- The founder of MPEx exchange Mircea Popescu has died after apparently drowning in Costa Rica
- Popescu was an outspoken Bitcoin enthusiast who took on the SEC in a battle over MPEx
- Popescu’s outspoken nature made him as many enemies as it did friends
Mircea Popescu, the pro-Bitcoin philosopher and MPEx exchange founder who divided opinion within the community, has died after apparently drowning in Costa Rica. Popescu was one of the earliest Bitcoin proponents, calling it among other things “a far reaching innovation with effects unknown and unknowable”, and was a fervent critic of U.S. authorities such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). However, his abrasive and often arrogant tone often rubbed others up the wrong way, leading to plenty of insults to his memory as well as plaudits.
Popescu Divided Opinion
Reports of a drowning at Playa Hermosa, a beach on Costa Rica’s west coast, emerged last week and confirmation that Popescu was the victim began circulating on crypto twitter over the weekend. Tributes have since poured in, with many re-posting their favorite Mircea Popescu quotes in memory of the 41-year-old, while others have remembered him less fondly.
Popescu was born and raised near Transylvania in Romania before attending Avram Iancu University. A well travelled man, Popescu lived in several countries including the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Egypt. He blogged extensively on his Trilema site since starting it in 2008, becoming interested in Bitcoin in 2011. His Bitcoin exchange MPEx launched in April 2012 and was investigated by the SEC in 2014 at the same time that Erik Vorhees’ SatoshiDice was being investigated.
Great Philosopher or “Pompous Windbag”?
Popescu worked as a software developer and strategic consultant and blogging until his death last week, with his last piece on Trilema, bemoaning the design of certain computer games, being posted on June 22. News of his death was met with sadness in some quarters, with tributes posted on Twitter:
RIP Mircea Popescu (1980 – 2021)
Called “The Father of Bitcoin Toxicity” by some, Mircea will endure as one of #Bitcoin‘s most vilified figures and inarguably one of its greatest philosophers.
In memory, a collection of my favorite MP quotes below. pic.twitter.com/KMoIfKGeSk
— RIZZO (@pete_rizzo_) June 27, 2021
“Mediocrity is not a lack of intelligence.
Mediocrity is intelligence entirely dedicated to self-preservation.”
– Mircea Popescu
— i.am.nomad (@IamNomad) June 27, 2021
“I like Bitcoin because I like freedom. Simple as that”.
RIP Mircea Popescu (1980-2021)
— Manuel Arias (@offside93) June 27, 2021
Not everyone was enamored with Popescu however, with social media posts prior to his death calling him a “pompous windbag” and a “low brow pornographer”, while another poster offered an unforgettable anecdote: