The Twitter account belonging to early Bitcoin contributor and adopter Hal Finney has been reactivated after twelve years of inactivity.
Finney was the first individual to receive a blockchain transaction from Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. He continued to use and contribute to Bitcoin until he passed away from ALS complications in 2014.
Finney’s Twitter account has been dormant since 2010. Concerns emerged in recent days that the account could be deleted under Elon Musk’s plans to delete 1.5 billion inactive accounts — inadvertently erasing part of Bitcoin’s history in the process.
Those concerns were apparently noticed, as Finney’s account became active once again on Dec. 16 at roughly 12:00 p.m. PST. The return of the account initially was met with some skepticism, as Bitcoin advocate and software engineer Jameson Lopp warned that a bad actor could have taken control of Finney’s account.
However, Hal’s wife, Fran Finney, soon confirmed that she was managing the account on behalf of her husband. She addressed Lopp in a tweet, writing:
This is [Fran Finney]. I am tweeting for Hal… to avoid his account being purged by Elon.
She later wrote:
I want to keep Hal’s account active, and occasionally will be posting from his account. When I do post, I will continue to tag myself as the poster.
The news comes shortly after another development related to early Bitcoin activity. On Tuesday, Dec. 13, Martin Shkreli attempted to show that, based on an encrypted signature, the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto is in fact former cartel boss and programmer Paul Le Roux. The signature in question reads:
This Transaction was made by Paul Leroux to Hal Finney on January 12, 2009 #bitcoin
The signature seems to have been created by Finney’s real address. However, one commentator has pointed out that type of signature used to make the admission was not implemented in Bitcoin until after Finney’s death. Therefore, the statement in that signature could not have been made at the time of the transaction in 2009. Finney’s private key has likely been stolen, and the statement is likely false.
As such, the authentic reactivation of Finney’s account today appears to be unrelated to the apparently fake Bitcoin signature seen earlier this week.