Friday, August 7, 2020

Explosive Dealer to Entrepreneur: Story of Roger Ver

The Takeaway:

The takeaways from this article are to know the exact events which unfolded in Roger Ver’s life on choosing Bitcoin for investing. The fair share of controversies and success he shared with him till now. His controversial views and the way he presented them. And also his way of promoting Bitcoin and helping it in reaching the success it is today. We shall also focus on the wrath he faced from many people when he introduced Bitcoin Cash and the reason behind it. 

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Roger Ver? The former CEO of Bitcoin.com?

Yes. This article is about Roger Ver, who was the former CEO of bitcoin.com. But how did he become the CEO of bitcoin.com? How did he get interested in this sector of digital currencies? Was he a bright student or a college dropout? Why did he choose to invest only in Bitcoin?

What was his reason to invest in bitcoin-related startups? Did he have a peaceful life or a life embroiled in controversies? Which was his first company? Let’s answer all these questions in the article below.

Who is Roger Ver?

Roger Ver is an eminent personality in the field of digital currency. He was one of the early investors in Bitcoin and also in startups which were Bitcoin related. His support for Bitcoin adoption has met with positive reviews from all the quarters. Hence, he is also called the “Bitcoin Jesus.”

Roger Ver, nowadays, is promoting Bitcoin Cash. Roger Ver was born on 27th January 1979 at San Jose, California in the United States of America. Currently, he is residing in Tokyo, Japan. A college dropout from the De Anza College after a year, Roger Ver dropped out from the college only to pursue his business interests.

He identifies himself as an anarcho-capitalist, peace advocate, libertarian and an advocate for voluntarism and individualism. He has been in the news for both bad and good communication. In the year 2005, Roger had sold explosives e-commerce website E-bay and served a sentence of 10 months.

He was later found guilty of three other felony charges. He pleaded guilty for the same mistakes, but the same year he moved to Japan. He was also denied Visa from the US government in 2015, hearing that he might become an illegal immigrant.

Though he was the citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis from the year 2014, his track record of leaving the country regularly made the government take this step. But belatedly in the same year, his Visa got approved, and he visited the United States in the year 2016 to speak at a conference in Denver, Colorado.

Other than business, his interest also lies in jiu-jitsu a form of Brazilian martial arts. He was also conferred to many people, that this form of martial arts is one of the major passions in life. You can see many videos of Ver on YouTube, where he is competing in BJJ world championships. He is also a brown belt holder in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

In the year 2018, he was ranked at number 36 in the Fortune’s ‘The Ledger’s 40 under 40’. This achievement was bestowed to him for transforming business at the leading edge of finance and technology. He served as the CEO of Bitcoin.com until August 1st, 2019, after that point he got transitioned to Executive Chairman of the company.

Apart from all these, Roger Ver is also a humanitarian and a social worker. In late 2013, he has donated more 1 million US dollars’ worth of Bitcoin to the Foundation of Economic Education.

Before cryptocurrency, what was his contentious past?

Before cryptocurrency, Roger Ver worked as a CEO of MemoryDealers.com from the period 1999-2012. He attempted to foray into politics by contesting for the Californian State Assembly as a Libertarian party candidate.

It was in the year 2002; he got embroiled in the most significant controversy of his life. He sold 14 pounds of explosives as firecrackers on the eminent e-commerce website. Those explosives were identified as ‘Pest Control Report 2000’. Roger had brought around 49 pounds of these explosives and had stored them in a residential apartment building.

He used to mail the explosives to the customers who brought them through the U.S postal service. He later pleaded guilty for illegally storing explosives, selling them without a license and mailing the same bombs to different people. The Federal court sentenced him for ten months in the Federal prison.

How was he introduced to Bitcoin?

He was introduced to Bitcoin by Mark Edge, the host of Free Talk Live radio. One day, when Mark Edge was discussing Bitcoin on the radio, Roger Ver heard it. After hearing it, he instantly became interested in investing in this new digital currency at that time.

Roger Ver claims that he has been interested in Bitcoin since 2011 and has often called it the most predominant invention in the history of the globe since the advent of the Internet. During his early days, he integrated Bitcoin payment in his company Memorydealers.com. This attribute allowed his customers to make their transactions through Bitcoin.

He started to collect Bitcoin like this and amassed around more than 400,000 Bitcoins as per some estimates. Roger Ver nearly reduced his collection through payments and funding projects and diverted his sole attention towards spreading the word about Bitcoin and its advantages.

It was his financial approach, which helped numerous people launched startups and projects related to Bitcoin. He was also an early investor in most of the blockchain-related projects which included Kraken and Ripple.

Why is Roger Ver hailed as the “Bitcoin Jesus”?

Because of his earlier advocacy methods and his constant support on Bitcoin, he gets hailed as the “Bitcoin Jesus.” It was because of the support and financial approach of Roger Ver that many people started to show their interest in investing in Bitcoin.

