A 41-year-old bitcoin mogul died unexpectedly, leaving behind a fortune worth billions

A pile of bitcoin cryptocurrencies is seen.
A pile of bitcoin cryptocurrencies is seen.

  • Major bitcoin investor Mircea Popescu suddenly died, leaving behind a cryptocurrency fortune reportedly worth over $2 billion.
  • Popescu, 41, drowned last week off the coast of Costa Rica, local reports said.
  • His death has prompted questions about what will happen to Popescu’s enormous bitcoin fortune.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A major bitcoin investor has suddenly died, leaving behind a cryptocurrency fortune reportedly worth more than $2 billion.

Mircea Popescu, a Romanian national, drowned last week off the coast of Costa Rica, local reports said. He was 41.

Popescu drowned at Playa Hermosa, according to Teletica.com, which reported that Popescu was swept away by the current and died.

His death has prompted questions surrounding what will now happen to Popescu’s enormous bitcoin fortune.

Popescu, a controversial figure sometimes referred to as “the father of bitcoin toxicity,” is known for launching a “bitcoin securities exchange” called MPEx in 2012, according to Bitcoin magazine.

“The website was once an early breeding ground for early bitcoin IPOs, a practice that earned him the ire of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, an agency whose power he took no shortage of joy in openly undermining,” the magazine said.

Popescu generated “an aggressive brand of unapologetic bitcoin evangelism that made his influence enduring despite documented instances of sexism, bigotry and anti-semitism,” Bitcoin Magazine said.

He has claimed to hold 1 million bitcoins, though some have estimated that he had tens of thousands of coins.

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