EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Roger Ver, the Bitcoin Jesus
Friday, March 20, 2015 at 08:20
I had the privilege of interviewing Roger Ver recently, also known as the Bitcoin Jesus for his undying support and investment for bitcoin startups. Considered one of the movers of the bitcoin community, his insights and knowledge lights the curiosity and interest of many.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
Before Bitcoin I ran a company selling Cisco equipment. Upon discovering Bitcoin, I became the first person in the world to start investing in Bitcoin startups. I put up the first physical Bitcoin billboard in the world, and began running national radio advertisements in mid 2011. Today I try to spend each day helping the various Bitcoin businesses I invested in as well as spreading Bitcoin to a general audience.
Is your background in technology?
My educational background is in economics, with my work background in technical sales. Growing up in Silicon Valley made me very comfortable with the tech side of things.
What is the current status of your citizenship?
I'm a citizen of the Caribbean nation of St Kitts, and former US citizen.
How did you get started with Bitcoin?
I spent my youth studying economics, when I discovered Bitcoin, I quickly realized that it was the best form of money that the world has ever seen. I then dropped everything else I was doing to promote Bitcoin full time.
It seems that your involvement with Bitcoin was life changing and ultimately led to your renouncing your US Citizenship. Can you tell us about your path from learning about Bitcoin to renouncing your citizenship?
Philosophically, I don't believe in the very concept of citizenship. I think we are all human beings and have an equal right to travel the globe regardless of what color we are, or where we happened to have been born. I actually had been planning to renounce my citizenship since I was in my early twenties, but Bitcoin provided the extra motivation to hurry up and do it.
The US has denied you a Visa to visit, ie: apparently banned you from the US. Do you have any regrets?
The US is the world's greatest threat to peace. It's the most destructive and militant government on the planet. The USA denying my visa application while demanding that I continue to pay them millions of dollars each year shows what a bunch of petty dictators they really are, but is nothing compared to the millions of innocent people around the world they are deliberately murdering while showing no remorse. I'm working towards the day when Bitcoin puts a stop to all of this. Madeleine Albright - The deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children was worth it for Iraq's non existent WMD's
Of the Bitcoin projects you help start, which are your favorite?
It is hard to quantify, but I think I was instrumental in spreading Bitcoin to the libertarian community. It was the libertarians who really got involved early on, and helped push bitcoin to where it is now. In 2011 and 2012 the vast majority of my outreach was focused to this group, and it appears to have paid off.
Bitcoinstore.com was likely the most influential. Today it doesn't seem exciting at all, but at the time, it was the first and only website to offer nearly a million products available at prices that were often cheaper than anywhere else, and for Bitcoin only. The website did millions of dollars worth of bitcoins in sales, and proved to companies like Newegg, Overstock, and Tiger Direct that there was a market for accepting Bitcoin.
How about your project of helping people get citizenship in Nevis with bitcoin? How is that going? How is the interest in it?
My involvement is on hold until later this spring, but there is a lot of interest from people around the world.
ON CHALLENGES AND THE FUTURE OF BITCOIN
What do you see as the biggest challenges for bitcoin in the years ahead?
At this point, I see Bitcoin, or it's successor as unstoppable. It is clear that currency controlled by the laws of mathematics is practically and morally superior to a currency controlled by the dictates of a few men.
What has been your biggest challenge so far in regards with bitcoin?
My personal experience has been wonderful, but my biggest challenge has been convincing people that bitcoin isn't too good to be true. It's real, it's here, and it works today.
What changes do you see bitcoin bringing about with respect to the world economy, political situations and cultures?
Bitcoin will rip down barriers to free trade. We are already seeing the start of that in the form of the Silk Road and other free markets arising. It will also make it more difficult and dangerous for heads of state to fund or engage in wars. Eventually I suspect Bitcoin will create a much more peaceful and prosperous world, because the politicians will no longer be able to control the lives of peaceful individuals. We finally have the tools to tell those who wish to rule over others, "no!"
What advice do you have for young Americans who have an interest in technology? What about young people in others parts of the world?
Thanks to the internet, anyone can access nearly the entire sum of human knowledge. If you want to know about something, you can learn about it today. The only thing holding you back is your own ambition, so get started today.
What do you see for the future of bitcoin globally?
I think Bitcoin, or something similar will displace centrally controlled government issued pieces of paper. It will also strip away the state's ability to control the economy. This will create a freer, more prosperous world for us all.
(last edit: Monday, March 23, 2015 at 15:29)
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Monday, March 23, 2015 at 15:45
Insightful and fun to read. I've read about Roger Ver in a number of bitcoin forums and I never thought his thoughts are this deep. Not sure on his view of the US though. I understand he has renounced his citizenship and therefore, it is safe to say he has had a 'falling out' with the US. For me the greatest threat to peace is religion and illiteracy.
(last edit: Monday, March 23, 2015 at 15:46)