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Who is Pankkake? Unmasking the real person behind the Bitcoin donation (with picture)
This article is not to glorify the man and his deeds. This is an investigative blog about the person before he made the donation.
Mainstream media has portrayed him as dangerous extremist, conspiracy theories, and white supremacist. These labels tend to simplify things and shape our views. With these labels, we are made to believe that the man behind the 28.15 BTC donation for the attack in US Congress is a good for nothing person. But beyond these labels, who is really Pankkake?
Pankake was a pseudonym used by Laurent Bachelier, a programmer based from Paris, France. In his Personal Blog and websites where he participated, he also goes by the name, Code Penguin. He explained in his blog that the Code Penguin was from a pun on code monkeys. He said that unlike code monkey which is a demeaning term, code penguins is different because penguins are way cooler than monkeys.
According to his archived Linkedin Profile, he studied Computer Engineering at Université Paul Sabatier from 2004-2006 and advanced Mathematics and Computer Science from 2006-2007 from ESIGETEL (École supérieure d'ingénieurs en informatique et génie des télécommunications).
This 35 year old programmer was prolific in various programming languages. In his profile from openhub.net, he described himself as most experience in Python programming and had contributed to projects in Python Code Quality Authority. In his Linkedin, he also mentioned that he had skills and expertise in Linux, PHP, MySQL and among others. One of the prominent projects where he was involved with was the Weboob Project where he contributed 1,019 patches.
In his blog, he posted several links of various projects he was involved with which are published in Bitbucket, Git repositories, GitHub, Open Hub, and Symfony plugins
Aside from coding, he was also into writing. He chronicled his ideas in WordPress which he said "was better that most alternative blogging sites." His blog revolved around software and technology. His blog had 73 articles from March 2009 to December 2020. The last article in his blog is suicide note aptly entitled, "The End". He made it sure that his goodbye can be widely read because he made two versions, French and English, and save it in text and ASC formats.
With blogging, he found a way to freely express his ideas on various technology. In one blog, he criticized Twitter for being,
"just a poor reimplementation of IRC over HTTP. Twitter is a constant failure with bad uptime, scalability issues and over-centralization. Twitter is one of the worst things that happened to the Web; it also promotes URL shorteners, which have security issues and double the possible unavailabilities."
In another, he also criticized GitHub for being insecure and using "stupid frameworks". He said he was also bothered with "pull requests" because they cannot be disabled.
In another blog, he advised fellow programmers to simplify installation process and to make software architecture easy to comprehend.
The second to the last blog entry which was posted 2 years ago, contained a proposal of sanitizing Weboob which was one of his pet projects. From his blog, it appeared that there were some issues with the Project like branding and aesthetics aspect of the project.