Amir Taaki (born 6 February 1988) is a British-Iranian revolutionary, hacker, and programmer who is known for his leading role in the bitcoin project, and for pioneering many open source projects. Forbes listed Taaki in their top 30 entrepreneurs of 2014.. Taaki driven by the political philosophy of the Rojava revolution, travelled to Syria serving in the YPG military, and worked in Rojava's civil society on various economic projects for a year and a half.
Amir Taaki was born 6 February 1988 in London, the eldest of three children of a Scottish-English Mother and an Iranian father who is a property developer. From an early age Taaki took an interest in computer technology, teaching himself computer programming.
After briefly attending three British universities, Taaki gravitated to the free software movement. Taaki assisted in the creation of SDL Collide, an extension of Simple DirectMedia Layer, an open source library used by video game developers.
In 2006, Taaki became heavily involved in Crystal Space development under the pseudonym of genjix. He also developed a number of video games making use of free software, including the adventure game Crystal Core and the futuristic racer game Ecksdee. Taaki was also a participant in the Blender project Yo Frankie!'.
Taaki was a speaker at the 2007 Games Convention in Leipzig.
In 2009 and 2010, Taaki made his living as a professional poker player. His experience with online gambling attracted him to the bitcoin project. He founded a UK bitcoin exchange called "Britcoin", which was succeeded in 2011 by a new British exchange called Intersango, in which he was a principal developer, which was closed after their UK bank account was restricted following an investigation by Metro Bank in the UK.
In April 2011, Taaki and Donald Norman established the Bitcoin Consultancy, a group focused on bitcoin project development.
Taaki created the first full reimplementation of the bitcoin protocol named libbitcoin, and created other command line utilities around bitcoin and the network. The bitcoin standardisation procedure (Bitcoin Improvement Proposals or BIPs) was started by Taaki.
In 2014, together with Cody Wilson, he launched the Dark Wallet project after a crowdfunding run on IndieGoGo which raised over $50,000. Taaki, along with other developers from Airbitz, Inc. (producers of a bitcoin business directory and mobile bitcoin wallet) created a prototype for a decentralised marketplace called "DarkMarket" in 2014, at a hackathon in Toronto, which was forked into the OpenBazaar project.
Taaki has been outspoken in favour of Internet activism such as Anonymous, likening them to modern day freedom-fighters. A long-time contributor to free software, he advocates total data freedom. Taaki has labelled censorship policies as being a wedge towards ever-increasing censorship. He proposes a shift away from specialist thinking towards a creative society of generalist knowledge workers.
Taaki is a speaker of Esperanto, which he promotes as an auxiliary country-neutral international language to preserve local languages. He writes that Esperanto serves to break down barriers and help the flow of media across cultural boundaries.
In 2015, Taaki went to Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) to offer his skills to the revolution, and served the YPG military. He had no training, but spent three and a half months in the YPG military fighting on the front. He was then discharged and worked in the civil society for over a year on various projects for Rojava's economics committee.
- BIP process and several proposals
- Libbitcoin C++ developer toolkit
- Obelisk blockchain server (later Bitcoin Server (bs))
- SubvertX (sx) Bitcoin command line application (later Bitcoin Explorer (bx)
- Darkmarket (later OpenBazaar)
Defunct or Inactive Creations
- Britcoin exchange
- Intersango exchange
- Spesmilo RPC client
- Bitcoin Consultancy
- Bitcoin Media Blog author
- Vibanko web wallet provider
- GLBSE exchange client
- Kartludox Bitcoin poker room
- Python bindings for bitcoin
- Personal website
- Interview with "Gavin Andresen and Amir Taaki, Bitcoin,", This Week in Startups, video on YouTube
- Bitcoin: the fastest growing currency in the world – video, The Guardian
- Wikipedia profile
- Companies House UK - Amir Taaki
- Tech enigma Amir Taaki on Forbes and fighting Isis in Syria
- Silicon Roundabout's not for him: meet super-hacker, master coder and Bitcoin boy Amir Taaki in his Hackney squat
- "Speakers 2011," 11th International EPCA Summit, European Payments Consulting Association, www.epcaconference.com/ Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- "Pablo Martin Moreno and Amir Taaki," Blender Conference 2006 Proceedings, www.blender.org/
- James Ball, "Bitcoins: how do they work?" The Guardian, 22 June 2011.
- "About Us: Personal Statements," Intersango, britcoin.co.uk
- Subvertx command line utilities (proof of concept using libbitcoin)
- Dark Wallet: A Radical Way to Bitcoin
- 'Dark Wallet' Is About to Make Bitcoin Money Laundering Easier Than Ever
- DarkMarket Team Win Toronto Bitcoin Expo Hackathon
- G8: riot police enter central London building occupied by protesters
- Hiding currency in the Dark Wallet
- Rake-Free & Open Poker Room, Run By the Poker Community?