From my latest “Out in the Open” column for Wired:
Kyle Drake calls himself a professional cyberpunk. He spends his days on the net, writing computer code and trying to stick it to the man. His latest target: the global banking industry.
But he’s not aiming to take down the financial sector with some sort of illegal hack attack. He wants to beat them at their own game with a little help from the world’s most popular digital currency, Bitcoin — a burgeoning system that runs on thousands of servers across the globe without answering to any central authority. “I think Bitcoin is the most important thing I’m going to work on in my life,” Drake says.
His current project is Coinpunk, an open source Bitcoin wallet that he believes will help free the world from both big banks and powerful payment processors like MasterCard and Visa.
And in other Bitcoin news Bitcoins in Space: Hacker to Fire Digital Currency Into Orbit. The plan is to use a nanosat to run a Bitcoin server in space:
The notion may seen excessive, but for Garzik — a self-confessed space fan whose dad helped build missiles at the White Sands Missile Range — it has always been an obvious next step for the digital currency. “When Bitcoin came around, it seemed natural to me that you’d want some sort of redundancy out in space,” he says, explaining that this could not only help the peer-to-peer network fend off attack, but give it a lifeline if machines are unavailable on earth.
Garzik, like many Bitcoiners, is an idealist. “If you’re out in a field in Africa or if you’re a researcher in Antarctica, you should be able to have just as much access to Bitcoin as someone in the better-wired portion of the world,” he says.