The First Guy To Receive Bitcoin Spent His Final Bitcoins Freezing His Body
We've previously told you about the first time cryptocurrency was used to buy actual goods. That was 2010, when a programmer spent 10,000 Bitcoins to get two Papa John's pizzas. But the first ever Bitcoin transaction came a year before that. It was a simple test exchange between the mysterious Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto and fellow pioneer Hal Finney.
Despite cryptocurrency's reputation today, Hal Finney was no con artist and wasn't even in it for the money. He was a true cypherpunk—someone who believes in the transformative power of cryptography. Don't laugh. He made good on these beliefs, co-creating PGP, an encryption service that many confidential sources use when contacting journalists.
He was one of the very first people to work with Nakamoto on Bitcoin. But he quickly exchanged the early Bitcoins he had for dollars—he was a programmer, not an investor.
During the last years of his life, Finney was paralyzed with ALS. When a profile on him made his name widely known for the first time, a bunch of crypto fans donated Bitcoins to him, so he could buy a device to more easily communicate. It turned out that no such device was compatible with his particular type of paralysis, so he decided to spend the money on a different kind of new tech: cryogenics. When he died in 2014, Finney's body went to the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, the nonprofit most famous for preserving Red Sox legend Ted Williams' remains.
Unlike crypto tech, cryo tech hasn't progressed very much in the last few decades. We've still never managed to defrost a human being, and it's likely that ice crystals quickly destroy the brain. Finney knew this. He never claimed freezing himself would ensure he'd return. But he hoped it might. Weirder tech advances have happened.
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Top image: André François McKenzie, FOX