Roger Ver Pledges $20k in Bitcoin to Antiwar.com Campaign

Jon Southurst
Nov 25, 2014 at 11:24 UTC
Updated Feb 4, 2019 at 22:20 UTC

Bitcoin entrepreneur and now philanthropist Roger Ver has doubled an earlier pledge of $10,000 in bitcoin to the activist site Antiwar.com, now promising to match up to $20,000 in donations from the public.

Ver first pledged up to $10,000 in matching BTC donations to the “non-interventionist” campaign site in August, hitting that target in about a month, following over 300 individual contributions. The current campaign runs until 14th December.

Antiwar.com and bitcoin

Antiwar.com began accepting bitcoin donations in November 2012, director of operations Angela Keaton told CoinDesk, saying “But we had debated it for a while. We put a lot of thought into it. Still do.”

The site’s audience tends to be early adopters with an interest in alternate currencies, she said.

The team had received a number of requests from readers who were mining bitcoin and wanted to use it to donate. Despite being grateful for the offers, Keaton said she remained sceptical of bitcoin for a while.

Antiwar.com had done some work with Drew Phillips of Bitcoin Not Bombs, who developed a system for accepting bitcoin that was so simple, integration became almost inevitable.

However, it was only when Keaton attended a bitcoin conference in San Diego last year, meeting some of its 2000 attendees face-to-face, that she was fully converted.

“I saw these really amazing, brilliant young minds that understood instinctively what was wrong, they were very anti-authoritarian, very much decentralized, in governance and their approaches to life… I said ‘my god, I do want to get this’.”

FBI surveillance of some members of the Antiwar team “certainly made us step back a little” and highlighted the benefits of a currency that allowed people to donate discretely.

Ver’s leadership in the bitcoin community, she added, and his well-known political views, mean campaigning for Antiwar.com is a natural fit.

“Roger has spoken out a lot on anarchism, he’s very outspokenly anti-war, and he’s a leader in the bitcoin movement … the way he talks about peace is really inspirational to a lot of us.”

Peace campaigns

The Antiwar.com website is a repository of news writing and opinion columns on non-aggression and pacifist causes, with up-to-date information on conflicts happening around the world.

The team also engages in other campaigns, calls to action and joins fellow anti-war coalitions, but due to the current situation with intervention against ISIS and controversy surrounding the defeat of the USA Freedom Act (anti-surveillance and monitoring), the team is trying to keep matters focused on news and commentary.

First launched during the Clinton era, Antiwar.com says it is “devoted to the cause of non-interventionism and is read by libertarians, pacifists, leftists, greens, and independents alike”.

Bitcoin ‘can stop war’

Bitcoin could aid the pacifist cause and stop war by removing governments’ control over money and thus its power to fund conflicts, Ver has said in the past.

Its mostly-anonymous nature is often touted as being effective for donations to political causes, where some people would prefer not to associate their names with campaigns through credit-card transactions.

Ver, once a prolific investor in bitcoin companies, has turned his attention to activism and in recent times promoting bitcoin and several political causes.

In November 2013 he made a 1000 BTC donation (worth $1m at the time) to the Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEE) and he has previously donated for retweets of his link to the Free Ross Ulbricht campaign.

His recently created site Bitcoin Bounty Hunter promises bitcoin rewards for anyone who provides information leading to the arrest of notable bitcoin-world crimes, including the Mt Gox theft and the more recent hacks of his own and Satoshi Nakamoto’s online accounts.

Missiles image via Shutterstock

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