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Roger Ver, December 2016
Roger Keith Ver
January 27, 1979
|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 sold explosives on eBay and later pleaded guilty to three related felony charges. 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 identifies as a libertarian, an anarcho-capitalist, peace advocate, and an advocate for individualism and voluntaryism.
Ver was born in San Jose, California. He attended De Anza College for a year, dropping out to pursue his business interests. He moved to Japan in 2005 after serving a 10-month prison sentence for illegally selling explosives. He renounced his United States citizenship in 2014 after he became a citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis. 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. 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.
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 and has achieved the rank of Brown belt. He identifies as a libertarian, an anarcho-capitalist, peace advocate and advocates for individualism and voluntaryism. In 2018 he was ranked number 36 in Fortune's The Ledger 40 under 40 for transforming business at the leading edge of finance and technology.
In 2002, Ver pleaded guilty to selling explosives without a license, to illegally storing explosives, and to mailing the explosives. Ver bought 49 pounds of "Pest Control Report 2000" explosives, sold at least 14 pounds of them as large firecrackers on eBay, stored the explosives 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.
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.
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.