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This is one of the most important and emotional pieces I have had the honor of creating. I will never be able to capture the essence of Hal Finney in an image or video because I did not personally know him but my objective with this piece is to commemorate his life, work, and impact on our ecosystem.
This piece was created by referencing photos online, and also with some help from a 3D artist. I want to ask those that knew him to take my art as a tribute to Hal and his family and friends. This artwork was approved by Fran Finney, wife of Hal Finney.
As many of you know, Hal Finney was a software engineer that focused on creating technologies that allow individuals to have true privacy from government and corporations. He worked closely with Phil Zimmerman to create Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), the most widely used email encryption software in the world. He also ran the first cryptographically based anonymous remailer, and got involved with the Cypherpunks very early on. Hal is an integral part of Bitcoin’s history and creation. He received the first-ever Bitcoin transaction from Satoshi on January 12, 2009 and continued to work extensively on Bitcoin for years. He laid the foundational blocks that the entire crypto ecosystem was built upon.
"Hal" is the first in a series that I will be releasing over the next year called “Visualizing the History of Bitcoin”. This piece has a stone statue of Hal at the center. In early civilization, people used statues to represent their leaders and gods. Today, we use them to commemorate important historical events and people. Though we often deify Hal, he was still a regular person who was driven to build technology for the betterment of society. The floating stones and small cracks and imperfections represent that idea of still being human. I read that some of Hal’s proudest work was what he did for PGP. I chose to highlight the PGP public key block that he wrote out in his first cypherpunk mailing list email. On the border of the piece, you can see other contributions and events from Hal. He invented Reusable Proof-of-Work (RPOW) as a prototype for digital cash based on Nick Szabo's theory of collectibles. It was a significant early step in the history of digital cash and was a precursor to Bitcoin (https://nakamotoinstitute.org/finney/rpow/). Written out at the top left of the piece is one of Hal's tweets which was the first ever social media post to mention bitcoin. On January 10, 2009, he tweeted “Running bitcoin”. A couple of days later, on January 12, 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto sent 50 BTC to Hal Finney in block 170, which is in the top right corner.
This piece is limited to:
- 1 physical original painting auctioned on Nifty Gateway.
- 21 physical archival prints on my Josie.io website.
- 21 NFTs sold through OpenSea.
The winner of the Nifty Gateway auction will receive the physical original acrylic painting (30”x40”), the NFT from Nifty Gateway, and also the #0/21 NFT from Opensea to serve as the certificate of authenticity.
50% of proceeds from the auction and NFT sales will be donated to Hal’s ALS Association chapter, Golden West Chapter. This association is raising money to fight ALS in memory of Hal. Please also check out HalsPalsFightALS.org to donate in cash or bitcoin.