Roger Ver

Why Trust Techopedia

Who is Roger Ver, a.k.a Bitcoin Jesus?

Roger Keith Ver is an early Bitcoin (BTC) investor and the former CEO of Bitcoin.com. He is also an avid Bitcoin promoter, which earned him the moniker “Bitcoin Jesus.”

Advertisements

Over the years, Ver has invested in several crypto startups, including Bitcoin.com, Blockchain.com, Ripple, BitPay, Kraken, and more.

Roger Ver is also known as a Bitcoin Cash (BCH) supporter. Ver actively advocated for the increase of Bitcoin block size, which ultimately led to a hard fork and the creation of Bitcoin Cash.

Ver is said to have first invested in BTC in 2011 when the price was under $1 per BTC.

Later, Ver introduced Bitcoin payments at his company MemoryDealers, which sold computers and networking equipment.

According to Ver’s website, MemoryDealers became the first established business in the world to start accepting Bitcoin for payments.

In 2014, Ver renounced his U.S. citizenship after obtaining citizenship in St. Kitts and Nevis.

In April 2024, US authorities indicted Ver for allegedly failing to report and pay capital tax gains on his Bitcoin sales and failing to pay an “exit tax” when expatriating from the US to St. Kitts and Nevis.

Ver was arrested in Spain in late April 2024. The U.S. authorities are currently seeking Ver’s extradition to stand trial in the United States.

Roger Ver’s Early Life

Ver was born in San Jose, California, in 1979. According to his website, Ver attended a community college in Cupertino called De Anza College between 1997 and 1999. He also attended Stanford University for a year in 1998.

In 1999, Ver founded MemoryDealers.com at the age of nineteen. Later, in 2005, Ver founded Agilestar.com after seeing an opportunity in the market for fiber optic transceivers used in networking subsystems. Ver was the chief executive officer at MemoryDealers.com and Agilestar.com till 2018.

Starting in 2011, Ver began acquiring Bitcoins for himself and his companies. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Ver and his companies had accumulated about 131,000 Bitcoins by February 2014. MemoryDealers and Agilestar allegedly held about 73,000 of those Bitcoins.

In 2015, Ver took charge of Bitcoin.com. The website allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrency and provides crypto news and educational content.

Roger Ver, Block Size War, and Bitcoin Cash

The Bitcoin block size war was a period between 2015 and 2017 when the Bitcoin community was split into two camps – Big Blockers and Small Blockers.

Big Blockers proposed to increase the Bitcoin blockchain’s block size in order to accommodate more transactions and lower transaction fees. While Small Blockers opposed the change citing risk to centralization of Bitcoin.

Ver was a Big Blocker who believed in the potential of Bitcoin becoming the “money of the future.”

He believed that Satoshi Nakamoto designed Bitcoin to be “digital cash” for everyday commerce with minimal fees and fast transactions.

He opposed Bitcoin’s current status as a store-of-value asset instead of everyday digital cash.

In August 2017, the Bitcoin chain split to form Bitcoin Cash – a Bitcoin chain with larger blocks – after the community failed to reach a consensus.

Roger Ver’s Net Worth

It is difficult to accurately estimate Roger Ver’s current net worth because Ver is not obligated to disclose his assets.

However, a press release from the U.S. DoJ said that Roger Ver held 131,000 Bitcoins in February 2014, worth $114.1 million, based on the BTC price of $871 at the time.

In 2017, Ver is said to have sold “tens of thousands” of Bitcoin on crypto exchanges for $240 million in cash.

If Ver had held on to his Bitcoin holding from February 2014, his current net worth would be over $8.42 billion, based on the BTC price of $64,277 as of May 6, 2024.

Ver has also made investments in crypto and fintech startups over the years, which will add to his net worth.

Fintech investment
Source: rogerver.com

Controversies: Bitcoin Jesus Charged With Tax Fraud

Tax Fraud

On April 30, 2024, U.S. government authorities charged Roger Ver with mail fraud, tax evasion, and filing false tax returns.

According to the U.S. DoJ, Ver is alleged to have caused a loss to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of at least $48 million.

U.S. authorities alleged that Ver failed to file tax returns that reported capital gains from the sale of Bitcoins when he gave up his U.S. citizenship for St. Kitts and Nevis in 2014. It was also alleged that Ver failed to pay a tax called “exit tax” on capital gain when he expatriated to St. Kitts and Nevis.

Ver is said to have hired a law firm and an appraiser to prepare his expatriation-related tax returns and value his two companies – MemoryDealers and Agilestar. It was alleged that Ver provided false or misleading information to the law firm and appraiser, resulting in the preparation of false tax returns that substantially undervalued the two companies and their Bitcoin holdings.

Later, in 2017, Ver sold Bitcoin held at his companies without notifying his accountant. The U.S. DoJ said in a press release.

“Even though Ver was not then a U.S. citizen, he was still legally required to report to the IRS and pay tax on certain distributions such as dividends from MemoryDealers and Agilestar, which were U.S. corporations.”

CoinFlex Default

In June 2022, crypto exchange CoinFlex paused customer withdrawals after revealing that the exchange had a counterparty risk related to the default of a $47 million loan.

CoinFlex’s CEO Mark Lamb revealed that Ver was the counterparty who owed the exchange $47 million in USDC.

In July 2022, CoinFlex began arbitration in an attempt to recover over $84 million in debt owed by a “large individual customer.”

CoinFlex filed for restructuring in August 2022.

What’s Next for Roger Ver?

Ver was arrested in Spain in late April 2024 after being charged with mail fraud, tax evasion, and filing false tax returns. The U.S. authorities are currently seeking Ver’s extradition to stand trial in the United States.

According to the U.S. DoJ, if convicted of all charges, Ver would face a statutory maximum sentence of more than 20 years in prison.

  • 20 years in federal prison for each mail fraud count
  • Up to five years in federal prison for each tax evasion count
  • Up to three years in federal prison for each count of subscribing to a false tax return.

The Bottom Line

Roger Ver is a notorious crypto personality. He is best known for making early Bitcoin investments in 2011 and doubling down on his crypto beliefs over the years.

He advocated for Bitcoin adoption tirelessly, earning the moniker “Bitcoin Jesus.” Ver later advocated for Bitcoin Cash being the true form of Bitcoin.

In 2024, he faces serious tax fraud charges, which could result in over 20 years in prison.

FAQs

What is Roger Ver doing now?

When did Roger Ver buy Bitcoin?

How many Bitcoins does Roger Ver have?

Advertisements

Related Questions

Related Terms

Mensholong Lepcha
Crypto & Blockchain Writer
Mensholong Lepcha
Crypto & Blockchain Writer

Mensholong is an experienced crypto and blockchain journalist, now a full-time writer at Techopedia. He has previously contributed news coverage and in-depth market analysis to Capital.com, StockTwits, XBO, and other publications. He started his writing career at Reuters in 2017, covering global equity markets. In his free time, Mensholong loves watching football, finding new music, and buying BTC and ETH for his crypto portfolio.