Elixxir was founded by David Chaum, a pioneer in cryptography and privacy-preserving technologies, and is widely recognized as the inventor of digital cash. His 1982 work on cryptographic “vault systems” contains the first proposal for a blockchain protocol, containing all but one element detailed 26 years later in the Bitcoin white-paper.

His company, DigiCash, created the first digital currency, eCash, in 1995. eCash deployed David's breakthrough cryptographic blind signature protocol to create the world's first attempt at anonymous digital cash. He is also known for creating other fundamental innovations in cryptography like mix networks, the cMix protocol, and secure election systems.

With a Ph.D. in computer science from UC Berkeley, he taught at NYU Graduate School of Business and the University of California, led a number of breakthrough projects and founded the International Association for Cryptologic Research, the cryptography group at the Center for Mathematics and Computer Science in Amsterdam, DigiCash, the Voting Systems Institute, and the Perspectiva Fund.

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