Erik Tristan Voorhees is an American / Panamanian startup founder. He is co-founder of the bitcoin company Coinapult, worked as Director of Marketing at BitInstant,[2] and was founder[3] and partial owner[4] of the bitcoin gambling website Satoshi Dice (subsequently sold in July 2013 to an undisclosed buyer). He is additionally the creator and CEO of the instant bitcoin and altcoin exchange ShapeShift​.io, having founded and operated it under the alias Beorn Gonthier, until revealing his true involvement with the company, as part of a seed funding announcement, in March 2015.[6]

 

Background

Originally from Colorado, Voorhees later moved to Dubai, New York City and New Hampshire, fitting a participant in the Free State Project.[3] Voorhees now lives in Panama City, Panama.[7] According to a US court order in a SEC case, Voorhees is a US citizen as of June 3, 2014. He attended Vail Mountain School, and graduated in 2007 from the University of Puget Sound.[9]

Voorhees believes the current monetary system has serious systemic problems with counter-party risk,[10] that the Federal Reserve System is "fraudulent"[11] and advocates "the separation of money and state." [12][13] He keeps his assets and finances in bitcoin,[14] and is an outspoken opponent of taxation though he does file with the IRS as an American citizen.[15]

Career

Voorhees is the founder and former CEO of Coinapult,[16] a company that transfers bitcoin via SMS and email.[2] He previously founded Satoshi Dice, Voorhees' company SatoshiDice has been criticised for its high level of gambling traffic, which vastly increased the amount of data stored in the bitcoin "block chain".[3] On March 8, 2013, he was interviewed on noted financial commentator Peter Schiff's podcast by Tom Woods about bitcoin as an alternative currency.[17] On January 30, 2015 he was interviewed on the Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast and discussed his bitcoin career.[18]

As of August 2012, as Director of Marketing Voorhees and BitInstant planned to launch a bitcoin-funded debit card, which would allow bitcoin-funded purchases to be transacted over standard bank networks.[19]

In July 2013, Voorhees sold Satoshi Dice to an anonymous investor for 126,315 bitcoins, valued at $11.5M ($83M as of Jun 7 2014), and described as the "first big Bitcoin acquisition".[20]