Roger Ver (born in February 1979) is a former politician and a Kittitian/Nevisian early investor in bitcoin related startups. He was formerly an American citizen. He was born and lived in Silicon Valley. He now resides in Japan. He has been a prominent supporter of bitcoin adoption and sees bitcoin as a means to promote economic freedom. He identifies as a libertarian, an anarcho-capitalist, peace advocate and advocates for individualism and voluntaryism.
He initially did well with a computer parts business, MemoryDealers.com, which saw him become a millionaire by the time he was 25. He was the CEO of MemoryDealers.com from 1999 until 2012. In 2000, he attempted to enter politics by running for California State Assembly as a candidate for the Libertarian Party.
He moved to Japan in 2006. He became a citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis and renounced his United States citizenship in 2014. 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.
In June 2016, Ver was appointed the chairman of the Cryptocurrency Advisory Board for MGT Capital Investments. MGT aims to improve cybersecurity and is headed by John McAfee.
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. In late 2015, Ver hosted the largest bitcoin AMA on Reddit. He is the CEO of Bitcoin.com and owns its domain name.
In 2012, Ver was organising bitcoin meetups in Sunnyvale. 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.
On July 17, 2013, Ver created a video addressing Mt.Gox’s withdrawal issues. In this video Ver blamed traditional banking system instead of Mt.Gox.
Ver said: “I had a nice chat with Mt.Gox CEO, Mark Karpeles, about their current situation. He showed me multiple bank statements, as well as letters from banks and lawyers. I’m sure that all the current withdrawal problems at Mt.Gox are being caused by the traditional banking system, not because of a lack of liquidity at Mt.Gox.”
Mt.Gox collapsed 7 months after recording this video. 850,000 bitcoins belonging to customers and the company were missing and likely stolen, an amount valued at more than $450 million at the time.
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. He warns of a possible, official government controlled alternative to bitcoin of having a limited window of opportunity to become widely popular before bitcoin’s potential mass adoption occurs.