Controversial Bitcoin billionaire Mircea Popescu, 41, has immediately died, forsaking an enormous crypto fortune that may very well be price as a lot as $2 billion — which some speculate may very well be misplaced perpetually.
Popescu, identified for being among the many largest particular person holders of Bitcoin on the planet at one level, drowned final week off the coast of Costa Rica close to Playa Hermosa after going for a morning swim, in line with local news reports.
Popescu was reportedly “swept away by the present and died on the spot.”
His website, which he beforehand actively maintained, has not been up to date since June 23, the day of his reported demise.
Popescu, a controversial determine with “documented cases of sexism and bigotry,” according to Nasdaq.com, was estimated to hold at the very least tens of 1000’s of Bitcoins, with some estimating even bigger holdings.
The decrease finish of these estimates would place the worth of Popescu’s possession near $2 billion, based mostly on the height worth of Bitcoin reached in April. Primarily based on Bitcoin’s present worth, his holdings would have been price nearer to $1 billion.
It stays unclear who, if anybody, has entry to his digital property, and crypto watchers are already speculating that the fortune may very well be gone.
Alexander Marder, a analysis analyst for Crypto Briefing, mentioned on Twitter that Popescu’s Bitcoins could also be misplaced perpetually, together with these of John McAfee, the antivirus software program pioneer who hanged himself in a Spanish jail cell last week.
Anthony Pompliano, founding father of Pomp Investments and famous Bitcoin bull, mentioned in a since-deleted tweet that the lack of Popescu’s holdings may gain advantage different present holders of the crypto.
“Mircea Popescu, a Bitcoin OG, has handed away. He seemingly owned fairly a little bit of bitcoin,” Pompliano said on June 27 within the since-deleted tweet. “We might by no means know the way a lot or if they’re misplaced perpetually, however jogs my memory [of what] Satoshi mentioned: ‘Misplaced cash solely make everybody else’s cash price barely extra. Consider it as a donation to everybody.’”
Pompliano gave the impression to be referencing a quote attributed to Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym utilized by the nameless individual or individuals who developed Bitcoin.
Others within the crypto house mourned the lack of Popescu, who was referred to as a Bitcoin pioneer and early adopter.
Pete Rizzo, editor of Bitcoin Journal, famous Popescu was referred to as “The Father of Bitcoin Toxicity” by some.
Popescu’s most high-profile crypto enterprise was seemingly MPex, a self-styled Bitcoin securities change, which he launched in 2012, lengthy earlier than Bitcoin acquired its current-day recognition.
The Securities and Change Fee investigated MPex in 2014, in line with emails launched by Popescu himself.