The pair have reportedly filed multiple patents in the UK that would give them exclusivity on certain elements of Bitcoin. According to Reuters, the patents “range from the storage of medical documents to WiFi security.”
Wright, an Australian computer scientist, has filed nearly 75 patents in the UK but has yet to gain approval. With the help of Ayre, who was reportedly worth $1 billion in 2006, Wright may have the financial backing he needs to gain the patents.
Neither gave any validity to the report, with Ayre dismissing it on his Facebook page.
“Interesting read but it’s amazing what passes for reporting in the age of fake news,” he posted. “I think Reuters has been hacked by relying on fake documents.”
As for Wright, he gained fame last year after claiming to be the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, an alias for the creator of Bitcoin.
“The bitcoin blockchain can be scaled up to replace all existing payment system networks to become the world's single global economic infrastructure," Wright wrote in a 2015 paper.
If Ayre and Wright gain the patent and control certain aspects of the cryptocurrency, they could be in for a fortune.
After all, Bitcoin has become extremely popular because it lets people move funds around without involving a central bank or government. This has made it extremely popular among online gamblers who can't play at internet casinos with regular payment methods due to banking laws in their country (i.e. US).
Beyond internet gaming, banks are investing money into researching how Bitcoin could eventually dominate the banking industry. This virtual currency, which revolves around a blockchain (public ledger of every Bitcoin transaction), bypasses banks and fees so people and companies can anonymously send money to each other. Contrast this to eWallets like PayPal and Neteller, and credit cards like Visa and MasterCard, which go through banks and require account holders' details.
Bitcoin popularity is at an all-time high, reaching $1,200 per Bitcoin after the U.S. regulatory commission approved the first exchange-traded fund involving the cryptocurrency.
Reuters reported that Bitcoin was originally developed with online gaming in mind, with the earliest code containing functions related to poker.
Whether Wright was the developer of this early code remains to be proven. But Reuters does leave for the possibility, stating that Wright has documents featuring two folders of computer code for early Bitcoin versions. This indicates that, at the very least, he was involved with a group of people who developed the currency before it went public in 2009.
Another interesting thing about the computer genius is that he's been filing patents from a company called EITC Holdings, which is located in Antigua, where Calvin Ayre has hid from US authorities for years. Furthermore, EITC is run by Australian Stefan Matthews and Canadian Robert MacGregor, both long-term associates of Ayre.
Wright, Matthews, and MacGregor all appear in a June 2015 photo together. And sources familiar with EITC told Reuters that Matthews and MacGregor went to great lengths to hide their involvement in the company. It also appears that Wright and Ayre have known each other for quite some time, with both pictured swimming together on Ayre's Facebook page in Indian Arm, a fjord near Vancouver.
Whatever the link is between the men and EITC isn't completely clear. But what is known is that mainstream media thinks Ayre and Wright have big plans with Bitcoin.