It’s unusual to come across a major player in the cryptocurrency industry who isn’t also controversial. Roger Ver is a perfect example of this type of person. He earned the moniker “Bitcoin Jesus” for being one of the first and most outspoken proponents of and investors in cryptocurrencies and crypto-related startups. However, over the last few years, Ver’s views on cryptocurrencies and investments in them have polarised even further, as has his personal storey.
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Childhood and Education
Roger Ver was raised in San Jose, California, where he was raised in 1979. From 1997 to 1999, he studied economics, math, and astronomy at De Anza College in Cupertino. According to his website, he also studied physics at Stanford University in 1998.
He founded Memorydealers while still in college to resell Cisco-related memory and networking equipment, as well as transceivers and accessories. Memorydealers has since gone public. He left school to run the company full-time for more than a decade as its CEO. From 2012 on, he was no longer the CEO of MemoryDealers.com, and according to his LinkedIn profile, his affiliation with the company ended in 2018.
Agilestar.com, a “world leader in fibre optic transceivers with happy customers in nearly every country in the world,” was his creation and operation from 2004 to 2018.
The more frequently Ver has been linked to bitcoin and crypto-related projects since 2011, the more well-known he has become.
Deeds of Notoriety
Bitcoin’s Early Adoption
As early as 2011, Ver claims to have discovered bitcoin, calling it “one of the most important inventions in the history of humanity.”
Memorydealers.com has integrated bitcoin payments, allowing customers to pay with the first digital currency. Ver amassed a total of over 400,000 bitcoins by moving to collect bitcoin in its early days, when each coin was valued at less than $1. By making payments and funding projects, Ver likely decreased his collection as a result of spreading the word about bitcoin.
Many well-known bitcoin projects and startups were able to get off the ground thanks to Ver’s financial support. He was one of the early investors in Charlie Shrem’s now-defunct BitInstant, the company he helped found as a bitcoin millionaire.
At the time, Ver was an early investor in Kraken, purse.io (now defunct), Blockchain.com (still active), and Ripple (also active). In 2012, Ver launched bitcoinstore.com, allowing customers to transact in bitcoin for thousands of items for sale. 1
Future Plans and Projects
Bitcoin.com, a web portal that offers a variety of services for bitcoin and bitcoin cash, was taken over by Ver in 2015. Ver was the CEO of Bitcoin.com from August 2018 until August 2019, when he became the Executive Chairman of the Board.
Ver has remained active in the bitcoin community in recent years. As a co-founder of the Bitcoin Foundation in 2012, a non-profit with the goal of repairing the cryptocurrency’s image after a string of controversies, Ver has worked to promote the use of bitcoin by businesses large and small around the world.
Use Bitcoin Cash as an alternative
The nickname “Bitcoin Jesus” came about because many saw Ver as an evangelist for bitcoin and related projects during the course of his advocacy work. His views seemed to shift in his later years, however, and he appeared to be turning away from it altogether.
During a 2017 interview, Ver stated that he was “really, really concerned about the future” of the cryptocurrency, lamenting what he saw as too much speculative interest for bitcoin to remain viable as currency and claiming that “the developers have destroyed” the currency’s viability as a currency.
Instead, Ver sided with a small but vocal group of crypto developers who advocated for a “hard fork”—a fundamental change to a network’s protocol that allows previously invalid blocks and transactions to be valid again, or the inverse. It’s a fact that bitcoin’s utility has been compromised, he said. This change, he believes, will allow customers to pay for goods and services in bitcoin while also reducing fees. Some people are concerned that such a move would disrupt bitcoin’s decentralisation and have negative consequences for the way transactions are processed.
In addition, a cryptocurrency’s code can be rewritten thanks to hard forks. Even Ver seems to have shifted his support to the August 2017-created cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin Cash. For his part, Ver claims that the alleged insider trading of bitcoin cash on the widely used Coinbase exchange is “a non-crime.’ ”
Wealth and Generosity
Roger Ver is frequently included in lists of the “Wealthiest Cryptocurrency People,” but it’s difficult to estimate his exact net worth because he owns a private company. And of course, he has a lot of money invested in volatile cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. It’s estimated to be in the neighbourhood of $430 million.
Ver gave the Foundation for Economic Education, a libertarian think tank, more than $1 million in bitcoin at the end of 2013. A further $2 million worth of bitcoin cash will be donated to the organisation by Ver in 2021.
Who Is Bitcoin Jesus?
Because he invested in bitcoin early on, Roger Ver is known as “Bitcoin Jesus.” His companies adopted it, and he tirelessly promoted it. Around 2018, Ver, on the other hand, shifted his allegiance to Bitcoin Cash (BCH), which he believes is more in line with the original bitcoin vision.