Passing The Torch From Hal Finney To Jack Dorsey

Last night, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted the phrase “run bitcoin” to both nod to computer scientist Hal Finney and to show the world that he runs a full node.

Here’s what this means for the first ever cryptocurrency, along with a look at how it all started and where Bitcoin is going next.

How it all started: Hal Finney tweeted He’s running “Bitcoin”

Few realized then how significant a January 10, 2009 tweet from Hal Finney would ultimately be. The tweet, which only contained the phrase “execute bitcoin”, was among the first the Internet had ever heard of the cryptocurrency.

The tweet arrived just seven days after the Genesis block, and Finney himself was the first to receive a BTC transaction.

Related reading | Who is Satoshi? Roundup of the Common Suspects in Finding Bitcoin Creator

What Finney meant was the fact that he was running a Bitcoin node. According to, a full node is “a program that fully validates transactions and blocks”.

Since Bitcoin is not operated by any central authority, volunteers like Finney use the computing power to keep the network and code running.

Finney is part of a handful of early cryptocurrency backers who are believed to be potentially Satoshi. Finney has since passed away, but the legacy he and his tweet left behind was critical to adopting the emerging technology.

How it started and how it works, crypto version | Source: BTCUSD on

How it works: The torch has been passed on to today’s technology leaders

Today the talk of the crypto industry is the fact that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey revealed in a tweet that he is now also “running Bitcoin”. The tweet includes a screenshot of the code in action.

However, the significance goes well beyond any of the most famous technology leaders who continue to advertise Bitcoin. What this represents more precisely is the passing of the torch from one of the most influential pioneers of fortune to the next.

A pioneer is defined as someone who explores something new. By that definition, Hal Finney is undoubtedly a pioneer in crypto. But Dorsey is a pioneer himself.

Dorsey, who also serves as the CEO of Square Inc., has helped companies add BTC to their treasury reserves. Square also sells Bitcoin directly to consumers, among other things.

The social media boss has also spoken out in favor of Bitcoin as potentially the next global reserve asset for the internet age and seems intent on sticking out.

Related reading | Here’s how high Bitcoin could go if 2017 repeats itself

One notable difference between the two iconic tweets is that Dorsey’s now includes a Bitcoin logo hashtag specially created by a team he leads.

Dorsey doesn’t have to run Bitcoin. He does it because, like Hal, he is primarily a driver of technology.

Without Finney and his tweet, people like Dorsey might never have heard of Bitcoin and all that it can offer the world. Finney’s soap box was nowhere as big as Dorsey’s – could Dorsey’s “Running Bitcoin” tweet one day be almost as important as Finney’s, or perhaps more important?

Featured image from deposit photos, charts from