Self-Declared Bitcoin Creator Sees Company He Inspired Sold to Private Equity

April 18, 2017

By Nathan Reiff

In the ever-changing world of cryptocurrencies, Craig Wright has become something of a fixture. The 46-year old computer scientist, who claims to have invented Bitcoin, has garnered both massive praise and skeptical criticism from those on different sides of the industry. Regardless of Wright’s own involvement in the earliest stages of Bitcoin, however, his work since then has been the focus of at least one company. nChain Holdings, a tech company based on Wright’s research, has been sold off to private investors. What could the sale of this company to a private equity firm mean for the future of blockchain and cryptocurrencies?

Biggest Blockchain Deal Yet

According to reporting by Reuters, the sale of nChain Holdings to High Tech Private Equity Fund SICAV, PLC was the largest deal involving blockchain technology-focused companies to date. The private equity fund, based in Malta, purchased the so-called “world leader in blockchain-centric research and development” without revealing an overall value for the deal and without mentioning Wright by name.

For his part, Wright seems to be optimistic that his role at the heart of blockchain technology will remain fixed in place for the foreseeable future, although he explained to Reuters that his goal was to fashion Bitcoin into a worldwide system that has “no ruler” or king. Rather, he indicated, “we will scale and grow Bitcoin to become what it was envisioned to be.”

nChain Filed Patents on Wright’s Behalf

Reuters has previously pointed out that nChain, formerly known by the name EITC Holdings, was the company through which Wright filed patents on hundreds of different technologies relating to Bitcoin and blockchain. Reuters also reported that a person involved in the deal indicated that $300 million had been invested into nChain, although it was not clear if that constitutes this particular deal or an aggregation of investments over time.

Wright, on the other hand, has continued to be a controversial figure in the cryptocurrency world. After attempts to convince the wider community that he was the person behind the mysterious “Satoshi Nakamoto” moniker, Wright has faded somewhat from public view. Regardless of whether Wright was the pseudonymous inventor of the cryptocurrency, it does appear that he was heavily involved with the development of Bitcoin from its outset, and his holdings of 1 million Bitcoin (valued at more than $1 billion) corroborate that. The effects of the sale of nChain to a private equity firm on Wright are unclear, as patents for Bitcoin and blockchain technologies are slipperier and less easily defended than those on more traditional products. What does seem likely, however, is that Wright will continue to play a big part in the further development and promulgation of Bitcoin into new areas of business and finance.



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