Mircea Popescu, a bitcoin billionaire and founder of Trilema and MPEx, died of drowning; now his $2 billion worth of bitcoin might have gone missing
Mircea Popescu, a 41-year-old Romanian bitcoin billionaire and founder of the MPEx exchange, has died following a drowning incident off the coast of Costa Rica near Playa Hermosa, according to a report from a local news outlet Teletica.
“As confirmed by the Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ), the man was identified as Mircea Popescu of Polish origin. The events occurred around 8:30 am when Popescu entered the sea to swim in the Tramonto sector, was swept away by the current, and died on the spot,” Teletica reported.
Before his death, Mircea Popescu was an outspoken figure and an early adopter of Bitcoin. Sources said that he left behind an estimated $2 billion in bitcoin, which
has now gone missing and rumors are swirling that Popescu’s family doesn’t have access to his digital assets some speculate might have gone missing and be lost forever, according to another report from the Daily Mail.
Crypto analyst Alexander Marder of Crypto Briefing noted that this could mean that tens of thousands of Bitcoins are ‘off the market.’ In a tweet, Marder said, “It looks like that with the deaths of Mircea Popescu and John McAfee a significant amount of $BTC might be lost forever. RIP.”
It looks like that with the deaths of Mircea Popescu and John McAfee a significant amount of $BTC might be lost forever.
— Alexander Mardar (@amardar1) June 28, 2021
Popescu was the founder and operator of MPEx, a securities and futures exchange denominated in Bitcoin and is a co-owner of the Bitcoin betting site BitBet.us, the hardware security firm NoSuchlAbs nd MiniGame, a computer game publisher.
Popescu also covers cryptocurrency, tech, and social topics on Trilema, his native Romania blog he started in late 2008. In early 2012, Popescu began writing about Bitcoin and switched to coverage in English later that year. In July 2013, Popescu sold SatoshiDice for a total of over 125,000 BTC. In March 2014, Popescu revealed that he had received a request to disclose details about MPEx’ users and at least one security issuer from the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC).
According to TrustNodes.com, “Popescu grew up in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania and graduated from Avram Iancu University. He lived in several countries including United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Egypt.”
During his life, Popescu was known for being an eccentric and outspoken person, which later cause offended critics to dub him the “father of Bitcoin toxicity.” In one post, Popescu said, “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.”
Mircea Popescu was offensive, flawed and unapologetic. His death* is the most significant in #Bitcoin's history since the passing of Hal Finney. https://t.co/jbVQ1gpEzZ
— RIZZO (@pete_rizzo_) June 28, 2021
In another ironic post, he wrote:
“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.”
July 3, 2021 Update: Titled changed to reflect feedback from Rizzo on Twitter. Hats off to Rizzo for bringing this to our attention.
Old Title: “Mircea Popescu, a bitcoin billionaire and founder of Trilema and MPEx, died of drowning; now his $2 billion worth of bitcoin has gone missing.”
New Title: “Mircea Popescu, a bitcoin billionaire and founder of Trilema and MPEx, died of drowning; now his $2 billion worth of bitcoin might have gone missing.”