Mircea Popescu, a controversial determine on the earth of crypto, boasted one of many single-biggest bitcoin
fortunes and his amassed wealth in digital belongings could also be misplaced to the ether after his premature demise final month, some speculate.
Right here’s what has been reported to this point.
Popescu reportedly died off the coast of Costa Rica. Local news reports say he was “swept away by the present and died on the spot,” throughout a morning swim in Playa Hermosa de Garabito, Puntarenas.
The New York Post reported, citing feedback from Twitter, that the Romanian crypto entrepreneur’s demise was confirmed by three ladies who knew him.
Popescu was considered as a pioneer in digital belongings and one of many earliest adopters. An article in Bitcoin Magazine written by Pete Rizzo stated that Popescu was identified for beginning MPEx, a bitcoin securities alternate, across the similar time as Coinbase International COIN, 0.18% launched.
The Securities and Alternate Fee investigated MPex in 2014, and Popescu famously launched a sequence of brash emails, the place he defiantly questioned the authority of the regulator on the time.
Some estimates peg Popescu’s bitcoin holdings at 30,000 and he has made unverified claims that he held far more. At its mid-April peak this yr, Popescu’s bitcoin holdings would have been price almost $2 billion but when estimates are correct about his holdings they’re price about $1 billion right this moment.
What’s unclear is how Popescu saved his crypto? Is it in a chilly pockets, unconnected by computer systems, that solely he holds the non-public key to, or is his cache of bitcoin held with a third-party.
Some speculate that he had a non-public key and that nobody has entry to it, which might imply that his fortune, no matter its measurement, is misplaced on the blockchain eternally.
“Entry to Mircea Popescu’s reported $2 billion in Bitcoin would solely be accessible via his non-public keys, whether or not he saved them digitally or in chilly storage like a bodily Bitcoin pockets,” Voyager Digital CEO Steve Ehrlich informed MarketWatch through e-mail.
“It’s unclear if anybody in addition to Popescu has entry to these wallets,” he stated. “If there isn’t anybody who has the non-public keys to his Bitcoin storage, these cash might primarily be ‘misplaced’ eternally within the sense that they may simply sit in his wallets with out the power to be liquidated.”
This can be a irritating consequence for Popescu and people near him however a minimum of one particular person seemed to be making an attempt to be optimistic a couple of tragic story.
Anthony Pompliano, co-founder and companion at Morgan Creek Digital Property, in a since-deleted tweet stated that the misplaced cash in the end make the present provide of bitcoin extra beneficial since there’ll solely ever be 21 million bitcoins in existence.
Eventually test, bitcoin costs had been altering arms at round $33,221, up 1% CoinDesk, and Ether
on Ethereum’s blockchain was buying and selling at $2,094, up marginally.