A bitcoin booster got $1.5 million after being “bitshamed” for being poor

A victim of “bitshaming.”
A victim of “bitshaming.”
Image: Andreas M. Antonopoulos
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This post has been corrected.

A bitcoin personality became an instant millionaire from a flood of donations worth around 100 bitcoins, or around $1.5 million at today’s rates.

The recipient, Andreas M. Antonopoulos, has written technical books about bitcoin and is known for delivering inspiring speeches about the cryptocurrency’s revolutionary potential. Donations poured in after another bitcoin personality, a man known as “Bitcoin Jesus” for his evangelical efforts to promote the cryptocurrency, mocked Antonopoulos on Twitter for not getting rich off early bitcoin investments.

Antonopoulos makes a living from donations to a Patreon account, speaking fees, and book royalties. He was debunking the claim made by someone on Twitter, who assumed he was a “multi-millionaire” given his early involvement in the bitcoin world.

That’s when Roger Ver, who is widely known as “Bitcoin Jesus,” chastised him for not buying and holding the cryptocurrency in the early days. The failure to “hodl” through the market’s many rallies and crashes is seen as a cardinal sin among the cryptocurrency’s faithful:

Antonopoulos replied that he had indeed bought bitcoin early, but was forced to sell in 2013 to pay for rent and to support his family. Bitcoin was trading for as little as $13 that year, before a monster rally took it to $1,200 towards the end of the year.

The act of mocking someone who’s been involved in bitcoin for years but isn’t rich even has a name now: “bitshaming.“ A rallying cry went up among Antonopoulos’ supporters on Twitter to make donations to the man.

Within two days, bitcoins flooded in. During that time, the bitcoin price climbed from under $12,000 to $17,000. According to data provider Blockchain.info, Antonopoulos’ bitcoin address has received around 100 bitcoins in total.

Antonopoulos declared himself overwhelmed by the support. He is going offline for a while, a newly minted bitcoin millionaire.

Correction (Dec. 8): The original version of this post incorrectly stated the sum of bitcoins donated to Antonopoulos. He received around 100 bitcoins, and not 152 bitcoins as previously stated.