the Arms Export Control Act. Since World War II, cryptography has been considered a military product and belongs to the munitions level. The world of the 1990s was a digital one, with software and computers contributing major U.S. GDP.

As Zimmerman’s lawsuit date approached, the EFF (Electronic Foundation) and the public gathered behind him in support of Zimmerman. In response to the government, he printed copies of the PGP source code on book covers. Books are protected by the First Amendment under free speech, but cryptography is not. So what happens to a book that contains source code for cryptography?

Despite the public ridicule of the government, Zimmerman could not deny that he violated the Ammunition Act, and his star legal team agreed that winning the case was hopeless.

Until a lawyer named Phil Dubois had an idea. Phil Dubois, known for his protection of criminals, celebrities and the madman, is not thinking of denial and pleading, but to go on the offensive and paint the government as a threat to liberty that will be key to Zimmerman’s victory. Fortunately, the government was soon caught up in the whirlpool of public opinion.

Shortly after the Zimmerman case, in April 1993, Bill 266 appeared in another form: “The Clipper Chip.”

Beat The Clipper Chip Act

The passage of The Clipper Chip is meant to allow federal, state and local law enforcement officials to decode intercepted voice and transmitted data. The bill further intensified the fermentation of public opinion.

Clipper Chip is a manufacturing standard for encrypting data, similar to DES in the 1970s, it was the Clinton administration’s new attempt to manage national security, in other words, the government just wanted to protect everyone and have access to everything they wanted, anytime, anywhere . While DES was suspected of having backdoors in the 1970s, Clipper Chip showed the government’s unreasonable demands more directly.

Unlike DES, which has a 56-bit key, the Clipper Chip uses an 80-bit key. Like most government programs today, the quality of its work is not to be believed.

Clipper Chip’s announcement has drawn a backlash from the public due to a longstanding distrust of the government and what the government has done to public privacy over the past three years.

Bitcoin Prequel (3): Crypto Wars in the 90s

RSA Good Luck on Clipper Act

A very excited group of cypherpunks

The official civil rights group EFF responded to the proposal with a more moderate criticism of how it endangered liberty. But it sparked fervent opposition and paranoia to the bill from the general public, and even felt that the dystopian world of 1984 was about to come true.

Unlike the tension between the government and the public, the cypherpunks are quite excited at this time.

Imagine you predict the end of the world and start preparing for it. Ten years later it happened, and although the world is about to end, it’s hard not to be excited to see what you once concluded is gradually becoming a reality. Cypherpunks predict and look forward to this day.

War is going to happen to us, Timothy C May said, and the Clinton and Gore administrations still haven’t made changes.

Timothy C. May, Eric Hughes, John Gilmore and other cypherpunks united against the proposal with unanimous enthusiasm. Despite the cypherpunks’ public opposition to the scheme and its heated debate, many people, including May, didn’t actually take it seriously.

Because they know the loopholes in Clipper Chip’s design, and the flaws in public key cryptography. The Clipper Chip design would be a sick joke to them.

On the day it was released, May wrote:

First, the bad news is that governments want to control cryptography. Although they are vague about it, it is clear that they will eventually try to ban the development of public cryptography, and Zimmerman and others have gotten a lot of attention.

Now the good news is that the game is over and we won. The government may take action, but it still doesn’t matter. The country we championed made an ineffective attempt in the face of a bad situation. This astonishing policy announcement was a tacit consent to failure.

Easy access to free mil-spec data encryption for everyone. Within a year, the equivalent voice encryption free software will be available, and the government has been unable to prevent this from happening.

They held an emergency meeting at Cygnus Support’s office, a room packed with more than 50 cypherpunks brainstorming ideas to fight the government’s proposed Clipper Chip bill.

After Tyler Durden’s assignment, the cypherpunks would print out a declarative decal sticker, write Intel INside on it, and stick it in a computer store. Others have designed T-shirts fighting the Clipper Chip with lines from the crypto-anarchist manifesto.

Bitcoin Prequel (3): Crypto Wars in the 90s

 inflammatory language directed at US authorities

Whitefield Diffe was a major influencer in the events of the Clipper Chip Act, and later wrote a famous open letter to the Clinton administration:

The right to private conversation is not enumerated in the Constitution, and I don’t think anyone thought at the time that it could be prevented. With the boom in electronic communication, the close commercial cooperation between individuals will also develop rapidly. If we don’t accept these people’s right to protect the privacy of their communications, it won’t be long before privacy belongs only to the rich. The decisions we make today about communications security will determine the type of social activity we do tomorrow.

In 1994, a national committee of 40 experts, industry leaders and academics wrote an open letter to the Clinton administration demanding that Clipper Chip’s proposal be withdrawn. The 40 included:

  • The three original creators of public key cryptography: Martin Hellman, Whitfield Diffie and Ralph Merkle
  • Ronald Rivest, one of the three creators of RSA encryption
  • David Chaum, founder of Digicash
  • Zimmerman, creator of PGP

We believe that if this proposal and related standards move forward, even on a voluntary basis, there will be less privacy protections, slower innovation, less government accountability, and the openness necessary to ensure the successful development of the nation’s communications infrastructure Sex is threatened.

The government tries to explain the safety of the Clipper Chip

In May 1995, the NSA finally responded positively. Instead of giving a clear reason to keep it safe, they responded with a meaningless press release trying to reassure the public that Clipper was safe.

Bitcoin Prequel (3): Crypto Wars in the 90s

Bill Clinton looking sharp in 1994

The Clipper encryption algorithm is so secure that these vendors use DES encryption almost exclusively for the AT&T TSD 3600 and other similar devices. DES encryption is based on 56-bit key information, and Clipper uses an 80-bit key-based algorithm. Although only 23 bits, it provides 16 million times the permutation, which makes decryption theoretically impossible, so Clipper encryption is attractive.

