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Cypherpunks are an unofficial and loosely connected group of individuals focused on building hardware and software to protect privacy and individual sovereignty. Cypherpunks are concerned with governments’ race towards a surveillance state as well as corporate domination of technology and intellectual property. Satoshi Nakamoto and nearly all of the original Bitcoin developers such as Hal Finney were cypherpunks.

As outlined in A Cypherpunk's Manifesto, cypherpunks generally believe in using cryptography and software rather than politics and advocacy to achieve freedom and privacy. This sentiment is summarized in the slogan “Cypherpunks write code”.