Mircea Popescu, blogger and Bitcoin provocateur, has died at 41
Editor’s Note: This article refers to blogs that may contain graphic or offensive content.
Where to start with Mircea Popescu?
Romanian by residence, provocateur by profession and “the greatest erotic writer in the world” by proclamation, Popescu leaves behind a legacy scattered over so many blogs and forums that it was difficult, even during his lifetime, to separate the man. of the myth. So let’s start with what we think we know.
Popescu, who is believed to be one of the largest individual bitcoin holders – he claimed to hold 1 million coins, although more conservative estimates put his holdings in the tens of thousands – is believed to have died at the age of 41, according to an article. first appeared in a Costa Rican report this week.
While unconvincing on its own – the article only mentions his name – the news has since been claimed by three different women he was known to have had sex with. long-standing and seemingly consensual master-slave relationships. (More on this later).
But while much of Twitter’s early rumbles focused on the size of its alleged holdings (and questions about their possible sale), the rest of this article will focus on Popescu’s controversial Bitcoin legacy.
One of tech’s oldest and most ambitious entrepreneurs, Popescu is known to have started MPEx, a so-called ‘Bitcoin securities exchange’. Founded in 2012, the website was once fertile ground for Bitcoin’s first IPOs, a practice that earned it the wrath of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, an agency it has not failed to review. undermine power with joy.
From there, Popescu would gain notoriety for being among the first to tackle scams in public, becoming a vocal critic of Ripple (the company that started XRP) as well as Bitcoin Savings & Trust, which came to light. later to be a pyramid scheme. .
The behaviors, then a novelty, would gain him an early following and set the tone for what would become the signature of Popescu – an aggressive brand of shameless Bitcoin evangelism that has continued its influence despite documented cases of sexism, fanaticism. and anti-Semitism.
His blog – Trilema.com – contains all of the above. Indeed, there are those who think that Popescu should have no passing recognition due to his long and demonstrated use of fanatic language.
Yet for others, its influence on the Bitcoin conversation is – and was – undeniable.
An avid antagonist of Bitcoin coders, he would do much to undermine the claims of first lead developer Gavin Andresen to any connection or lineage to Satoshi Nakamoto, collectively referring to the developers of the time as “The Power Rangers” in articles blog posts that sought to portray their attempts. improve the code as being ego driven, misguided, and generally childish.
The so-called ‘developers’ are by and large a bunch of backward kids looking for ‘sexy projects’ and who knows, maybe if they get more excited they could become spergrock stars and a fat guy somewhere throws his bra at them, ”wrote in a passage that showcases his coarse and evocative writing style.
While it’s hard to pin down exactly where in his sprawling anthology (it was common for him to post between 70 and 100 blog posts per month), he articulated some of the oldest and most passionate arguments there as to why. the description “Bitcoin user” should be limited only to those running nodes (and owning a copy of the blockchain).
“Popescu used the metaphor of the peasantry and the aristocracy to clarify this distinction. People who do not manage their own nodes are peasants, and that is the reality. He expressed it in terms that anyone can understand, ”said Akin Fernandez, founder of Aztec.
At times, he even managed to combine his unconventional sex lifestyle with his thoughts on Bitcoin in posts that argued for the freedom and ecstasy that could come from being subject to the rules of software.
Yet all of this could be buried under blogs that could be degrading to others when they weren’t downright violent and offensive. His most memorable act remains offering a bounty for the death of Bitcoin developer Pieter Wuille, although the blog post itself can be read as a multi-layered technical argument for validating transactions.
Equally impactful was his argument that software should remain backward compatible, avoiding hard forks, in which he tied the dense (weakly) technical concept to the claim that Bitcoin should be defined by user choice of software. final, and not by a single group of developers.
Was Mircea an imperfect character? Without a doubt. But in his worldview, only software mattered, and at a time when Bitcoin was in its infancy (and still risked losing its core qualities), it has established itself as one of its most fiery advocates.
“Bitcoin is not here for you to speak out on it. Bitcoin is here to profoundly and often painfully change your life,” he wrote. “Whether you agree or not, whether you gave permission or not, whether you thought it was ‘acceptable’ or ‘called’ or whatever. No one asked you.”
A selection of some of his most memorable quotes can be found here, although this is by no means an exhaustive overview of his many writings.
The author intends to explore more of the Popescu canon in the coming months, he can be reached here.
Image via TheWhet.net