Video: “Cypherpunks Write Code” And The Precursors Of Bitcoin

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In this episode of the Bitcoin Magazine Podcast, Technical Editor Aaron van Wirdum speaks with Jim Epstein, the executive editor of Reason TV.

Epstein recently produced a documentary miniseries on the cypherpunk movement, a precursor to Bitcoin itself, called “Cypherpunks Write Code.” The four-part series chronicles the origins and short history of this group of hackers, cryptographers and activists that, in the 1990s, coalesced around a shared goal of offering secure privacy in the digital age. In this podcast, Aaron and Jim consider what made the cypherpunks such a visionary and influential collective.

With origins tracing back to the 1980s Bay Area, where a small group of computer scientist became known as the “High-Tech Hayekians,” Bitcoin represents a modern continuation of these decades-old technological and ideological insights. Aaron and Jim also discuss Jim’s recent article published on Reason, entitled “How Will Bitcoin Lead to More Freedom,” which breaks down an ideological divide within and around the cypherpunk movement dating back to its beginnings.

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The pair consider whether and how this divide lives on within the broader cryptocurrency and blockchain technology space to this day.