His company MoneyDealers.com was the first company which started to accept payments in terms of Bitcoin. His investment in Blockchain-related projects also earned recognition in the digital market industry.

In the year 2012, he started the bitcoinstore.com which enclosed thousands of items available for purchase with the use of Bitcoin. In the year 2015, he hosted the most significant Bitcoin AMA on Reddit.com. He became the CEO of bitcoin.com and owned its domain name.

He gained control of the whole bitcoin.com in April 2014. In the year 2012, he was continually organizing bitcoin meetups, and one of them was held in Sunnyvale. He is also one of the founders of the Bitcoin Foundation. He has always strived to place Bitcoin has a rival to fiat currencies.

He always recommended for larger block size and was also one of the leading proponents behind it. He was in full support for the development of Bitcoin XT as a hard fork method which will help in increasing its value.

He was heavily praised for his committed involvement during the June 2011 Bitcoin Price Cash. Due to his participation in uplifting Bitcoin from various situations, he earned the name as the “Bitcoin Jesus” and has duly justified it.

His investments in Ripple and Kraken in brief.

Roger Ver started investing in Bitcoin in early 2011. The first investment he made was on Bitinstant, which was owned by Charlie Shrem. It was because of his investment the company was financially stable to hire a designer and another programmer.

He also invested more than a million U.S dollars into new Bitcoin-related startups that time, which included Ripple, Kraken, Blockchain.info, and Bitpay.

Kraken is one of the biggest and busiest exchanges in the trade volume and has registered a trading volume of more than 85 million U.S dollars in 2018. It has expanded to more than 200 countries housing over 4 million clients. Kraken has a vision of developing more and provide additional financial services and products for this digital currency industry.

Today, Ripple is a digital currency which has been continuously climbing the charts and is giving stiff competition to both Bitcoin and Ethereum. It has a faster processing network. Ripple is a centralized platform, and it cannot be mined. But it has an interface with much more efficient energy compared to Bitcoin’s extreme energy consumption.

All these attributes wouldn’t have been possible today if Roger Ver had invested on some other platforms rather than Kraken and Ripple.

Latest controversial on Bitcoin cash and its establishment:

Roger Ver had faced legal action by always confusing the investors between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. He was even pressed with charges of fraud of intentionally exploiting novice investors. Bitcoin Cash was forked from Bitcoin in August 2017.

These discrepancies arose primarily due to the similar logos housed by both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. Many people opine that this step was created only to confuse investors between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.

Many investors initially were confused and brought Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin. This attribute resulted in the lawsuit and created an uproar in the community for banning the Bitcoin Cash. Ver was called as the culprit in most of the occasions as he opined Bitcoin Cash as the real Bitcoin.

This advertisement was unpopular, and the public proved it to be true. As per many accurate reports, Bitcoin Cash is nowhere near to Bitcoin and cannot usurp Bitcoin even in the coming days. This point was often reminded as a controversy which Roger Ver himself created.

Some people also opine that Bitcoin Cash is getting widely accepted nowadays due to this marketing technique of Roger Ver.

The latest split of @bitcoin on twitter:

The latest news is that the twitter account of Bitcoin has deleted dozens of tweets in which Bitcoin Cash got mentioned. This factor is guessed by many as a step to revamp the whole company after it announced to launch a new peer-to-peer digital currency exchange.

Since Roger Ver gained control of the Bitcoin website, the company has got embroiled in lots of controversies. Instead of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash got extensively promoted since he took over the company.

In most of the tweets which got deleted, it has been seen that they were mentioning about the Lightning Network or criticizing twitter and its CEO. Analysts opine that these tweets were removed to avoid legal trouble on Bitcoin.

Some even opine that this was a sign that Roger Ver was finally capitulating. Some also opine that these might be the ideas of the new CEO of bitcoin.com. The latter can be considered as the newly appointed CEO of bitcoin.com, Stefan Rush previously worked as a director of corporate and business development in bitcoin.com.

The company still hasn’t stated what Roger Ver’s duties would be, but it is learned that Stefan Rust would be focussing on the developing the new products and services the company launches in the coming days. While many have speculated the same to be the new peer-to-peer digital currency exchange which the company announced a few days ago.

The final nail in the coffin would be:

Roger Ver is the “Bitcoin Jesus” and also the “Bitcoin Judas.” He is duly responsible for the success Bitcoin gained in its initial days. But it is also true that it was because of him, the company had to face so many legal actions and acquire the center stage in many controversies.

It is justified in the article what steps of Roger Ver were responsible for the success of Bitcoin. Similarly, it is also mentioned what the levels which provided to be a fire in the stomach for the company were.

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Disclaimer: The article reflects the opinions of the author and is not representative of Chaintimes’ views.
The article does not offer any investment advice. User discretion is advised when investing in or trading with cryptocurrency. Extensive and diligent research should be carried out by the reader before making a decision.

William Botello
William Botello
William is a market research coordinator who believes that blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies can revolutionize the financial landscape. He completed his studies in Arts and Sciences from Arizona State University.

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