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Dr. Adam Back shares his life as a hacker




It’s been the life of a hacker for Dr. Adam Back, CEO and co-founder of Blockstream. One of the few people cited in the Bitcoin whitepaper, the hacking highlights of Back’s life are brought to life in the latest Crypto Story animation from the Cointelegraph video team.

During a game of Jenga in a park, Back told Cointelegraph that he’s always had a “kind of security mindset.” Since his days as a student, he has been tinkering with door codes, pin pads and locks, code testing and getting access to places he “wasn’t supposed to be able to”.


Talks back through create HashCash, One of the early attempts at digital money. It uses the “birthday collision” as code for hash functions, demonstrating its willingness to break down complex functions into understandable language:

“If you have a room full of people at a party or something, there’s a question of how many people have to be in the room before there’s a 50/50 chance of two people having the same birthday.”

He explains that while people expect the result to be related to the number 365 – given the number of days there are in a year, the reality is much less. This line of reasoning, combined with an understanding of spam, led to Back coding for Hash Cash.

Related: Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream, talks Bitcoin about a game of Jenga

Bitcoin stands on the shoulders of Hash Cash, but Bitcoin caught on because Bitcoin has a high level of decentralization, which is vital to the success of the cryptocurrency. Back adds that Bitcoin is also “understood on many different levels, right?”

“You can understand it from the user level or from the economic level. It’s surprisingly complex to fully appreciate all of that, including game theory and things like that.”

The cartoon interview ends with a reference to Blockstream’s decision to send Bitcoin into space And confirmation that there will be “more bitcoin,” from one of the OGs in the bitcoin economy.