The Cypherpunks, precursors of cryptography to protect privacy, laid the foundations for the birth of Bitcoin, or more generally of Cryptocurrencies.
The Cypherpunk movement was born in the late 1980s with a very specific idea: to protect your personal data as much as possible.
In order to do this, they used computer cryptography.
The ideology that animated these people was, and still remains, very simple: a secret thing is extremely different from a private thing.
A secret thing must not be revealed to anyone, while a private thing is something that is not intended to be revealed to the whole world.
It goes without saying that the speech is extremely clear and we are stealing with our dear old privacy, the reason for discussion between peoples and governments since ages.
In the early 1990s, this movement communicated through encrypted and secure Mailing Lists.
In the famous "A Cypherpunk manifesto" Eric Huges states that the movement builds anonymous systems through the use of cryptography.
Through these systems, money and information are transferred in a confidential manner; the software is written directly by them and disclosed free of charge to allow everyone to benefit from it.
These ideas were developed by different and important personalities who provided all the pieces for the construction of the Puzzle that we now call Bitcoin. Thanks to their discoveries.
These people we should thank for, are:
David Chaum, inventor of DigiCash, the first company that integrated money with cryptography to make transactions anonymous with a system of centralization and clearing;
Adam Back, in 1997 created a system called HashCash to limit spam emails, the algorithm provided the insertion of a Token (hashcash) in the header.
In this way, it forced spammers to spend a significant amount of computational costs.
Wei Dai, a computer engineer, in 1998 published a paper where he gave his idea about the development of the cryptocurrency B-Money, an anonymous and distributed electronic cash system;
Szabo, blogger, cryptographer and inventor of smart-contracts, in 2005 published the “bit gold proposal”.
It was a digital currency based on the reusable Proof Of Work, a cryptographic trick already used by Adam Back in the Hashcash token.
All these pieces were taken by the Nakamoto Team and appropriately adapted they produced the Blockchain, originating the best known digital currency in the world: Bitcoin.
As I have repeatedly stated, the implementation of the Blockchain is considered a cultural movement; now we have a mathematical certainty.
All the cryptographic solutions oriented towards data privacy were invented by the cypherpunk movement.
At this point we can safely assert that the Blockchain is actually a cultural movement.
While previously it was considered a cultural movement as regards the new way of "thinking" of the Blockchain and the necessary transparency that underlies its use, with the social movement of Cypherpunks, we have the mathematical certainty that it is a cultural movement.
As you already noticed, I like to leave you with an open question: what if someone among these chypherpunks chose the name Satoshi Nakamoto, the name of an existing person, just because its face is particularly funny and friendly?