Roger and Me
If you pay attention to r/btc (and I totally understand if you don’t), Roger Ver has “accepted” my latest terms as can be seen in this video at around the 13:47 mark:
Before I give my answer, let’s recap exactly what led up to this moment.
The Origin Story
The story starts out in May, where I saw this article. If you haven’t read it, the article quotes Roger as saying “Ethereum could overtake bitcoin by the end of the year and bitcoin cash could do the same before 2020”.
I wanted to see if Roger actually believed this. At the time, I was following him on Twitter, so I messaged him and I asked him if would like to put some money behind his words. I’ll quote the whole thing:
What’s happening is that Roger’s being a weasel, trying to manipulate the market by saying one thing, but also using the “I was misquoted” excuse when pressed to make a bet. This is a pattern I’ve seen from him quite often and a tactic politicians use.
He stopped replying to me after May 20. The conclusion that I came to is that he simply wasn’t interested in backing up his words with money. I unfollowed him soon after and didn’t think much of it. Live and let live, as they say.
Given that we were going to debate, I wanted to point out his hypocrisy at the debate in September, and when I did, he came up with some pretty ridiculous terms:
- Bet is for 10 years from now.
- Bet is for $1,000,000
Obviously, Roger is trying to get the credit for having the courage to bet while pushing out the bet as far as possible to minimize the damage. The terms of the bet he’s proposed here are a stark contrast to the article above where he made it seem like the “flippening” was something that would happen relatively soon. Already, you can see that the bet he’s proposed is lacking teeth and puts as little skin in the game as possible.
I followed up with him via email and proposed this bet:
I wanted to have a bet that would actually make him put some real skin in the game. BCH is currently around 7% of BTC, so 0.5% requires something like a 93% drop from here. The biggest concern for me is that I’d be able to collect on the bet and tracking this guy down 10 years from now, so I put in this clause as a reasonable way to get this bet to terminate early. I also wanted to denominate in BTC as to actually make sure it hurts him.
He responded like this:
He wants to denominate in dollars, which is clearly to protect his downside risk, while getting credit for putting skin in the game.
I responded with new terms:
The only real changes are that the bet is denominated in dollars, but the early termination clause still remains. After claiming he “wanted to bet”, he starts weaseling into better terms:
Obviously, Roger’s getting concerned he might actually lose, so he moves the goalposts by changing the terms he seemed ready to agree to 3 days earlier. He now wants a 500:1 ratio sustained over 30 days instead of 200:1 ratio over 24 hours. I concede one, but not the other as a gesture of good faith:
In case you haven’t noticed, I respond to him right away because I’m eager to get the bet in and he takes 3 days to respond probably because he’s having second thoughts. And it is this email that I published as part of my tweet which he responds to in the first video up above. He doesn’t respond for 2 weeks and here’s how the email exchange ended:
Seems the guy likes to rage-quit conversations!
So to recap, his 3 “offers” were:
- On the cruise where he didn’t make clear that he wanted the amount settled in dollars and only at the end of the 10 years.
- A bet I was perfectly willing to make, but he moved the goalposts on.
- A change in terms after more or less agreeing to a bet.
I want to highlight this as he’s once again moving the goalposts
His Latest Bet
Roger wants to bet me, but once again, he’s changing the conditions.
The proceeds go to the charity of the winner’s choice.
Now, it should be clear based on the exchanges I’ve had with Roger that he’s mostly doing this because he’s embarrassed. People have been asking him about this bet and given that I’ve published my last offer, he can’t reasonably explain that the terms are that out of line with what he proposed on the Cruise.
I’ve tried to bargain in good faith on the terms of the bet. I don’t see why I should concede this final point given how many times he tries to move the goalposts. Two reasons why I don’t want to donate the proceeds to charity:
- I want this to hurt. I think Roger knows he’s going to lose this bet but feels like he’s lost his credibility by not accepting, so he’s trying to minimize the pain he’ll feel when he loses. I want Roger to feel the full brunt of that pain by having to pay the money to the guy that’s been calling him out.
- I don’t want any weird incentives. A charity donation is a tax deduction in many jurisdictions. The loser should feel pain, not get a tax deduction. Also, I can name a charity, Roger can negotiate with that charity to pay some smaller amount in exchange for a $1M receipt.
Regardless, the cards are out on the table. It’s pretty clear who keeps moving the goalposts, who is posturing and who’s actually scared (hint: it’s not me!).
I hope this post makes clear exactly what Roger is talking about and how he continually spins the narrative. I’ve been pressing for a bet from him for about 6 months now and he continues to dodge, deflect, move the goalposts and do anything but actually put some skin in the game.
I accept the bet under two conditions:
- $1M has to be transferred to the winner within 14 days of the conclusion of the bet (whether with early termination or at the 10-year mark) in the currency of the winner’s choice.
- Winner donates a minimum of 25% of the proceeds to charities as the winner sees fit.
Will he move the goalposts yet again? Or will the embarrassment of being exposed be too much? I’m going to guess that he’s going to come up with an excuse to not make this bet, but who knows? Whatever he decides, expect r/btc to justify his actions while ignoring all the evidence I’ve presented above.