Bitcoin billionaire dies with over $1B in BTC, raising questions

  • A major Bitcoin whale and influencer reportedly drowned in Costa Rica.
  • Reported to hold Bitcoin worth more than $1 billion, some in the community are curious if this will be spent.

Barely a week after the death of John McAfee, a renowned figure in the crypto industry, who’s also a crypto influencer has reportedly died. Mircea Popescu, who is identified as a Bitcoin whale with about $1 billion worth of Bitcoin in his possession, drowned off the coast of Costa Rica. 

The incident happened at around 8:00 am after he was spotted walking into the sea to swim at the Tramonto Sector. Upon investigation, the Judicial Investigation Agency of Costa Rica disclosed that the deceased was the 41-year old Popescu. Investigators detailed that he has of Polish origin, but is a well-known Romanian. 

The local media reports that authorities have issued warnings about swimming in the area with the ocean current appearing to be brutal.

Jaco Beach lifeguards remind tourists and bathers that Paya Hermosa is not an area for swimming.

Popescu is known to have founded Polimedia, a Romanian enterprise resource planning firm in 2007. In 2008, he started writing on the Trilema blog in his native Romanian, switching to English in 2012 when he began writing about crypto. Popescu is known to have sold SatoshiDice in 2013 for 25,000 BTC. He also operated the defunct stock, bond, and options MPEx exchange founded in 2012. 

Popescu stood against a change to Bitcoin block-size

Popescu was a tough crypto follower with a higher influence in most of the crypto-related decisions. According to Roger Ver, a Bitcoin investor, Popescu “trolled the SEC harder than anyone else in all of history.”

Somewhere around 2016, Popescu and a group of Minarchists from Bitcoin Asset on IRC protested against the decision to change the Bitcoin block size of 1 MB. They threatened to sell $1 million worth of the asset if any change was made. The then lead developer of Bitcoin core node client, Gavin Andresen failed to persuade Popescu.

After reports of his death, the crypto community has been curious about the fate of his holdings – if this is inherited, will the new owner sell?

About Author

John's a cryptocurrency and blockchain writer and researcher with years of experience. He has a lot of interest in emerging startups, tokens, and the invisible forces of demand and supply. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Geography and Economics. My Email: (

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