Roger Ver, December 2016
Roger Keith Ver|
January 27, 1979
San Jose, California, U.S.
|Known for||Investing in bitcoin|
|Movement||Libertarianism, anarcho-capitalism, voluntaryism|
Roger Keith Ver (born January 27, 1979) is an early investor in bitcoin-related startups. He has been a prominent supporter of bitcoin adoption and saw bitcoin as a means to promote economic freedom. He now promotes Bitcoin Cash, a hard fork of the cryptocurrency created with the intent to fix issues such as high fees and long transaction confirmation times. Born and raised in Silicon Valley, he moved to Japan in 2005 after serving a 10-month prison sentence for selling illegal explosives. He renounced his United States citizenship in 2014 after obtaining a Saint Kitts and Nevis passport. He identifies as a libertarian, an anarcho-capitalist, peace advocate and advocates for individualism and voluntaryism.
He was born in San Jose. He attended De Anza College for a year, dropping out to pursue his business interests. He moved to Japan in 2006. He became a citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis and renounced his United States citizenship in 2014. 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 - but later in the same year his visa was approved by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, and he visited the United States in June 2016 to speak at a conference in Denver, Colorado. While in prison Ver taught himself Japanese. According to an interview he gave in 2016, Ver describes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as one of his major passions in life.
In 2002, Ver pleaded guilty after selling explosive firecrackers, marketed as Pest Control Report 2000, on eBay, which the U.S. Department of Justice described as "dealing in explosives without a license", and he was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison. The Missouri company, Max 2000 Inc. that had manufactured Pest Control Report 2000, agreed to cease selling the agricultural firecrackers in January 2003 after selling more than one million of them. The company had been selling the product illegally to fireworks wholesalers and retailers from early 1998. Pest Control Report 2000 had been used nationally to control infestations of birds. The explosives were banned because they could cause serious injuries or death.
Ver began investing in bitcoin in early 2011. The first investment he made was for Charlie Shrem’s Bitinstant. Ver's investment allowed the company to hire a designer and another programmer. He invested over a million dollars into new bitcoin related startups including Ripple, Blockchain.info, Bitpay and Kraken. In 2011, Ver's company Memorydealers was the first to accept bitcoin as payment. His early advocacy for bitcoin earned him the moniker of Bitcoin Jesus.
In 2012, he created bitcoinstore.com with hundreds of thousands of items available for purchase with bitcoin. In May 2014, an old email account used by Ver was hacked and used in a failed attempt to ransom bitcoin.
Ver gained control of bitcoin.com in April 2014.
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.
In September 2017, Ver was interviewed by Bloomberg Television while attending the BitKan conference in Hong Kong. That same month, he backed Segwit2x, which was called off due to lack of consensus in the community.
Ver writes opinion pieces for bitcoin-related websites and online forums. He has advocated for the widespread adoption of bitcoin software client that allows for an increase in the block chain block size limit. Ver strongly disagrees with the block size limit because it is contrary to his preferred strategy of rapid and widespread growth of bitcoin. Ver wants the use of this currency to be so widespread that an alternative cannot supplant bitcoin's first-mover advantage.
During an interview with CNBC in December 2017 he expressed the opinion that insider trading is not a crime - "I think insider trading is a non-crime".
In 2012, Ver helped the establishment of the Bitcoin Foundation with a large donation. In late 2013, Ver donated more than $1 million worth of bitcoin to the Foundation for Economic Education. Ver has donated more than $20K to antiwar.com.
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- "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.
- Jason Clenfield; Pavel Alpeyev (16 June 2014). "'Bitcoin Jesus' Calls Rich to Tax-Free Tropical Paradise". Bloomberg. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
- 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).
- Sparkes, Matthew (7 January 2015). "Millionaire 'Bitcoin Jesus' denied entry to the US". Telegraph (UK).
- 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.
- Cyrus Farivar (1 August 2015). "Bitcoin investor who renounced US citizenship now can't get back in". ArsTechnica. Wired Media Group. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
- SmartVoter (3 February 2000). "Voter Information for Roger K Ver". League of Women Voters.
- Max Raskin (13 April 2013). "Meet the Bitcoin Millionaires". Bloomberg. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
- "Missouri firm to halt 'pest' firecracker sales". Deseret News. Deseret Digital Media. 18 January 2003. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- "Missouri Company Ordered To Stop Manufacturing and Selling Illegal Fireworks". Press Release. Consumer Product Safety Commission. 17 January 2003. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- Ansuya Harjani (2 December 2013). "Meet 'Bitcoin Jesus,' a virtual currency millionaire". CNBC. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
- Adrianne Jeffries (13 December 2011). "Brooklyn-Based Bitcoin Startup BitInstant Raises Seed Round". Observer. Observer Media. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
- Kyle Russell (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.
- Lunden, Ingrid. "With PayPal-Like Ambitions For Bitcoin, BitPay Raises $2M Led By Founders Fund". TechCrunch. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
- Robert McMillan (19 December 2013). "How Bitcoin Became the Honey Badger of Money". Wired. Conde Nast. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
- Jon Southurst (24 May 2014). "How Roger Ver Got Hacked, and What He Did to Stop it". CoinDesk. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
- Vigna, Paul; Michael J. Casey (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.
- Roger Ver on Fox Business promoting Bitcoin in April of 2013. Youtube. April 2013. Event occurs at 0:36. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Bitcoin.com's Ver Says Future Is Brighter Than Ever". Bloomberg Daybreak: Asia. Bloomberb. 20 September 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
- "'Insider Trading Is a Non-Crime': Roger Ver Bites Back as GDAX Re-Opens Bitcoin Cash Trading". CCN. 2017-12-23. Retrieved 2018-02-13.
- "Bitcoin Transaction". Bitcoin blockchain. Blockchain.info. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2016.