The sudden death of 41-year-old Mircea Popescu, an early adopter of Bitcoin, has left cryptocurrency experts speculating on what will happen to the estimated $2 billion worth that he owned.
There has so far been no word on who has access to his digital assets, believed to be some of the largest in the world, fueling unconfirmed rumors that the fortune could be gone.
Popescu drowned Monday morning off the coast of Costa Rica near Playa Hermosa, according to local news reports.
Mircea Popescu, one of Bitcoin’s earliest adopters died suddenly on Monday at 41. His fortune in the cryptocurrency was estimated to be around $2billion, the fate of which is uncertain
Rumors have swirled online that Popescu’s family does not have access to his digital assets.
Alexander Marder, a research analyst for Crypto Briefing said that without that access, the coins could be off the market.
Popescu started MPex, a ‘Bitcoin securities exchange’ in 2012 – one of the early venues for Bitcoin IPOs. The SEC investigated the outfit in 2014, according to Coindesk. It doesn’t appear anything came of the investigation.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin watchers said the alleged $2 billion holdings of Popescu’s could be lost forever depending on if anyone else has access.
‘It looks like that with the deaths of Mircea Popescu and John McAfee a significant amount of $BTC might be lost forever. RIP’ he tweeted. BTC refers to Bitcoin.
Software giant McAffee died in an apparent apparent suicide last week in a prison cell in Barcelona, and was also believed to have a large fortune in the cryptocurrency.
Rumors have swirled that his bitcoin fortune might be lost forever
Popescu was notorious for his crass online presence, which critics regarded as sexist and racist, and was dubbed ‘the father of Bitcoin toxicity.’
‘Bitcoin is fate. It operates completely outside of any human agency. For all you know about [bitcoin creator Satoshi] Nakamoto, bitcoin might as well have created itself,’ he wrote in one of his posts.
‘Bitcoin can kill all your friends, and all the people you respect… It can poop in your drink and rape your pets… If lightning strikes where you sit, whether you feel a warm cosy sort of love or the most burning hatred imaginable is strictly irrelevant – electricity stays,’
Popescu, from Romania, was a polarizing figure in the cryptocurrency space, often expressing views online that critics regarded as sexist and racist
In another of his essays, he outlined the roles he believed women were suited to in society.
One of them, he wrote, would be to eulogize men, Yahoo Finance reported.
Little else was reportedly known about him among the public.
Pete Rizzo, editor of Bitcoin Magazine, noted Popescu was a polarizing figure, and said he was called ‘The Father of Bitcoin Toxicity,’ by some.
‘Mircea will endure as one of #Bitcoin’s most vilified figures and inarguably one of its greatest philosophers,’ he wrote on Twitter.
Others eulogized him similarly.
Many eulogized Popescu as a polarizing figure, who undoubtedly had a large impact on the cryptocurrency space
‘Mircea Popescu died last week. He was a thoroughly unlikeable person, who taught me so much about Bitcoin,’ tweeted Riccardo Spagni, who is widely known in the crypto community.
‘Tim May and Mircea Popescu (both deceased, the latter just recently). Considered by some to be Bitcoin “philosophers” or “Visionaries” who deserve respect,’ said attorney Grant Gulovsen who says that he represents crypto-related clients.