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Everything You Need to Know About Roger Ver

by Matthew Harris

Roger Ver was an early investor in Bitcoin and a prominent supporter of Bitcoin adoption and as such, he was often referred to as “Bitcoin Jesus.” Ver has a long history with cryptocurrency, investing a large amount of money in cryptocurrency-related startups as the industry was beginning to emerge, and early on he saw Bitcoin as a way to economic freedom.

However, due to the core software being what he described as “slow, expensive and unreliable,” Bitcoin Jesus recently switched his cryptocurrency preference to Bitcoin Cash.

In addition to a colorful moniker, Ver has a rather interesting past as well.

Born in California in 1979, he attended De Anza College in Cupertino, California but dropped out after just a year in order to pursue his business interests. His LinkedIn profile shows that he was the CEO of Memory Dealers from 1999 – 2012 before becoming a founding member and board advisor for Bitcoin Foundation. He also made an unsuccessful attempt at entering politics in 2000 by running as a Libertarian Party candidate for the California State Assembly.

Some critics are quick to point out that in 2002 the now CEO of Bitcoin.com spent 10 months in prison for selling explosives on eBay without a license. However, his offense is arguably not nearly as “offensive” as some CEO’s crimes over the years — Ver sold “Pest Control Report 2000,” an agricultural firecracker that was manufactured by another company and was forced off the market in early 2003 after it was found that they contained nearly 1,000 milligrams of explosive powder, far in excess of the legal limit for consumer firecrackers.

In a video posted to his personal YouTube channel last year, Ver described his time in the Federal Correctional Institution, Lompoc (FCI Lompoc)
as quite harrowing, with one guard mentally torturing him “for his own amusement,” while “another guard sat there and watched the whole thing.”

In 2005, Ver moved to Japan and in 2014 as a part of the St. Kitts and Nevis “Citizenship by Investment” program, which allowed wealthy individuals to purchase citizenship, Ver renounced his United States citizenship. The very next year he attempted to obtain a visa from the U.S. Embassy in Barbados in order to reenter the country, but was denied over fears that he would become an illegal immigrant. However, he later obtained a visa from the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, and he was able to speak at a conference in Denver, Colorado in June 2016.

In 2017, Ver surprised many by speaking out in favor of a fork and pushing for an increase to the Bitcoin blocksize limit, a shift he believed would allow consumers to pay in Bitcoin while reducing fees. Ver was quoted as saying, “The fact of the matter is, the utility of Bitcoin has been damaged” and that same year he once again raised a few eyebrows when he suggested in an interview with CNBC that alleged insider trading of Bitcoin Cash on Coinbase was a “non-crime.”

Roger Ver is definitely an interesting individual and having just celebrated his 40th birthday, we’re likely to see more from him in the near future.

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