Roger Keith Ver (born onJanuary 27, 19791 ) is an early promoter of bitcoin . He is known as Bitcoin Jesus for his strong support for the adoption of bitcoin . He is also an early investor in bitcoin and bitcoin-related startups . It now promotes Bitcoin Cash .
He was born and raised in Silicon Valley . He sold explosives on eBay and later pleaded guilty to three related counts . He spent 10 months in prison, then left for Japan in 2005. He renounced his American citizenship in 2014 after obtaining a Christopher passport . He then served as CEO of Bitcoin.com, until August 2019 and is one of the creators of the Bitcoin Foundation, aimed at helping this cryptocurrency compete with fiat currencies.
Early education and dive into trade
Roger Ver was born in San José , California . He attended De Anza College for a year, dropping out to pursue his entrepreneurial interests.
He identifies himself as a libertarian , anarchocapitalist , advocate of peace, individualism and voluntarism . In 2000, he attempted to enter politics by running for the California State Assembly as a candidate for the Libertarian Party .
He moved to Japan in 2005 after serving a 10-month prison sentence for the illegal sale of explosives. He renounced his US citizenship in 2014 after becoming a citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis. In 2015, the United States Embassy in Barbados denied him a visa to return to the United States, saying he had not proven enough of his connections outside the United States to push him. to leave the country at the end of his visit, raising fears that he might become an illegal immigrant . Later that year, he obtained a visa from the United States Embassy in Japan and he traveled to the United States in June 2016 to speak at a conference in Denver Colorado. In 2019, he was refused a visa to travel to Australia .
According to an interview he gave in 2016, Brazilian jiu-jitsu is one of his passions. Videos also show him participating in the world championships of Brazilian jiu-jitsu 12 . He obtained the rank of brown belt 13 in this sport .
In 2018, he was ranked No. 36 on Fortune magazine ‘s 40 under 40 list for his leadership of leading companies in finance and technology .
Blown up by American justice
Unfortunately for him, Roger Ver was not limited to the sale of computer components, and it was in May 2002 that he was tried and sentenced for the “illegal sale of explosives”, as you can read in the transcript of his trial here .
That being said, despite the rather chilling charge, it seems hard to justify such a conviction when you look at the explosive in question.
This is the Pest Control Report 2000 fireworks, used in particular to… Scare birds in American fields ( source ).
A firecracker, which, as you can see on this video , is ridiculously powerful compared to any firecracker approved in France in the F3 category. Said category is only prohibited for minors, and any adult can legally possess F3 firecrackers.
So this is clearly an eccentricity of the US government, comparable to their decision to make Kinder Surprise eggs illegal . Despite this, Roger Ver spent 10 months in prison for selling these firecrackers.
In 2006, he therefore decided to leave for Japan. This episode made him hate the US government so much that he even gave up his US citizenship in 2014, after receiving that of Saint Kitts and Nevis , a tax haven part of the Commonwealth.
Roger Ver emigrated to Saint Kitts and Nevis
It was in March 2011 that Roger Ver discovered Bitcoin while listening to a libertarian radio whose program mentioned Bitcoin and Silk Road. He then begins to use his fortune to amass more than 25,000 at less than a dollar per bitcoin.
Roger Ver demonstrated its commitment to bitcoin in particular by very quickly adding it as a means of payment to its site MemoryDealers.com, which, according to some estimates, could have allowed the company to accumulate 400,000 bitcoins. Indeed, the nature of Bitcoin particularly corresponds to its values, since it describes itself as libertarian and anarcho-capitalist.
A few months after his discovery of Bitcoin, he showed incredible kindness and came to the aid of MtGox. On June 18, 2011, a few hours after the attack on the platform, Roger Ver sent Mark Karpelès a message indicating that he was ready to do anything to help him, that he could come quickly to the company’s offices and call to customers or send emails while the team worked on the issue. And after he started, he also contacted Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken, who happens to be an old high school friend of his. Accompanied by his friend, Roger Ver has therefore done a service to MtGox by working voluntarily to put out the flames on the Web.
Over the years, Roger Ver has invested in a large number of promising projects ( Ripple , Blockchain.info , Bitpay , Kraken , etc.), and has even donated $1 million to the “ Foundation for Economic Education ”, an institute of libertarian research founded in 1946.
