What Is a Cypherpunk?
A cypherpunk is an individual who advocates for the use of cryptography and privacy-enhancing technologies to protect personal freedom from government surveillance and control. They are typically computer scientists, cryptographers, mathematicians, hackers, activists or libertarians who believe that individuals should be able to communicate securely without fear of being monitored by governments or corporations. Cypherpunks often develop their own encryption algorithms and software tools in order to ensure secure communication between parties.
Cypherpunks have been around since the 1980s when they first began advocating for strong cryptography as a way to protect civil liberties online. Since then, they have become increasingly influential in shaping public opinion on issues such as internet censorship and data privacy laws. In recent years, many high profile figures such as Edward Snowden have come out publicly in support of cypherpunk ideals which has helped bring these ideas into mainstream discourse. The rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin has also been heavily influenced by the work done by early cypherpunks who sought to create digital currencies with built-in privacy features that could not be controlled by any central authority.