On December 16, the legendary American cypherpunk, author of the “Cryptoanarchist Manifesto”, Timothy May, died. He was 67 years old.
May became one of the founders of the cipherpunk movement, whose participants in the 1980s began to promote and develop methods of cryptography as a means of changing communication, economics and people’s relations in society.
He made a number of remarkable predictions – some of them were published on the pages of the “Cryptoanarchist Manifesto” – about the possibility of distributed encrypted networks that transform the relations between citizens and the authorities. Many of May’s predictions, based on his libertarian beliefs, have come true over the past thirty years. Of course, first of all, we are talking about creating Bitcoin.
In the very first lines of the Cryptoanarchist Manifesto, May writes:
“Computer technology is close to allowing individuals and groups to communicate and interact with each other in a completely anonymous way. Two people can … do business or enter into electronic contracts, even without ever recognizing the Real Names or legal identities of each other. These new technologies will completely change the nature of government, taxation, economic control, privacy protection, and even the nature of trust and reputation. ”
In his writings, May also predicted criticism of crypto technologies:
“Of course, the state will try to slow down the spread of this technology or prevent it, citing national security concerns, the risk of using technology by drug dealers and people evading taxes, as well as the threat of“ disintegration ”of society”.
May acknowledged that many of these fears would be justified, but also concluded that “they will not stop the spread of crypto-anarchy.”