Adam Back is an internationally recognized cryptographer and cypherpunk. Back was known as an early pioneer of the digital currency movement prior to his involvement in the Bitcoin space.
|Source of wealth:||Computer science|
|Education:||University of Exeter|
Adam Back holds a PhD in computer science from the University of Exeter in distributed systems. During his PhD, Back worked with compilers to semi-automate the use of parallel computers. He developed an interest in pgp encryption, electronic money, and remailers. After graduation, Adam worked as an applied cryptography consultant in start-ups and larger corporations, writing cryptographic libraries and designing, reviewing, and breaking other people's cryptographic protocols.
Adam Back is a pioneering figure in digital asset research, having made significant contributions to the development of Bitcoin and other cryptographic systems. In 1997, he created Hashcash, a proof-of-work algorithm that provided a powerful defense against denial-of-service attacks. This innovation would later form the basis of Bitcoin's mining capabilities, as outlined in Satoshi Nakamoto's original white paper.
Back has also developed Credlib, a library that implements Stefan Brands' credential systems, and is credited with defining the "non-interactive forward secrecy security property for email," an important concept in identity-based encryption.
In addition to his technical achievements, Back is known for his advocacy of ultra-compact code, exemplified by his 2-line and 3-line RSA in Perl signature files, as well as his use of non-exportable T-shirts to protest cryptography export regulations.
Back was one of the first individuals to receive an email from Satoshi Nakamoto, providing him with unique insights into the early development of Bitcoin and the ideas behind it. In 2016, the Financial Times named Back, along with Nick Szabo and Hal Finney, as a possible candidate for the identity of Nakamoto. Back was even sued by Craig Wright for denying that he was Nakamoto, though the suit was later dropped.
As a proponent of decentralized networks, Back has advocated for the use of satellites and mesh networks to broadcast and receive Bitcoin transactions. He was appointed CEO of Blockstream in 2016 and has since released several groundbreaking products and services, including the Liquid sidechain, Blockstream Mining Notes, mining colocation services, the Jade hardware wallet, and the Core Lightning implementation.
Back was born in July 1970 in London, England. A Sinclair ZX81 was his first computer. He learned Basic and spent his time reverse engineering video games and looking for decryption keys in software packages. He finished A levels in advanced mathematics, physics, and economics.