Can Grandmas Be Bitcoin Cypherpunks? Q&A With Jameson Lopp

In October 2017, a SWAT staff confirmed up at Jameson Lopp’s home in North Carolina,  allegedly due to a faux criticism referred to as in by somebody angered by a tweet. So Lopp posted a video of himself firing an AR-15 after which launched into a journey to vanish within the bodily world—unreachable by his enemies and much from the prying eyes of the surveillance state.

Lopp had been obsessive about privateness lengthy earlier than the swatting. He is a throwback to the long-bearded mathematicians and cypherpunks of the Nineties who believed that current breakthroughs in cryptography might allow ranges of private freedom and privateness past anybody’s wildest goals. Many concepts and technological breakthroughs from the cypherpunk motion have been ultimately folded into bitcoin. Lopp even calls himself a “skilled cypherpunk,” carrying on the motion’s legacy.

Consistent with the cypherpunk ethos, Casa, the corporate Lopp co-founded, is attempting to make it simpler for folks to carry custody of their very own bitcoin as a substitute of storing their cash on third-party exchanges, the place regulators can impose arbitrary guidelines. 

After the SWAT raid, Lopp modified his cellphone quantity, arrange LLCs to cover his true identify and handle, encrypted his communications, and even purchased a decoy home to function a bodily mailing handle, which he wanted to fulfill the DMV’s requirement for a drivers license. To verify his work, he employed personal investigators to tail him. 

“We the Cypherpunks are devoted to constructing nameless programs,” wrote Eric Hughes in his 1993 manifesto. “We do not a lot care if you happen to do not approve of the software program we write.”

Jameson Lopp is an enigmatic privateness obsessive preventing to maintain that dream alive.

Pictures: Paul Kitagaki Jr./ZUMA Press/Newscom

Music: “Brotherhood” by Younger Wealthy Pixies by way of Artlist; “2050” by Cyber Runner by way of Artlist

  • Video Editor: Adam Czarnecki
  • Video Editor: Justin Zuckerman
  • Audio Manufacturing: Ian Keyser