By 1994, communications maker AT&T was using the chip to make hardware, but the cypherpunk ideology had spread widely. As the chips were released to commercial producers, the cypherpunks were quick to notice the real impact of flaws in the chip’s design.

An AT&T embedded systems engineer named Matt Blaze was in charge of testing chips for production. Upon closer inspection, he discovered that while the password itself was relatively secure, the NSA’s key to access the encrypted backdoor only required a 16-bit hash and was easily brute-forced.

Blaze is also a cypherpunk who has participated in the design of mailing lists. After finishing, he published his results in August 1994, successfully exposing the flaws in Clipper’s design. Soon after, the Clipper Chip was discarded by governments and commercial manufacturers.

The following year, the cypherpunk efforts would continue and turn into a series of legal battles.

Challenging U.S. Quartermaster Law


Shortly after Clipper’s exploit was published, a programmer named Phillip R. Karn began challenging the government’s practice of classifying cryptography as military-grade. He evaluated a book of encrypted source code containing encryption algorithms and found that the book should not be subject to the Quartermaster Act.

Karn went on to request a second evaluation of the book’s CO disk, which contains the source code detailed in the book, but could not prove otherwise, so it falls under the Quartermaster Act classification. The nuance here depends on how likely the medium in which the source code is stored is capable of potentially malicious behavior.


In 1994, a Berkeley student named Daniel J. Bernstein attempted to publish a paper on the source code of an encryption protocol and challenged the Quartermaster Act in Northern California federal trial court. Following Karn’s lawsuit against the United States, the court ruled that the source code in his paper was First Amendment-protected speech. While Karn’s case has already ruled that the textual form of source code is not subject to the Quartermaster Act, Bernstein’s case provides further evidence that it is protected by the First Amendment. The legal policy on cryptography has also gradually begun to improve.


Peter Junger will be the next to challenge the Quartermaster Act. He is a law professor, and he wants his students not only to enjoy learning, but to develop a habit of exploring new concepts. In one of his courses, the course materials included an encryption program that was restricted by the Quartermaster Act, so the course restricted the study of international non-US citizens. Obstructed by teaching, he declared his opposition to the Quartermaster Act, arguing that it violated the First Amendment.

Junger’s case would be won later in 1999, thus proving the conclusion that encryption software would be protected by the First Amendment.

On October 12, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed Executive Order 13026, and cryptography was officially removed from the Munitions List. That means the Zimmerman case will also be dismissed.

The war is won, but is it over? not yet.

DES Deciphered Bounty

Later in 1998, with the remaining legal cases surrounding cryptography closed, Gilmore hopes to move forward and completely destroy the government’s claim to and participation in the future of encryption.

The cypherpunk community has its sights set on DES.

Originally released in 1976, DES is an encryption standard for commercial use. Martin Hellman and Whitfield Diffie had expressed strong opposition to DES and also promoted the publication of public key cryptography. One of their criticisms of DES was that 56-bit keys were theoretically vulnerable to brute force attacks, but with the then computing power, doing so is considered infeasible.

But by 1998, things had changed. RSA Data Security has released a bounty to see who can crack the DES security system.

To motivate everyone to participate, they set a bounty of $10,000. Sure enough, DES was breached after 5 months.

Gilmore took up the challenge at the time, along with a cryptographer named Paul Kocher. Paul worked and trained under Martin Hellman. To accomplish the task of bringing history back to square one, Gilmore and Kocher spent $222,000 to build a computer called the Deep Crack.

With the help of Deep Crack, DES was cracked in 56 hours.

Bitcoin Prequel (3): Crypto Wars in the 90s

Kocher and Deep Crack

After about 20 years of debate, DES was finally cracked and was soon declared dead.

By 2000, the government lifted all restrictions and regulations around cryptography. Open source cryptography is legal and allows public participation.

In the early 90s, the world, including governments, did not understand the future of cryptography. The cypherpunks fought for it and won. They do this to protect the right to privacy and freedom of individuals through cryptography.

They will continue their rampage, leaving behind their attempts, TOR and the rise of the dark web, Torrent and piracy, WikiLeaks and transparency, and more relevantly: Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

In the fourth part, we will explore TOR, Bit Torrent, WikiLeaks, and the birth of Bitcoin.

historical imprint

Bitcoin Prequel (3): Crypto Wars in the 90s

1991 John Perry Gilmore (October 3, 1947 – February 7, 2018)

Bitcoin Prequel (3): Crypto Wars in the 90s

John Perry Barlow and Mitch Kapor in 1991

Bitcoin Prequel (3): Crypto Wars in the 90s

Bill Gates and Kapor (co-founders of EFF) in 1986

Bitcoin Prequel (3): Crypto Wars in the 90s

90s John Gilmore, co-founder of EFF and Cypherpunks

Bitcoin Prequel (3): Crypto Wars in the 90s

Eric Hughes, Co-Founder of Cypherpunk

Bitcoin Prequel (3): Crypto Wars in the 90s

Timothy C. May, Co-Founder of Cypherpunk

Bitcoin Prequel (3): Crypto Wars in the 90s

Timothy C. May at the 2017 Cryptography Conference

Bitcoin Prequel (3): Crypto Wars in the 90s

Phil Zimmerman, Founder of PGP

Bitcoin Prequel (3): Crypto Wars in the 90s

Left: Ralph Merkle, Middle: Whitfield Diffie, Right: Martin Hellman

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