He went from being achild actor in ‘Mighty Ducks’ to Bitcoin billionaire – now he wants to turn Puerto Rico into a Burning Man utopia.
Twenty-six men and women are seated along four folding tables laid end to end in the ballroom of a former Masonic lodge in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. An eclectic mix, ranging from local charity workers to Silicon Valley investors to cryptocurrency early adopters, they all believe that they’re about to make history. Specifically, they are here to help Brock Pierce – a child actor turned video-game entrepreneur turned crypto titan – give away a billion dollars to charity. Not in a will after his death, but now, in the prime of his life and the peak of his career, at age 37.
Pierce pauses and corrects himself, explaining that he’s giving away “more than everything I have, based on the markets.” A squall of knowing laughter fills the room. In the days preceding this meeting, the crypto markets either dipped, crashed or corrected, depending on what expert you ask. So, by Pierce’s own estimation, the billion accounts for 100 to 130 percent of his wealth. “That’s no concern of mine,” Pierce continues, “because I don’t need anything.”
This statement appears to be valid: In nearly 10 full days together, I rarely saw him sleep in a bed or eat a full meal. He crashed on random couches, in the back seats of cars, on tables at bars. He gave away necklaces, bracelets, food, money, time, tequila, you name it. His wife, Crystal Rose, the CEO of Sensay, a company that builds messaging systems, describes him as a nomad who lives out of a suitcase for weeks at a time.
The other reason Pierce is giving away more money than he has is that he’s confident he’ll make it back. “That’s the talent he has,” says Rose, who married Pierce in an online “smart contract” that can be dissolved, changed or renewed annually. “I wouldn’t be surprised at all if in two or three years, or even less, he has the same amount again.”