Roger Ver

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Roger Ver
Roger Ver.jpg
Roger Ver, December 2016
Roger Keith Ver

(1979-01-27) January 27, 1979 (age 39)
ResidenceTokyo, Japan
Known forInvesting in bitcoin
MovementLibertarianism, anarcho-capitalism, voluntaryism

Roger Keith Ver (born January 27, 1979[1]) 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.[2]

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.

Personal life[edit]

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.[3][4] He renounced his United States citizenship in 2014 after he became a citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis.[5][6] 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.[4][6][7] 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.[citation needed]

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[8] and has achieved the rank of Brown belt[9]. 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[10] for transforming business at the leading edge of finance and technology.


He was the CEO of from 1999 until 2012.[11] In 2000, he attempted to enter politics by running for California State Assembly as a candidate for the Libertarian Party.[12]


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.[5][4][3][13]


Ver began investing in bitcoin in early 2011.[14] The first investment he made was for Charlie Shrem’s Bitinstant.[15] Ver's investment allowed the company to hire a designer and another programmer.[16] He invested over a million dollars into new bitcoin related startups including Ripple,, Bitpay[17] and Kraken.[5] In 2011, Ver's company Memorydealers was the first to accept bitcoin as payment.[18] His early advocacy for bitcoin earned him the moniker of Bitcoin Jesus.[14]

In 2012, he created 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.[19]

Ver gained control of in April 2014.

In 2012, Ver was organising bitcoin meetups in Sunnyvale.[20] 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.[20]


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".[21]

Political positions[edit]

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.[citation needed] In late 2013, Ver donated more than $1 million worth of bitcoin to the Foundation for Economic Education.[14] Ver has donated more than $20K to[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "California Birth Index of Roger Keith Ver".
  2. ^ Popper, Nathaniel (2017-07-25). "Some Bitcoin Backers Are Defecting to Create a Rival Currency". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  3. ^ a b "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.
  4. ^ a b c Sparkes, Matthew (7 January 2015). "Millionaire 'Bitcoin Jesus' denied entry to the US". Telegraph (UK).
  5. ^ a b c Jason Clenfield; Pavel Alpeyev (16 June 2014). "'Bitcoin Jesus' Calls Rich to Tax-Free Tropical Paradise". Bloomberg. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  6. ^ a b 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).
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ triforcebjj (2013-05-31), Roger Ver vs David Garmo in 2013 BJJ World Championships, retrieved 2018-10-02
  9. ^ "Roger Ver, World's first Investor in Bitcoin On His Passion For BJJ & Brown Belt". Bjj Eastern Europe. 2017-12-01. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
  10. ^ "Fortune The Ledger 40 under 40: Roger Ver". 29 July 2018.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ SmartVoter (3 February 2000). "Voter Information for Roger K Ver". League of Women Voters.
  13. ^ Max Raskin (13 April 2013). "Meet the Bitcoin Millionaires". Bloomberg. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  14. ^ a b c Ansuya Harjani (2 December 2013). "Meet 'Bitcoin Jesus,' a virtual currency millionaire". CNBC. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  15. ^ Adrianne Jeffries (13 December 2011). "Brooklyn-Based Bitcoin Startup BitInstant Raises Seed Round". Observer. Observer Media. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Lunden, Ingrid. "With PayPal-Like Ambitions For Bitcoin, BitPay Raises $2M Led By Founders Fund". TechCrunch. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  18. ^ Robert McMillan (19 December 2013). "How Bitcoin Became the Honey Badger of Money". Wired. Conde Nast. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  19. ^ Jon Southurst (24 May 2014). "How Roger Ver Got Hacked, and What He Did to Stop it". CoinDesk. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  20. ^ a b 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.
  21. ^ "'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.
  22. ^ "Bitcoin Transaction". Bitcoin blockchain. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2016.

External links[edit]

"Episode 687: Buy This Passport". Planet Money. 10 March 2016.