He also financed the company BitInstant, owned by Charlie Shrem. The latter will later be one of the co-founders of the Bitcoin Foundation with Roger Ver.
The nickname “Bitcoin Jesus” was quickly given to him by one of his friends, Peter Vessenes, during a barbecue during which Roger Ver was talking to teenagers. The latter, passionate about the idea of Bitcoin and hanging on the lips of Roger Ver, reminded Peter Vessenes of the image of Jesus and his apostles, hence the nickname he gave to his friend ( source ).
The most famous promoter of Bitcoin Cash
Following various disagreements on the future development of the Bitcoin protocol, Roger Ver became a supporter of a hard fork in order to implement the changes necessary for the proper functioning of this crypto-currency in the future. First supporting Bitcoin XT, set up by Gavin Andresen, Roger Ver turned in 2017 to Bitcoin Cash, a fork set up by a group of developers who are part of the Bitcoin community, such as ftrader and singularity87 , the two main players in the project ( source ).
On November 15, 2018, Bitcoin Cash will in turn split into two different crypto-assets. On the one hand, the original cryptocurrency that will keep its name, and on the other hand, the Bitcoin SV supported by Craig Wright.
During the Bitcoin Cash fork, a war was started between Roger Ver and Craig Wright, indirectly causing the entire cryptocurrency capitalization to plummet . If many resented Craig Wright, Roger Ver also had his detractors on this case.
The dark side of Roger Ver
Beyond the facts that he likes to remember, such as his nickname “Bitcoin Jesus”, his donation of one million dollars to the ” Foundation for Economic Education “, and his status as a multimillionaire; Roger Ver is also an unpopular character for some.
First of all, we have to face the facts: Roger Ver is a bit touchy, as he was able to prove in this video of an interview about Bitcoin Cash .
Roger Ver gets angry
Similarly, Roger Ver also posted on the Bitcointalk forum the identity of a client he had a dispute with . Once again he got carried away and his reputation was tarnished.
In another register, it would seem that he somewhat exaggerates certain details relating to his life as an entrepreneur. As it is possible to see on his own website , in the biography tab, dated June 2018 ( screenshot here ), he indicates that he was still, in 2018, president of MemoryDealers.com as well as from a company called AgileStar.com.
However, at present, the two stores are inaccessible and no longer seem to sell anything. In itself, nothing shocking since this bio is quite old today, in April 2020. However, some details make you wince. Roger Ver said he left the position of president of this company in 2012 (source) , while on December 19, 2012 , he was in the process of revealing the identity of one of the company’s clients. And in 2013 the company was embroiled in an infringement case. Indeed, MemoryDealers.com was obviously one of the resellers passing, knowingly or not, the products of a Chinese scammer. You can see it in the transcript of the trial at this address(archive.today link here also if needed ). Did he simply leave the company because of his behavior on December 19, 2012? We will certainly never know.
And that’s not all: there are even compilations of all the questionable events surrounding Roger Ver, like this one . He answered it in this video ; now it’s up to you to determine who is telling the truth.
Lately, we can mention the relative absurdity of some of his positions: he declares for example in this video that taxes are a concept that makes no sense, while he is one of the best known supporters of Bitcoin who only works thanks to a similar system: the payment of minors. Even more surprisingly, a few months after the publication of the video above, dated September 2019, Jiang Zhuoer announced the establishment of a financing plan for the development of Bitcoin Cash , in the form… Of a tax.
And this plan was supported by Roger Ver. He quickly flip-flopped , but was soon reminded by the community that he had already been talking about putting a tax on the Bitcoin Cash network for a very long time.
Roger Ver’s political beliefs therefore seem strangely polymorphic depending on the subject: if it’s about the state, taxes are bad, but if it’s about his favorite network, they’re great.
Roger Ver, even though he has a knack for irritating some people, is still an individual who was important to the cryptocurrency ecosystem, back when it wasn’t something well known.
He constantly promoted the qualities of this new class of assets and did not hesitate to personally finance campaigns aimed at making them known to the general public. And that is something that has definitely done the community a favor.