Leave it to Roger Ver to get bitcoin fans all in a tizzy.
In an act some on Reddit.com are referring to as “poor shaming”, the Bitcoin.com CEO recently took to Twitter to chide well-regarded bitcoin evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos but it’s Antonopoulos who may have the last laugh—or, at the very least, a few million more dollars in his bank account.
Antonopoulos may not be a household name for most people but in bitcoin world, he’s a hero to many. The author of the O’Reilly book, “Mastering Bitcoin“, Antonopoulos knows just about every inch of the cryptocurrency’s code and how blockchains works—and he has spent the last several years traveling the world writing, lecturing, and fostering new companies in the sector. He’s also on the oversight board for the CME Group’s bitcoin reference rate index, the price that’s used to value the exchange’s new bitcoin futures contracts that hit the market December 10, 2017.
One would think Antonopolous, who first got into bitcoin in 2012, is swimming in a virtual pool of the currency like a modern-day Scrooge McDuck. Alas, that’s not the case and he recently launched a page on crowdfunding site Patreon seeking donors in return for early access to videos, Q&As, and local happy hours.
“In 2012 and 2013, while others were buying bitcoin, I spent all of my savings (and then some) simply to support my full time work in this industry, without any source of income,” he wrote on his Patreon page. Even his gig at the CME is as an unpaid volunteer.
A Swedish admirer took to Twitter encouraging people to throw a few bucks Antonopoulos’ way:
— Dennis Parker⚡️ (@Xentagz) November 30, 2017
One user was shocked Antonopoulos was seeking small handouts:
He's a multimillionaire, no? Does he need the money at this point? Why not support a smaller content creator that the money would help more?
— Jonathan Sterling (@JSterling8) November 30, 2017
That lead to this reply from the man himself:
I'm not a bitcoin millionnaire. I was working for free, instead of investing, for the first 2 years. Only recently got out of debt.
My supporters on Patreon, many at $5/month, make it possible for me to work with independence.
— Andreas M. Antonopoulos (@aantonop) November 30, 2017
Enter Roger Ver.
Like Antonopoulos, Ver was an early advocate of bitcoin, but with higher-paying results. Besides running Bitcoin.com, Ver has also put money into bitcoin trading platforms Bitstamp and Kraken, digital wallet company Blockchain.info, and other cryptocurrencies such as Ripple. He’s known as Bitcoin Jesus by some but is hated by others for his role in pushing the creation of Bitcoin Cash, a spinoff of the original bitcoin.
Thus when Ver took to Twitter to drop his two satoshis on what he thinks about Antonopoulos, many took note.
Andreas is one of the most eloquent speakers on the topic of Bitcoin, but if he had invested even $300 in bitcoin back in 2012, he’d be a millionaire today. https://t.co/GU8mW8FpTe
— Roger Ver (@rogerkver) December 5, 2017
Antonopoulos responded with a heartbreaking reply.
I did invest, Roger. Then I sold in 2013 to pay my rent. I didn't have disposable income to work for two years without pay and invest at the same time. I should've gone into more debt, but that would have been irresponsible towards my family who I supported
— Andreas M. Antonopoulos (@aantonop) December 5, 2017
Others made it clear they were on Team Andreas and challenged Bitcoin Cash fanboys.
He's not a businessman. It makes him look even better that he didn't do this for money. He donated his life and work. Bitcoin wasn't made to make more millionaires.
— K (@k9k99kx) December 7, 2017
Antonopoulos’ legion of admirers took to sending their quickly-rising bitcoins to his account, noted media site Quartz. In the week following Ver’s tweets—as shown on, well, Blockchain.info—donors have given Antonopoulos 94.13 bitcoins. That’s worth $1.6 million as of December 17.
Thus Antonopoulos proved Ver right. He invested $300 in bitcoin back in 2011 and he is a millionaire today.