Roger Ver
Roger Ver.jpg
Ver, December 2016
Born (1979-01-27) 27 January 1979 (age 43)
Nationality
OccupationEntrepreneur
Known forPromoting Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash
MovementLibertarianism, anarcho-capitalism, Voluntaryism
Websiterogerver.com

Roger Keith Ver (born 27 January 1979[1]) is an early investor in Bitcoin, Bitcoin-related startups and an early promoter of Bitcoin.[2] Ver has sometimes been referred to as "Bitcoin Jesus".[2] He now primarily promotes Bitcoin Cash as Ver sees it as fulfilling the intended and original purpose of the "Bitcoin White Paper", first published in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, in which Nakamoto referred to Bitcoin as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system.[3] [4]

Born and raised in Silicon Valley, he sold fireworks on eBay and later pleaded guilty to a related felony charge.[5] He served 10 months in prison then moved to Japan in 2005. He renounced his United States citizenship in 2014 after obtaining a Saint Kitts and Nevis passport. He went on to serve as CEO of Bitcoin.com.[6]

Personal life

Ver was born in San Jose, California. He attended Valley Christian High School. He then attended De Anza College for a year, dropping out to pursue his business interests. He identifies as a libertarian, anarcho-capitalist, voluntaryist, a peace advocate, and an advocate for individualism.[7] Ver attempted a run for state assembly in the libertarian party. During a debate in the run up to this election, he claimed that the Drug Enforcement Agency was criminal in its practice. He moved to Japan in 2005, where he still maintains his residence as of 2021.

Ver renounced his United States citizenship in 2014 after he became a citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis.[8][9] In 2015, he was denied a visa to reenter the United States by the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, which claimed that he had not sufficiently proven ties outside of the United States that would motivate him to leave at the end of his visit, causing fears he might become an illegal immigrant.[10][9][11] Ver's name was published in the 2018 Q1 Quarterly Publication of Individuals Who Have Chosen to Expatriate.[12] In 2019 Ver was denied a visa to travel to Australia.[13]

According to an interview he gave in 2016, Ver describes Brazilian jiu-jitsu as one of his major passions in life. Ver can be seen in videos competing in BJJ world championships[14] and has achieved the rank of brown belt.[15]

In 2018 he was ranked number 36 in Fortune's "The Ledger 40 under 40"[16] for transforming business at the leading edge of finance and technology.

Prison Experience

In 2018, Ver made a video that he posted to YouTube speaking on his experiences in federal prison spanning from 2002 to 2003. Ver labeled the video as, "My Story of Being Tortured in Prison". Ver claims in the video that he was arrested for "... selling firecrackers on eBay back when eBay had a 'guns and ammo' section and it wasn't a big deal to do that at all."

Career

MemoryDealers.com

He was the CEO of MemoryDealers.com from 1999 until 2012.[17] In 2000, he attempted to enter politics by running for California State Assembly as a candidate for the Libertarian Party.[18]

Fireworks Charge

In 2002, Ver pleaded guilty to selling explosives, or fireworks, without a license, as well as illegally storing, and mailing the fireworks. Ver sold at least 14 pounds of a brand called "Pest Control Report 2000" fireworks as large firecrackers on eBay, stored them in a residential apartment building, and mailed them to customers via the U.S. Postal Service. He was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison.[8][10][5][19]

Cryptocurrency

Ver began investing in bitcoin in early 2011 when "...the price was still under one U.S. Dollar each"[7].[2] The first investment he made was for Charlie Shrem’s Bitinstant.[20] Ver's investment allowed the company to hire a designer and another programmer.[21] He invested over a million dollars into new Bitcoin-related startups, including Ripple, Blockchain.com, BitPay,[22] and Kraken.[8] In 2011, Ver's company Memorydealers was the first to accept Bitcoin as payment.[23] He has been a prominent supporter of Bitcoin adoption and saw Bitcoin as a means to promote economic freedom.

In 2012, Ver was organizing Bitcoin meetups in Sunnyvale.[24] He is one of five founders of the Bitcoin Foundation.[25] Ver wants Bitcoin to rival major fiat currencies.

