Roger Ver (born in February 1979), sometimes dubbed Bitcoin Jesus, is a Kittitian, Nevisian early investor in bitcoin related startups. He was formerly an American citizen. He was born and lived in Silicon Valley. He now resides in Japan. 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 to fix adoption issues such as high fees. He identifies as a libertarian, an anarcho-capitalist, peace advocate and advocates for individualism and voluntaryism.
He was born in San Jose, California. He attended De Anza College for a year, dropping out to pursue his business interests.
He initially did well with a computer parts business, MemoryDealers.com, which saw him become a millionaire by the time he was 25. He was the CEO of MemoryDealers.com from 1999 until 2012. In 2000, he attempted to enter politics by running for California State Assembly as a candidate for the Libertarian Party.
He moved to Japan in 2006. He became a citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis and renounced his United States citizenship in 2014. - 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.
In June 2016, Ver was appointed the chairman of the Cryptocurrency Advisory Board for MGT Capital Investments. MGT aims to improve cybersecurity and is headed by John McAfee.
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. In late 2015, Ver hosted the largest bitcoin AMA on Reddit. He is the CEO of Bitcoin.com and owns its domain name. Ver gained control of bitcoin.com in April 2014.
In 2012, Ver was organising bitcoin meetups in Sunnyvale. He is one of five founders of the Bitcoin Foundation. 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.
In April 2013, Ver was a guest on Fox Business.
In May 2014, he was interviewed on Russia Today.
In September 2017, he appeared on the Max Kieser Report to discuss currect bitcoin-related developments. 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.
On July 17, 2013, Ver created a video addressing Mt.Gox's withdrawal issues. In this video Ver blamed the traditional banking system instead of Mt. Gox. Ver was reassured by Mt.Gox CEO Mark Karpeles that the exchange was functioning adequately. Mt.Gox collapsed seven months after recording this video. 850,000 bitcoins belonging to customers and the company were missing and likely stolen, an amount valued at more than $450 million at the time.
In October 2017, Ver and Calvin Ayre announced plans to rebrand the cryptocurrency Bitcoin Cash as just "bitcoin", despite the continuing existence and market popularity of the incumbent bitcoin. They claim that Bitcoin Cash matches the original Bitcoin whitepaper, which describes a peer-to-peer electronic cash and chain of digital signatures.
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 blockchain 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.
In 2002, Ver pleaded guilty after selling explosives, 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.
He believes that the violent interventions of governments should be replaced by voluntary human interactions in the free market. Ver identifies with the political philosophy of individualism.
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.
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.
See Also on BitcoinWiki
- Roger Ver's Journey to Voluntarism
- Voter Information for Roger K Ver
- How Bitcoin Became the Honey Badger of Money
- Reddit Bitcoin Censorship in Focus as 30 CEOs Join Roger Ver’s AMA
- About us. Bitcoin.com Retrieved 3 October 2017.
- Bitcoin.com's Ver Says Future Is Brighter Than Ever
- Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange is bankrupt, 850,000 bitcoins worth hundreds of millions missing
- My Dinner with Adam Back