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Categories: What Bitcoin Did

What Bitcoin Did #69 The History of Cryptography With Whitfield Diffie

Published on February 1st, 2019 by DSholla

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“It is rare for first implementations of such broad concepts to do as well as that did, Bitcoin is still here 10 years after it started out.”

— Whitfield Diffie

Interview location: Palo Alto

Interview date: Thursday 31st Jan, 2018

Company: Cryptomathic

Role: Cryptographer and Security Expert

A number of pioneers developed the cryptographic and technical foundations for which Bitcoin is built upon. Nick Szabo highlighted a number of these people in his Tweet:

“Inventors of the most important technologies in Bitcoin: digital signatures and Merkle trees (Merkle), elliptic curve crypto (Koblitz), malicious-fault-tolerant consensus (Lamport), elliptic curve crypto (independent inventor: Miller).”

Many others along the way have contributed to the success of Bitcoin, either through early work or attempts at created a digital currency, names such as Adam Back, David Chaum and Szabo himself.

Whitfield Diffie sits alongside all of these people. His work on cryptography should not be forgotten in the history of Bitcoin and I had the pleasure of sitting down with him to discuss this, how he was introduced to Bitcoin and other such topics as privacy and security.

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