Hal Finney was an American software engineer and goes down in bitcoin folk law as the legendary recipient of the first ever bitcoin, transferred to him from Satoshi Nakamoto. He was intrigued by online privacy tech and cryptography which led him to being an early participant of the Cypherpunk movement. This was initially a discussion group facilitated through a mailing list that communicated intensely amongst members on topics such as politics, philosophy, mathematics and cryptography. There is no doubt that Satoshi’s idea for Bitcoin was born somewhere within this movement, but his identity still remains mysterious. Is his identity taken to the grave with Hal, with him being the only person that might have actually known Satoshi’s real-life background? Some even point to Hal as one of many on the list of possible Satoshi identities… we will never know, but what is known is that Hal was a pioneer of the digital asset age and his contribution to the early days of bitcoin is invaluable to where the community is today.
Hal died on the 28th of August 2014 after a battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) but Fran Finney lives on to honour her husband who passed too soon. Together they had a son and a daughter who become tech savvy themselves. Nobody knows the figure, but Hal mined a substantial amount of bitcoin in the early days which was passed onto his children after his death. He was confident due to their tech abilities that they would be able to keep the bitcoin safe with cold storage options where they hold their private keys offline, the safest option that nullifies exchange hack risk or the ability for any government to confiscate coins. The Finney kids Bitcoins would now be worth millions and it is safe to say that they would be hodlers with their Dad predicting an astronomical value per coin back in 2009
Hal says it best here, a thread he wrote on bitcoin and his life in 2013.
Will we see Hal Finney again one day? He is the 128th patient at Alcor which is a company that uses Cryonics, a process of preserving life by pausing death. The bodies are housed in containers at subfreezing temperatures to one day restore natural life via medical technology at some point in the future. His wife Fran is also registered for cryopreservation, how incredible would the revival of life be should this technology succeed!