Fears fortune may be lost as Bitcoin billionaire drowns during morning swim

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There are fears that a Bitcoin billionaire's fortune may have been lost forever following his mysterious death while swimming off the coast in Costa Rica.

Mircea Popescu, 41, whose Bitcoin fortune is estimated to be worth more than £1.45 billion ($2 billion), is said to have drowned after taking an 8.30am morning swim on Wednesday, June 30, in the resort of Playa Hermosa, which is known as a surfing destination because of its massive waves.

Bitcoin is a form of digital currency which uses encryption to secure transactions.

There has so far been no official word on who has access to his digital assets, which are believed to be some of the largest in the world, according to News.com.au.

Experts have said that if Popescu didn't share access to those assets with anyone when his vast fortune could be lost.

Popescu was well known for his blogging about Bitcoin, 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."

In another of his essays, he outlined the roles he believed women were suited to in society.

Research Analyst at Crypto Briefing Alexander Mardar said: "It looks like that with the deaths of Mircea Popescu and John McAfee a significant amount of $BTC might be lost forever."

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Former CoinDesk editor-in-chief Pete Rizzo said Popescu was also an antagonist of other prominent figures in the early years of bitcoin.

Following reports of his death, Mr Rizzo tweeted: "Mircea will endure as one of bitcoin’s most vilified figures and inarguably one of its greatest philosophers."

It follows the death of software mogul John McAfee who was found dead last week in a Barcelona cell, who was also said to have vast sums tied up in cryptocurrency.

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The UK-born computer pioneer reportedly took his own life in a Barcelona jail after the Spanish high court allowed his extradition to the United States, Spain's El Mundo newspaper reports.

McAfee, 75, was arrested at El Prat airport in Spain on October 3, 2020, as he tried to flee the country to Turkey.

That same month, the American-British tech mogul was charged in Tennessee with evading taxes after failing to report income made from promoting cryptocurrencies while he did consulting work, made speaking engagements, and sold the rights to his life story for a documentary.

  • Net Worth
  • Bitcoin

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