Update: October 9, 2023: nChain’s Stephanie Tower sent clarifications to BitPinas with regards to this article:
Table of Contents
On Christen Ager-Hanssen, former CEO of nChain:
“Please be advised that contrary to what he has written on X, Mr Ager-Hanssen didn’t quit but was terminated effective immediately.”Stephanie Tower, nChain
“I can confirm that nChain sponsored only the training in Zug for the Bataan delegation (not flights and accommodations). We conducted the training the same way we did for the SEC, BSP, and DICT for free to help government bodies get educated on the use cases and benefits of blockchain.”Stephanie Tower, nChain
On the presence of Bataan representatives during the Block Dojo launch in the Philippines:
“Bataan representatives were at the Block Dojo Philippines launch represented by the co-chairman of the PPP Selection Committee Tonyboy Roman and Benjamin Co. The Governor had to decline the invitation since the First Lady has scheduled a visit on the same day of the launch and sent the representatives. Gov. Joet Garcia previously was scheduled to attend and to take part in the program.”Stephanie Tower, nChain
Bataan representatives did not go up on stage during the Block Dojo event, BitPinas was told.
On the current status of the MOU between the government of Bataan and nChain:
As regards to the MOU, our commitment remains strong in supporting the digitalization efforts and initiatives of the PGB. nChain is in the process of submitting an unsolicited proposal which is part of the PPP required legal steps to help build the foundation of transforming the province to an innovation hub. This has always been our commitment to the Governor and the province, and we will keep pursuing opportunities to realizing and making this happen for Bataan.Stephanie Tower, nChain
nChain did not dispute other contents of the article, including the Block Dojo incubation offering (cash investment of ₱120,000 for 10%).
BitPinas continues to reach out to the government of Bataan regarding the MOU.
Original article below: Former CEO of Bitcoin SV Infra Developer Ignites Satoshi Nakamoto Debate:
Additional reporting from Michael Mislos.
- Christen Ager-Hanssen, former CEO of nChain, has resigned and accused Craig Wright of being involved in a conspiracy to defraud nChain stakeholders and questioned the true identities behind the DW Discovery Fund linked to nChain.
- Ager-Hanssen plans to release a whistleblower report and stated that Craig Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto.
- nChain responded to Ager-Hanssen’s allegations by initiating an independent investigation, dismissing Ager-Hanssen due to inappropriate behavior, and conducting an external review of his document.
Christen Ager-Hanssen, former CEO of nChain, a Bitcoin SV (BSV) infrastructure company that has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Bataan local government, has resigned from his position. In his departure, he made serious allegations against Craig Wright, the company’s “Chief Scientist” and a prominent as well as controversial figure in the crypto industry.
nChain Group CEO Quits
In a tweet confirming his resignation, Ager-Hanssen reported numerous serious issues to the nChain board, alluding to a conspiracy involving a significant shareholder to defraud nChain stakeholders.
He also brought up concerns about the true identities linked to the DW Discovery Fund, an open-licensed fund that specializes in investments within disruptive technology, registered in the Cayman Islands and connected to the nChain Group. Moreover, Ager-Hanssen cited Calvin Ayre, a close associate of Craig Wright and founder of Ayre Group and Bodog entertainment, as a key figure in the matter.
“I can confirm I have departed from @nChainGlobal as its Group CEO with immediate effect after reporting several serious issues to the board of nChain Group including what I believe is a conspiracy to defraud nChain shareholders orchestrated by a significant shareholder,” he wrote.
He also expressed his regret for all the “great people who work at the company, but I do not want to be a part of something I clearly do not believe in.”
Australian computer scientist has publicly claimed that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin.
Wright had so far served legal notices to other crypto personalities, including Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin, who challenged his claim about being Satoshi himself. Wright has already abandoned this libel lawsuit, as per this report from Decrypt.
The Australian also lost a lawsuit against the pseudonymous Hodlonaut in Norway over Satoshi Nakamoto claims.
In a subsequent post, Ager-Hanssen published an email exchange between Calvin Ayre and Craig Wright, which reveals that Ayre is distancing himself from Wright.
Moreover, although he retained his advisory role, the situation at nChain has been intensified by the removal of Wright’s title of “Chief Scientist” from the company’s website following Ager-Hanssen’s allegations.
Despite the issues, Wright seemed unperturbed and expressed his intention to continue conducting Bitcoin consultations with companies.
“Sorry to disappoint my anti-fans. I haven’t gone anywhere, I’m still here consulting with Bitcoin companies including nChain. I decided it was not necessary to hold an official role with nChain as there are excellent operators there who are able to take it and I can work with multiple BSV companies to further Bitcoin. Right now, I have a case to win,” he wrote in a post.
Following Ager-Hanssen’s announcement, nChain published a response to its former CEO expressing their disappointment.
According to its statement, the company’s board initiated an independent investigation due to concerns about recent management where it received and acted upon the findings of the investigation, which it noted to be confidential. nChain then disclosed that on September 27, Ager-Hanssen behaved inappropriately, leading to his immediate dismissal, which was communicated to him on the same day.
“The Board is determined that nothing will destabilize its well-resourced, innovative and growing company leading the way in global Blockchain technology and Web3 development. Our clients can be confident that we are led by executives with a strong vision and purpose, who themselves are supported by globally-renowned R&D experts and diligent employees,”
Additionally, nChain shared that its Board received a document from Ager-Hanssen outlining his concerns. The firm stated that while the Board disagrees with his assertions, it has decided to conduct an independent external review of the document’s contents, which is currently in progress. nChain stressed that it will refrain from further comments until this review is finished.
nChain in the Philippines
Recently, the firm’s blockchain incubator called Block Dojo launched, offering startup businesses office space, guidance, and access to potential partners, investors, and customers to foster blockchain entrepreneurship.
A post in the Startup PH Facebook group suggests that the incubation is now ongoing. Block Dojo is offering benefits including (but not limited to) funding/network of investors, 12.5 million worth of partner credits, and guidance/access to mentorships.
But another member (and also admin) of the group, Christopher Star, argued that during the Block Dojo’s launch event (where the image above was taken from), the cash investment was only ₱120,000 for 10%.
In response to this question, Startup PH group member (and original poster) Rosh CA said Block Dojo is prioritizing idea stage and early-stage startups, and that the deal is ₱24 million worth of program, partner credits, funding and post-program support.
In March, nChain signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) to enhance blockchain education and research. Under this agreement, ADMU will introduce a new blockchain leadership unit in its course offerings in the second semester of 2023.
Earlier this year, the Provincial Government of Bataan (PGB), led by Governor Joet Garcia, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with nChain AG Chairman Stefan Matthews. This MOU will serve as the foundation for the development of a digital platform in Bataan aimed at simplifying and enhancing government service processes.
Accordingly, delegates from Bataan attended a workshop on blockchain technology in Switzerland in June, which was sponsored by their partner nChain. BitPinas cannot confirm if Bataan representatives were present in the Block Dojo launch event.
BitPinas has sought a comment from the government of Bataan but has yet to receive a response. The email address found in the Bataan website is not working. The contact form on the same website is also not working.
nChain said that its press release is their final statement on the matter.
This article is published on BitPinas: Former CEO of Bitcoin SV Infra Developer nChain Ignites Satoshi Nakamoto Debate
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