He is one of the main proponents of a larger block size. He supported the development of Bitcoin XT as a hard fork method towards an increase. Ver and his high-school friend Jesse Powell attempted to re-establish the Mt Gox exchange during the June 2011 Bitcoin price crash.[24]

Ver served as CEO of Bitcoin.com[26] until 1 August 2019, at which point he transitioned to Executive Chairman. Fortune Magazine in early 2020 mistakenly referred to Roger Ver as the co-creator of Bitcoin Cash.[27] As of June 2022, he is a shareholder in CoinFLEX, a centralized yield crypto exchange and is rumoured to be in a large amount of debt which is causing problems for the site.[28][29]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Roger Keith Ver: Vital • California Birth Index, 1905-1995". FamilySearch.org.
  2. ^ a b c Harjani, Ansuya (2 December 2013). "Meet 'Bitcoin Jesus,' a virtual currency millionaire". CNBC. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  3. ^ Nakamoto, Satoshi. "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-peer Electronic Cash System". Bitcoin.org. Bitcoin.org. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  4. ^ Popper, Nathaniel (25 July 2017). "Some Bitcoin Backers Are Defecting to Create a Rival Currency". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  5. ^ a b "San Jose, California Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Explosives on eBay". U.S. Department of Justice, United States Attorney, Northern District of California. 2 May 2002. Archived from the original on 13 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Bitcoin Cash Advocate Roger Ver Considers Launching Own Exchange". Bloomberg. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  7. ^ a b Ver, Roger. "Biography". RogerVer.com. RogerVer.com. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  8. ^ a b c Clenfield, Jason; Alpeyev, Pavel (16 June 2014). "'Bitcoin Jesus' Calls Rich to Tax-free Tropical Paradise". Bloomberg. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  9. ^ a b Minsky, David (16 January 2015). "U.S. Won't Let 'Bitcoin Jesus' Who Renounced His Citizenship Come to Miami for Conference". Miami New Times (blog).
  10. ^ a b Sparkes, Matthew (7 January 2015). "Millionaire 'Bitcoin Jesus' denied entry to the US". Telegraph (UK).
  11. ^ Farivar, Cyrus (7 January 2015). "Bitcoin investor who renounced US citizenship now can't get back in: Roger Ver gave up US passport in favor of St. Kitts last year". Ars Technica.
  12. ^ "Quarterly Publication of Individuals, Who Have Chosen to Expatriate, as Required by Section 6039G". Federal Register. 8 May 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  13. ^ Twitter post by Ver, 24 July 2019
  14. ^ triforcebjj (31 May 2013), Roger Ver vs David Garmo in 2013 BJJ World Championships, retrieved 2 October 2018
  15. ^ "Roger Ver, World's First Investor in Bitcoin on His Passion for BJJ & Brown Belt". Bjj Eastern Europe. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  16. ^ "Fortune The Ledger 40 under 40: Roger Ver". 29 July 2018.
  17. ^ Farivar, Cyrus (1 August 2015). "Bitcoin investor who renounced US citizenship now can't get back in". ArsTechnica. Wired Media Group. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  18. ^ SmartVoter (3 February 2000). "Voter Information for Roger K Ver". League of Women Voters.
  19. ^ Raskin, Max (13 April 2013). "Meet the Bitcoin Millionaires". Bloomberg. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  20. ^ Jeffries, Adrianne (13 December 2011). "Brooklyn-based Bitcoin Startup BitInstant Raises Seed Round". Observer. Observer Media. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  21. ^ Russell, Kyle (29 January 2014). "Meet The 'Bitcoin Millionaire' Arrested for Allegedly Helping Silk Road Launder $US1 Million". Business Insider Australia. Allure Media. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  22. ^ Lunden, Ingrid. "With PayPal-like Ambitions for Bitcoin, BitPay Raises $2M Led by Founders Fund". TechCrunch. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  23. ^ McMillan, Robert (19 December 2013). "How Bitcoin Became the Honey Badger of Money". Wired. Conde Nast. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  24. ^ a b Vigna, Paul; Casey, Michael J. (2015). The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order. St. Martin's Press. pp. 178, 268. ISBN 146687306X. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  25. ^ Farivar, Cyrus (7 April 2015). "Bitcoin Foundation is 'effectively bankrupt,' board member says". ArsTechnica. Condé Nast. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  26. ^ Cheng, Evelyn (11 December 2017). "'Bitcoin Jesus' is 'really, really concerned' about the future of the digital currency". CNBC. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  27. ^ Morris, David (8 January 2020). "In Cryptocurrency, It's Bitcoiners vs. Everyone Else". Fortune.com. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  28. ^ "Crypto Exchange CoinFlex to Issue Tokens After Withdrawal Freeze". Bloomberg.com. 27 June 2022. Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  29. ^ FatManTerra. "Ver had a long on BCH, and the platform allowed him to run a deficit because he personally guaranteed he would pay them back". Twitter. Retrieved 28 June 2022.