Encryption is the base of what we know as the blockchain and cryptocurrencies… but who did invent it? That’s what we offer you today, a brief yet detailed revision through the history of encryption, to discover the man who made encryption as we know it. Let’s start.
Before you decide to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, it’s important to understand the tech behind it. It’s a method by which data can be altered and randomized, in an effort to protect it from attacks, hacks and breaches. It’s essential for internet security, as it’s applied in all sort of fields from banking and finances to sensitive information.
Furthermore, only the authorized parties can understand the encrypted message, and this is what happens with Bitcoin. It converts conventional bits of information into something that only authorized parties can decode. This is what makes BTC and cryptocurrencies secure, and in fact, a reality that they will take over the finance world as we know it.
Who’s the Father of Encryption as we know it?
Many great men contributed to the creation of encryption as we know it, but it was Whit Diffie that brought it to the masses. He was the one that invented public-key cryptography, the technology that has made it possible to create cryptocurrencies. In fact, we can say that his invention is responsible for the creation of all cryptocurrencies – no exception.
Was he always a genius?
Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t until he was 10 years old that he started reading. He had an unconventional childhood, but as he started to pick up, so did his skills, abilities, and talent. From not being able to read on his own until being 10 years old to entering the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1961 to study mathematics, it was a long yet fruitful road.
He mentions that his interest in cryptography started when his teacher talked about it during a class when he was in school. Since then, he felt some sort of call that dragged him into this world of cryptography.
The rise of White Diffie
He continued his studies in computer programming, which allowed him to pursue a career that would help him to deepen his studies on cryptography. This is how he managed to get a job at the Mitre Corporation – where he got deeper into cryptography.
Even though his efforts to bring cryptography to public light were suppressed, he finally decided to leave the Mitre Corporation in 1969. Then, he decided to move to the west, where he started working for John McCarthy’s Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab – a place that allowed him to specialize his knowledge on cryptography, putting an even bolder focus on privacy.
This is where he got to know Martin Hellman, a key person in his personal development. He shared the same passion for cryptography, which allowed White Diffie to come up with the idea of a public key.
The sole idea of proposing a public key seemed like a complete contradiction to cryptography at that time – but the idea of using a public key and a private key solved some of the biggest problems in the field.
By using this paradigm – known as symmetrical encryption – no theft or criminal could break down. There would not be a centralized entity that was responsible for storing the private keys – everyone would be in the full power of access to the private communications.
Basically, you receive a simple message – the public key – but you can only decode it with the private key. This dichotomy has revolutionized the world of cryptography as we know it, and this is the exact same system that many cryptocurrencies use, being Bicoin the most notorious example.
In addition to protecting communications, this unique system also made it possible to validate the sender of an electronic message. This had serious applications for all industries, especially for government and intelligence agencies.
This system brings complete responsibility and authorship to the sender of the message since it’s impossible to alter the message, or even better, the act of sending it. This could bring more transparency to all sorts of communications, especially when we talk about sensitive information.
In short, his invention allowed us to introduce authentic privacy to digital communications. The use of his public-key system can be seen in all sorts of industries, being cryptocurrencies one of the most popular.
What do you think about White Diffie? Do you think that his invention has radically changed the world of encryption? Let us know what you think in the comments!
If you’d like us to cover more stories like this, let us know too. We want to keep releasing interesting content that will allow you to know more about blockchain and cryptocurrencies.