Amir Taaki

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Amir Taaki
Taaki in Bratislava, 2012
Born (1988-02-06) 6 February 1988 (age 33)
Military career
Years of service2015
Battles/warsSyrian Civil War[dead link]

Amir Taaki (Persian: امیر تاکی‎; born 6 February 1988) is a British-Iranian anarchist revolutionary, hacktivist, and programmer who is known for his leading role in the bitcoin project, and for pioneering many open source projects.[1][2] Forbes listed Taaki in their 30 Under 30 listing of 2014.[3][4] Driven by the political philosophy of the Rojava revolution, Taaki traveled to Syria, served in the YPG military, and worked in Rojava's civil society on various economic projects for a year and a half.[5]


Amir Taaki was born 6 February 1988[6] in London, the eldest of three children of a Scottish-English[7] 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.[8]

After briefly attending two British universities,[7] 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.[9]

In 2006, Taaki became heavily involved in Crystal Space development under the pseudonym of genjix.[10] He also developed a number of video games making use of free software, including the adventure game Crystal Core[11] and the futuristic racer game Ecksdee.[12] Taaki was also a participant in the Blender project Yo Frankie!.[13]

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

In 2009 and 2010, Taaki made his living as a professional poker player.[8] His experience with online gambling attracted him to the bitcoin project.[14] 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,[15] which was closed after their UK bank account was restricted following an investigation by Metro Bank.[citation needed]

In 2014, together with Cody Wilson, he launched the Dark Wallet project after a crowdfunding run on IndieGoGo which raised over $50,000.[16][17][18] Taaki, along with other developers from Airbitz, a bitcoin software company, created a prototype for a decentralised marketplace called "DarkMarket" in 2014, at a hackathon in Toronto, which was forked into the OpenBazaar project.[19]

As of 2013, he resided in an anarchist squat in the former anti-G8 HQ building in London, England.[20][21]

In 2015, Taaki went to Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) to offer his skills to the revolution, and served the YPG military.[22] 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.

In February 2018, Taaki created a group in Catalonia dedicated to leveraging blockchain technology to help national liberation causes such as the Catalan independence movement.[23]


  1. ^ J.J. Colao. "Amir Taaki, 25 - In Photos: 2014 30 under 30: Technology". Forbes.
  2. ^ "Hacktivists in the frontline battle for the internet". The Guardian. London. 20 April 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  3. ^ "Forbes 30 Under 30". Forbes. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Meet the world's next billionaires - from Mashable's Pete Cashmore to Bitcoin renegade Amir Taaki". The Independent.
  5. ^ Susannah Butter. "Tech enigma Amir Taaki on Forbes and fighting Isis in Syria".
  6. ^ "Amir Taaki". Companies House. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  7. ^ a b 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.
  8. ^ a b "Speakers 2011," 11th International EPCA Summit, European Payments Consulting Association, Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  9. ^ "SDL_Collide". SourceForge. 8 January 2015. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Blender & CrystalSpace" in Blender Conference 2006, Youtube.
  11. ^ "Pablo Martin Moreno and Amir Taaki," Archived 19 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine Blender Conference 2006 Proceedings, Blender
  12. ^ "Conference 2006". Crystal Space. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  13. ^ Yo Frankie developer list,
  14. ^ James Ball, "Bitcoins: how do they work?" The Guardian, 22 June 2011.
  15. ^ " Us: Personal Statements," Intersango,
  16. ^ Del Castillo, Michael (24 September 2013). "Dark Wallet: A Radical Way to Bitcoin". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  17. ^ Greenberg, Andy (31 October 2013). "Dark Wallet Aims To Be The Anarchist's Bitcoin App of Choice". Forbes Online. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  18. ^ Greenberg, Andy (29 April 2014). "'Dark Wallet' Is to Make Bitcoin Money Laundering Easier Than Ever". Wired. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  19. ^ Greenberg, Andy (24 April 2014). "Inside the 'DarkMarket' Prototype, a Silk Road the FBI Can Never Seize". Wired. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  20. ^ Siddique, Haroon (11 June 2013). "G8: riot police enter central London building occupied by protesters". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  21. ^ Copestake, Jen (19 September 2014). "Hiding currency in the Dark Wallet". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  22. ^ Greenberg, Andy (29 March 2017). "How an anarchist Bitcoin coder found himself fighting ISIS in Syria". Wired. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  23. ^ Volpicelli, Gian (6 March 2018). "Amir fought Isis in Syria, now he's enlisting an army of hacker monks to save bitcoin from itself". wired. Retrieved 3 October 2018.

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