Last month I discussed the arc of Bitcoin:

Over time, the Erik Voorhees and Hal Finneys and Ross Ulbrichts and others like them either learned to moderate their ideological brashness, fell into legal trouble, or faded away. Meanwhile, financiers and venture capitalists like the Winklevoss twins and Barry Silbert, serial entrepreneurs such as Wences Casares, and even lawyers like Patrick Murck began to exercise increasing control over Bitcoin’s future – both in a literal sense, in that they gradually came to own a greater portion of all outstanding Bitcoins, and in a figurative sense, in that their financial stakes enabled them to shove aside some of the less savory characters (like Mt. Gox’s Mark Karpeles or BitInstant’s Charlie Shrem) and present a more sophisticated image of Bitcoin to the public.

Yesterday, VICE’s Joshi Herrmann dug into the past of a man named Amir Taaki, an early Bitcoin visionary who was originally meant to be a central character in Nathaniel Popper’s book Digital Gold:

Taaki is the anti-materialist, anarchist hacker who believes that the technology of Bitcoin can set people free to live better lives, allowing us to exchange goods without the involvement of corporations, whether they be narcotics or building materials (he’s big on self-sufficiency). After getting interested in Bitcoin, he became so central to the project that at one point he was named on the Bitcoin website as one of the four main developers…

Bitcoin used to need people like Taaki. As Popper puts it in the book: “Bitcoin’s survival early on depended on young programmers like Amir who had the naive hubris to think that they could change the world, and the programming skills to begin laying the groundwork for that change.”

Now its development is increasingly in the hands of Barclay’s, Goldman Sachs, and some powerful venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. Banks are opening research labs to examine Bitcoin and its blockchain, and dozens of slick Bitcoin companies are raising big investment.

Is there room in the movement any more for a guy who could have made millions but would rather work open-source, live in squats, and decry the corruption of governments?

This is an excellent question, and one that seems increasingly likely to be answered ‘No.’