He was one of the most famous, but at the same time controversial figures in Bitcoin history. Now Mircea Popescu has died at the age of 41. He leaves what is believed to be the largest amount of Bitcoin in private ownership.


Popescu – controversial Bitcoin advocate

The news of Mircea Popescu’s death caused a mixed response within the crypto community. The Romanian is said to have been a hardcore Bitcoin maximalist, considered the “father of toxic maximalism”. Bitcoin above all – for him, there were no other cryptocurrencies except BTC. Apart from that, Popescu was also the first to draw attention to crypto scams and actively took action against them. A quote clarifies his offensive passion for Bitcoin:

“Bitcoin is not here for you to worry about. Bitcoin is here to change your life in a profound and often painful way. Whether you agree or not, whether you give your permission or not, whether you consider it “acceptable” or “necessary” or whatever. Nobody asked you.“

Local media had originally reported on Popescu’s death:

“A 41-year-old foreign citizen died by drowning on Wednesday morning at Playa Hermosa de Garabito, Puntarenas. The Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) confirmed the identity of the man as Mircea Popescu, of Polish origin.“

The fact that it was originally reported that a Pole had drowned only raised doubts as to whether it was actually Popescu. However, three women close to him are said to have confirmed his death.

“Taught me so much about Bitcoin”

Monero developer Riccardo Spagni also comments on Popescu’s demise:

“Mircea Popescu died last week. He was a thoroughly unsympathetic person who taught me so much about Bitcoin. I think the thing that will stay with me is his insistence that noobs lurk for 6 months before they say anything. We would have stronger communities if that were a tradition.“

Bitcoin.com write:

“Mircea Popescu, a Romanian citizen and well-known Bitcoin maximalist who promised to dump over a million bitcoins if the block sizes were adjusted, allegedly drowned off the coast of Costa Rica on June 23. There were few confirmations of his passing.“

One million Bitcoins – if Popescu’s claim to have so many coins is true, this is probably the largest amount of privately owned Bitcoin (to buy from eToro or Libertex). Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto is also said to own so many coins (however, this is only an estimate – the actual amount is unknown).

Relatives should not have wallet access

Large parts of the crypto community are now asking themselves (perhaps a little premature given the circumstances): What happens to the Bitcoins? One million BTC would currently be worth more than 2 billion dollars.

Crypto analyst Alexander Mardar writes on Twitter:

“It seems that with the deaths of Mircea Popescu and John McAfee, a significant amount of Bitcoins are lost forever.“

Apparently, the coins are lost – at least according to rumors that stubbornly remain within the crypto community: according to them, the family of the deceased does not have access to Popescu’s Bitcoin wallet. Is that true? If one million Bitcoin suddenly disappeared from the market, it would increase the value of all remaining bitcoins. However, security experts also advise never to reveal online how many coins you own. Especially with a million BTC, this should be quite a useful practice.