Cypherpunks Co-Founder Timothy May Passes Away at Age 67

Francisco Memoria

Timothy May, co-founder of the Cypherpunks group, has recently passed away at age 67 from what are appear to have been natural causes, although an autopsy still hasn’t been performed. May is well-known in the crypto space as one of Bitcoin’s godfathers, and the author of “The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto.”

The Cypherpunks were notably a group formed in the early nineties by a group of cryptology fans who regularly met to discuss privacy on the internet and how the developments of computer technology allowed for more personal freedom.

The group was founded by Timothy May, Eric Hughes, and John Gilmore. Since being established it has managed to make progress on spreading cryptographic products and open source software. Months after its creation May published his renowned “The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto,” which detailed how technology would transform how people interact with each other online.

At the beginning of the Manifesto, he wrote:

“Computer technology is on the verge of providing the ability for individuals and groups to communicate and interact with each other in a totally anonymous manner. Two persons may exchange messages, conduct business, and negotiate electronic contracts without ever knowing the True Name, or legal identity, of the other. Interactions over networks will be untraceable ...”

May also mentioned that some of these developments would help alter the way governments interact with the economy, as their ability to tax and control transactions would be hindered. His libertarian views lived on and inspired generations of cypherpunks to come, including that of bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

The Cypherpunks group also created the well-known cypherpunk mailing list, the one that Nakamoto introduce bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, to in 2008. His move was essentially the first step in the creation of the cryptocurrency’s current $100 billion ecosystem.

Also read: Bitcoin Turns 10: A Brief History of Its First Decade

Facing the news May passed away, the cryptocurrency community in general paid its tribute to one who fought for their privacy and is now seen as one of bitcoin’s godfathers. Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, was one of the first to react:

Crypto pioneer Nick Szabo, who worked on an early bitcoin prototype and played a key role in developing smart contracts, revealed May was an inspiration to him, and noted that his vision lives on.

Lucky Green, one of the earliest contributors to the Tor Project and a personal friend of Timothy May, wrote a lengthy Facebook post about his now late friend, in which he noted that his vision has helped shape the world we live in today.

He finished his post stating:

Please raise a glass of Bourbon, can be any brand, doesn’t have to be the expensive stuff, it didn’t have to be for Tim, to Tim May! Ad Astra, Tim!

QuadrigaCX Co-Founder Reportedly Took Large Positions on BitMEX

  • Michael Patryn, a co-founder of the troubled digital asset exchange QuadrigaCX, may reportedly have some links with Reddit user u/MikeXBT.
  • "MikeXBT" is known for posting comments about his multi-millon dollar long and short positions taken on BitMEX, the world's largest crypto derivatives platform.

Michael Patryn, a co-founder of the troubled cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX, may reportedly have some links with Reddit user MikeXBT, who has often posted threads on Reddit in which he boasted about conducting large volume trades on the world's largest cryptocurrency derivatives exchange BitMEX.

As those who’ve been following the crypto space recently would know, QuadrigaCX is a Canadian digital asset exchange, which was forced to shut down on January 26 due to management problems and the unexpected death of QuadrigaCX’s co-founder, Gerald Cotten.

On February 6, QuadrigaCX was granted its requested creditor protection by the Nova Scotia Supreme Court - as it claimed to be experiencing problems such as not being able to access “very significant cryptocurrency reserves held in cold wallets.”

Reports Surface About Patryn's Links To "MikeXBT"

Interestingly, reports have now surfaced that Michael Patryn may be linked to a cryptocurrency trader known as “MikeXBT” on Reddit. According to comments made by MikeXBT last month, he appeared to have been suggesting that he may have been a shareholder in QuadrigaCX.

One of the comments made by MikeXBT was as follows, reffering to a QuadrigaCX shareholder meeting:

We were invited. It was not mandatory. Most shareholders did not attend.

Notably, MikeXBT  also responded last month to a comment in which the user referred to him as “Mr. Patryn.” About 5 years ago, MikeXBT had also reportedly been linked directly to Michael Patryn, as a candidate competing for a spot on the Bitcoin Alliance Board. It was also back then that Francis Pouliot, the CEO and co-founder of Bull Bitcoin, a Canadian-based bitcoin company, posted information related to Patryn on a public forum - which notably referred to the “MIKE XBT” handle.

Omar Dhanani Or Omar Patryn?

Last week, Globe and Mail published an article in which it noted that Patryn’s real name was Omar Dhanani. The article also mentioned that Dhanani was a “convicted felon who served time in the United States for his role in an online identity-theft ring.”

At 20 years of age, Dhanani had been taken into police custody by the US Secret Service for allegedly being involved in facilitating an anonymous “electronic money-laundering service.” At that time, US courts revealed that Dhanani had frequently been using an alias of Omar Patryn. Following a trial, Patryn served an 18-month prison sentence and was released in May 2007.

Social Media Users Allege Patryn Traded With QuadrigaCX's Funds

Patryn claims he parted ways with QuadrigaCX’s management in 2016 - allegedly after having an argument with the late QuadrigaCX founder, Cotten, about the possibility of taking the exchange public.

The link between Michael Patryn and MikeXBT may pose problems as the MikeXBT account had often boasted about taking very large positions on BitMEX. Notably, some social media users have alleged Patryn may have used QuadrigaCX’s funds to enter positions on BitMEX.

According to MikeXBT’s comments on r/BitcoinMarkets (in April 2018): 

Closed my $7 million long posted here from $6580, at an average of $6840. A gain of approximately 4%, plus earned a bit in maker fees and perpetual fundings.

Entering Extremely Large Positions

Just a few months later in September 2018, MikeXBT claimed to have entered an $8 million position:

Long $8 MM @ $6646. 1x leverage, soft stops at 5%. I allowed part of my hedge short to expire during the September settlement on Mex, planning to reopen in $500k chunks as the price increases.

In addition to the long positions, MikeXBT had reportedly entered several short positions as well:

Added $1MM to my $2MM short @ $8722. Current position $3MM @ $8895. I’m still expecting substantial downward movement, but will consider this trade lost if we break the $9,400 range with conviction.

Meanwhile, Twitter user, “I am Nomad” recently revealed what appeared to be a list of positions entered by a trader with username “Patryn” on BitMEX.