Extropicoin Extrapolated

Jon Evans explores how many of the 90s cypherpunks were also 90s extropians.

Bitcoin was, of course, created by the pseudonymous figure Satoshi Nakamoto, but it’s well understood that Satoshi built on a sizable stack of previous work. The usual technical history goes like this:

1979: Ralph Merkle (a formative Extropian) patents the Merkle tree.

1989: David Chaum launches DigiCash.

1997: Adam Back creates hashcash.

1998: Wei Dai creates b-money (the first citation in the Bitcoin white paper.)

2004: Hal Finney creates Reusable Proofs of Work.

2005: Nick Szabo creates bit gold.

It’s well established that almost all of the above were contributors to the cypherpunks mailing list, launched in 1992 by Timothy C. May, EFF co-founder John Gilmore, and Eric Hughes.

It’s perhaps less appreciated that most were also extropians. Nick Szabo, for instance, wrote for Extropy Magazine in 1995, and spoke at their 2001 conference. Several also contributed significantly to the extropians mailing list. Finney and Dai were among its most prolific writers. Indeed the 90s cypherpunks had more than enough overlap with 90s extropians, in both membership and attitude, to be reasonably considered sister communities … both preparing themselves for a brave new transformed world.

Read More at Gradient Ascendant Substack

Read the rest at Gradient Ascendant Substack