While Elon Musk Plans to Purge 1.5 Billion Inactive Twitter Names, Bitcoiners Beg Him to Preserve Hal Finney’s Account
On Dec. 9, 2022, Twitter’s owner Elon Musk told the public that the social media company plans to purge 1.5 billion accounts. Musk further added that the deletions would be obvious accounts that have no tweets or they haven’t logged in for years. However, after Musk announced this plan, a great number of cryptocurrency proponents have grown concerned that Hal Finney’s account would be among the purged names. Finney, who passed away in Aug. 2014, was the first to mention bitcoin in a tweet on the public forum.
Bitcoiners Ask Twitter’s Elon Musk to Preserve Computer Scientist Hal Finney’s Twitter Account
Cryptocurrency supporters have been worried that computer scientist Hal Finney’s Twitter account will get deleted. The reason people have been fretful about the deletion of Finney’s account is because Elon Musk said Twitter plans to delete 1.5 billion inactive accounts. “Twitter will soon start freeing the name space of 1.5 billion accounts,” Musk wrote on Dec. 9, 2022. “These are obvious account deletions with no tweets [and] no log-in for years,” Musk added.
— halfin (@halfin) January 11, 2009
One account that has not tweeted in years and has likely not logged in for years, unless a family member or friend still has access, is the early bitcoiner Hal Finney’s Twitter account — @halfin. Finney was a computer scientist who was well known for being one of the first people to run the Bitcoin software (besides Satoshi), and the recipient of the first BTC transaction sent on the network and confirmed at block height 170. After Musk’s statements about deleting accounts, a number of Twitter users tagged Musk in tweets begging him to preserve Finney’s Twitter account. One individual wrote:
Hal Finney’s Twitter account must be preserved @elonmusk. PLEASE DO NOT PURGE!
Another Twitter user wrote to Musk in response to his recent purge statements, and asked him not to delete Finney’s social media account. “Please don’t delete [the] account of Hal Finney. One of [the] important Twitter accounts in Bitcoin [and] crypto space,” the user pleaded with Twitter’s owner. Finney was the first Twitter account to mention the subject of Bitcoin on the social media platform on Jan. 10, 2009, at 10:33 p.m. (ET). “Running bitcoin,” Finney tweeted that day and the tweet has more than 55,000 likes at the time of writing. The @halfin account has more than 69,400 Twitter followers on Dec. 12, 2022.
Hal Finney was one of the first people in the world to run the Bitcoin software when Satoshi Nakamoto launched the network in Jan. 2009. Finney also mined bitcoin and received the very first transaction of 10 BTC from Nakamoto. Bitcoin’s inventor also sent 22 BTC to four different addresses that same day.
Finney not only tweeted about “running bitcoin” on Jan. 10, but it’s also very likely he mined his first BTC block the very next day as well. Block 78 is affiliated with Finney’s set of transactions and the bitcoins he mined that year, and it’s highly probable that he mined block 78 on Jan. 11, 2009. Block 78 is not only associated with Finney’s set of 2009 transactions and all the coinbase rewards he collected, but it is also linked to the first BTC transaction of 10 BTC on Jan. 12, 2009 03:30 a.m. (ET), bitcoins that originally derived from Bitcoin block 9.
Moreover, Finney’s “running bitcoin” tweet is not the only post he wrote about the decentralized cryptocurrency network. “Looking at ways to add more anonymity to bitcoin,” Finney said on Jan. 21, 2009. “Thinking about how to reduce CO2 emissions from a widespread Bitcoin implementation,” Finney wrote on Jan. 27, 2009. In Finney’s “running bitcoin” tweet, bitcoin proponent Lyn Alden tweeted that she hopes the computer scientist’s account won’t be among the purged accounts targeted for deletion.
“Hopefully this account is not one of the dormant accounts that gets cleansed from Twitter,” Alden said. “It would be good to have a project to keep a few hundred accounts around if they have a significant level of historical relevance.”
Some users also recommended periodically re-liking the classic tweet to keep it relevant. “@elonmusk should take follower count into consideration here. If otherwise ‘inactive’ accounts are picking up new follows they are probably historically significant,” another individual wrote.