Fri. Oct 22nd, 2021

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Bitcoin Whale Mircea Popescu Passes: What Happens To His $1B in BTC?

5 min read

The legendary Mircea Popescu is allegedly dead. It’s rumored that, besides Satoshi Nakamoto, he was the only bitcoin millionaire. He started that rumor. Where are those coins and what will happen to them?

The news of his death arrived via news reports from Costa Rica, his country of residence. This article says, “A 41 year old foreign national died by drowning at Playa Hermosa de Garabito, Puntarenas, on Wednesday morning. The Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) confirmed the identity of the man as Mircea Popescu, of Polish origin.

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Even though he’s actually Romanian, the whole Bitcoin community assumes it’s him and is already mourning Popescu. He was a staple in the early days of the leading cryptocurrency and it’s recognized as “the father of toxic maximalism.” As you’re probably guessing, he was a controversial figure. Bitcoin.com informs:

Mircea Popescu, a Romanian national and noted Bitcoin maximalist who promised to dump over one million bitcoins if block sizes were adjusted, supposedly drowned off the coast of Costa Rica on June 23rd. Confirmation of his passing has been scant, with outlets originally reporting that a Polish national had drowned.

But, did he really own one million coins? And if he did, what happens to them now? Did we lose them forever? Or are they going to eventually hit the market, driving the price downwards? Let’s look for clues in the information we have about the person in question.

The polarizing Mircea Popescu

This man was the first and most extreme Bitcoin maximalist. In 2011, he founded MPEx, an ancient “exchange where stocks, bonds, options and other types of securities are traded.” It was controversial, to say the least. A pseudonymous Bitcointalk forum user described it as, “It is my duty to post here. This exchange is run by a dubious Romanian character, who is a content stealer, spammer, wannabe porn website owner, called Mircea Popescu.”

As his Bitcoin Magazine profile suggests, he really was that “collorful”:

Popescu would gain notoriety for being among the first to combat scams in public, emerging as a vocal critic of Ripple (the company that launched XRP) as well as Bitcoin Savings & Trust, which was later revealed to have been a pyramid scheme.

The behaviors, then a novelty, would win him an early following and set the tone for what would become Popescu’s signature – an aggressive brand of unapologetic Bitcoin evangelism that made his influence enduring despite documented instances of sexism, bigotry and anti-semitism. 

In his Trilema blog, he denounced scammers and made fun of the SEC. The most controversial aspects of his personality also made an appearance, be aware of that before you browse it. 

All of his other ideas aside, Mircea Popescu understood the importance of Bitcoin early. He knew that something this monumental for humanity is something worth protecting at all costs. His methods live on in today’s laser-eyed cyber hornets, the Bitcoin maximalist.

BTCUSD price chart for 06/30/2021 - TradingView

BTC price chart on Gemini | Source: BTC/USDT on TradingView.com

Yeah, yeah, may he rest in peace and all, but… 

What Will Happen With Popescu’s BTC?

Just a few days ago, Popescu was bragging online about being the only Bitcoin millionaire. A proposition that, just to be clear, many people don’t believe.  

Mircea Popescu, the only bitcoin millionaire quote

Mircea Popescu, the only bitcoin millionaire quote

And the main rumor online is that his family can’t access his Bitcoin addresses and that the world lost that BTC forever.

Of course, that’s just a rumor. He was an informed Bitcoiner and probably had a plan. Nevertheless, death arrived unexpectedly. Maybe he didn’t have a plan. The Costa Rican newspaper continues, “The incident happened about 8:30am when Popescu went swimming in the Tramonto sector, was dragged by the current, and died there.

And, maybe showing insensitiveness, the focus of the community is now Popescu’s extreme Bitcoin stash. If he indeed had 1M BTC, and those coins land on the market, the price will tank. If, on the contrary, humanity lost those coins forever, then each and every bitcoin in existence is now worth even more.

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Mircea Popescu Quotes, Via Twitter

To finish this hommage off, let’s let the man speak through these quotes:

Featured Image by Mike Doherty on Unsplash - Charts by TradingView

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