Amir Taaki

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Amir Taaki
Taaki in Bratislava, 2012
Born (1988-02-06) February 6, 1988 (age 30)
Nationality Iranian-British
Known for Crystal Space, Game development, Bitcoin

Amir Taaki (born 6 February 1988) is a British-Iranian[1] video game and computer software developer. Taaki is best known as a bitcoin project developer and for pioneering many open source projects.[2] Forbes listed Taaki in their top 30 entrepreneurs of 2014.[3][4][5]


Early years

Amir Taaki was born 6 February 1988 in London, the eldest of three children of an Scottish-English[6] mother and an Iranian father.

From an early age Taaki took an interest in computer technology, teaching himself computer programming.[7]

Free software

After briefly attending three British universities,[6] 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.[8]

In 2006, Taaki became heavily involved in Crystal Space development under the pseudonym of genjix.[9] He also developed a number of video games making use of free software, including the adventure game Crystal Core[10] and the futuristic racer game Ecksdee.[11] Taaki was also a participant in the Blender project Yo Frankie!.[12]

Taaki was a speaker at the 2007 Games Convention in Leipzig.


In 2009 and 2010, Taaki made his living as a professional poker player.[7] His experience with online gambling attracted him to the bitcoin project.[13] 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,[14] which was closed after their UK bank account was restricted following an investigation by Metro Bank.[15]

In April 2011, Taaki and Donald Norman established the Bitcoin Consultancy, a group focused on bitcoin project development.[16]

Taaki created the first full reimplementation of the bitcoin protocol named libbitcoin,[17] worked on the bitcoin client Electrum[18][19] and created other command line utilities around bitcoin and the network.[20] The bitcoin standardisation procedure (Bitcoin Improvement Proposals or BIPs) was started by Taaki.[21][22]

In 2014, together with Cody Wilson, he launched the Dark Wallet project after a crowdfunding run on IndieGoGo which raised over $50,000.[23][24][25] 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,[26] which was forked into the OpenBazaar project.[27]


Taaki has been outspoken in favour of Internet activism such as Anonymous, likening them to modern day freedom-fighters.[28] A long-time contributor to free software, he advocates total data freedom.[16] Taaki has labelled censorship policies as being a wedge towards ever-increasing censorship.[28] He proposes a shift away from specialist thinking towards a creative society of generalist knowledge workers.[29]

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.[30]

Amir Taaki formerly lived in an anarchist squat in Barcelona, Spain.[31] He now resides in an anarchist squat in the former anti-G8 HQ[32] building in London, England.[33]


  1. J.J. Colao. "Amir Taaki, 25 - In Photos: 2014 30 under 30: Technology". Forbes.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Hacktivists in the frontline battle for the internet". The Guardian. London. 20 April 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Meet the world's next billionaires - from Mashable's Pete Cashmore to Bitcoin renegade Amir Taaki". The Independent.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "The UK entrepreneurs on Forbes list of people likely to join ranks of mega-rich - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Sadie Nicholas. "Britain's under-30s tipped to be the nation's next billionaires".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 Herrmann, Joshi (29 January 2014). "Silicon Roundabout's not for him: meet super-hacker, master coder and Bitcoin boy Amir Taaki in his Hackney squat". Retrieved 30 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Speakers 2011," 11th International EPCA Summit, European Payments Consulting Association, Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  8. SDL Collide, Sourceforge,
  9. "Blender & CrystalSpace" in Blender Conference 2006, Youtube.
  10. "Pablo Martin Moreno and Amir Taaki," Blender Conference 2006 Proceedings,
  11. 2006 Crystal Space Conference Report, Crystal Space,
  12. Yo Frankie developer list,
  13. James Ball, "Bitcoins: how do they work?" The Guardian, 22 June 2011.
  14. "About Us: Personal Statements," Intersango,
  15. "Intersango Status Update"
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Amir Taaki Answers Your Questions About Bitcoin," Slashdot, 22 June 2011.
  17. "spesmilo/libbitcoin · GitHub".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Commits · spesmilo/electrum-server · GitHub".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Commits · spesmilo/electrum · GitHub".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "subvertx command line utilities (proof of concept using libbitcoin)".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Bitcoin Improvement Proposals".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "BIP 0001".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. Del Castillo, Michael (24 September 2013). "Dark Wallet: A Radical Way to Bitcoin". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Greenberg, Andy (31 October 2013). "Dark Wallet Aims To Be The Anarchist's Bitcoin App of Choice". Forbes Online. Retrieved 15 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. Greenberg, Andy (29 April 2014). "'Dark Wallet' Is About to Make Bitcoin Money Laundering Easier Than Ever". Wired. Retrieved 15 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "DarkMarket Team Win Toronto Bitcoin Expo Hackathon". CoinDesk.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Greenberg, Andy (24 April 2014). "Inside the 'DarkMarket' Prototype, a Silk Road the FBI Can Never Seize". Wired. Retrieved 23 August 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. 28.0 28.1 YouTube.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. "N-1".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. Esperanto page
  31. "Amir Taaki and the Dark Wallet". IHB.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. Siddique, Haroon (11 June 2013). "G8: riot police enter central London building occupied by protesters". Retrieved 8 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. Copestake, Jen (19 September 2014). "Hiding currency in the Dark Wallet". Retrieved 8 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links