In a recent and rather startling announcement, Christen Ager-Hanssen confirmed his immediate departure from his role as Group CEO of nChain. The exit comes amid a series of serious allegations and concerns raised by Ager-Hanssen, including accusations of conspiracy, fraud, and document manipulation within the company. So what are the potential ramifications for nChain and the broader cryptocurrency community?
Christen Ager-Hanssen, the former CEO of nChain, has issued a public statement accusing Craig Wright of fraudulent activities, including the falsification of documents to mislead judicial bodies. Ager-Hanssen has also extended an apology to the blockchain community for his previous silence on the matter, citing threats as the reason for his reticence.
This revelation could have significant implications for nChain’s reputation and legal standing, potentially affecting its financial valuation and stakeholder relationships. Given the gravity of these allegations, a thorough investigation is warranted to assess the veracity of Ager-Hanssen’s claims and to determine the potential impact on nChain’s operations and intellectual property portfolio.
Christen Ager-Hanssen has revealed that a whistleblowing report, known as the Fairway Brief, was created on the 26th of September and submitted to nChain’s board at approximately 2 p.m. on September 27, 2023. Merely seven hours later on the same day, Ager-Hanssen was allegedly dismissed from his position, and the entire management team that had participated in the whistleblowing was suspended the following day. According to Ager-Hanssen, his team have been subjected to intimidation and victimization by Calvin Ayre and his trusted Fairway Family Office AG, led by Marco Bianchi.
The situation allegedly escalated notably after Ayre became privy to the whistleblowing report, which was leaked to him by board members under his influence. Intriguingly, according to Ager-Hanssen despite not holding a board position, Ayre acts as the spokesperson for nChain and refers to it as his own company.
Ager-Hanssen also noted that his outspoken views on Craig Wright, whom he refers to as “Faketoshi” along with other non-compliant issues within nChain, have been a significant source of irritation for Ayre. Given the gravity of these allegations, they necessitate an immediate and thorough inquiry to evaluate their ramifications on nChain’s governance, legal standing, and overall operational integrity.
A Conspiracy to Defraud Shareholders
Ager-Hanssen’s departure was not a quiet one; he reported several serious issues to the nChain Group’s board, including what he believed to be a conspiracy to defraud the company’s shareholders. Orchestrated by a significant shareholder, this alleged conspiracy raises questions about the governance and ethical practices within nChain. Furthermore, Ager-Hanssen expressed concerns about the ultimate beneficiary shareholder and the real entities behind the DW Discovery Fund registered in the Cayman Islands.
Shadow Directors & Inaction
Adding another layer to the complexity, Ager-Hanssen claimed that the chairman of nChain took instructions from shadow directors, a practice he found unacceptable. Despite bringing these issues to the board’s attention, no action was taken according to him, rendering his position as Group CEO untenable. One of his explicit recommendations to the chairman was to terminate Dr. Craig Wright’s association with the company.
The Craig Wright Controversy
Perhaps the most explosive part of Ager-Hanssen’s statement is his allegation against Dr. Craig Wright, a controversial figure who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin. Ager-Hanssen reported finding compelling evidence that Dr. Wright manipulated documents with the intent to deceive the court into believing he is Satoshi. Ager-Hanssen himself is now convinced that Dr. Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto and predicts that he will lose all his legal battles.
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. I also… pic.twitter.com/F6rNJfRxnl— Christen Ager-Hanssen (@agerhanssen) September 29, 2023
The Human Element
While Ager-Hanssen’s departure is shrouded in controversy and allegations, he expressed regret for the impact this might have on the dedicated employees of nChain and the BSV ecosystem. His decision to leave was fueled by a desire not to be part of an organization he fundamentally does not believe in, despite the potential repercussions for the team.
Christen Ager-Hanssen has publicly disclosed that the Group Management team of nChain, comprising six individuals, formally submitted a significant whistleblowing report to the company’s board on September 26. Subsequent to this action, the members of the management team were either terminated or suspended by the very individuals they had reported.
Ager-Hanssen also expressed grave concerns about Calvin Ayre, who, despite being a minority shareholder on paper, wields disproportionate influence over the company as if he owns it entirely. Ager-Hanssen stated that he is deeply disturbed by Ayre’s tactics of intimidation, which have created a climate of fear, inhibiting individuals from fulfilling their ethical obligations.
Despite the personal risks involved, Ager-Hanssen felt compelled to go public with this information, asserting that it was the morally correct course of action. He also emphasized his continued belief in the underlying technology of BSV, while distancing it from the influence of Craig Wright. Given the severity of these allegations, they warrant immediate and comprehensive investigation to assess their implications on nChain’s governance, legal standing, and overall business operations.
The nChain project presents itself as a research and development firm focused on blockchain technology, primarily associated with Bitcoin SV (Satoshi Vision). It is a highly controversial yet influential player in the blockchain ecosystem. Founded by Dr. Craig Wright, who claims to be Bitcoin’s elusive creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, the firm aims to unlock the full potential of Bitcoin’s original design. nChain holds a vast portfolio of blockchain patents, which has drawn both admiration and scrutiny. On one hand, its intellectual property assets position it as a potential leader in shaping the future of blockchain applications, particularly in sectors like finance, supply chain, and data management.
On the other hand, the firm’s aggressive patent strategy has raised ethical questions about the open-source nature of blockchain technology. Financially, nChain’s influence is somewhat of a double-edged sword; it has the potential for high returns if its technologies gain widespread adoption, but it also carries significant reputational and legal risks. Therefore, any investment in or association with nChain should be approached with a comprehensive risk assessment.
nChain Succession Steps
Stefan Matthews has been appointed as the acting CEO of nChain, in addition to retaining his role as Chairman, effective immediately. Matthews, who co-founded nChain in 2015, has overseen the company’s growth to approximately 250 employees across offices in Switzerland, London, and Slovenia. Despite recent board changes, the company’s mission to make blockchain technology accessible to various stakeholders remains unchanged. Matthews emphasized that nChain will continue its international focus on empowering businesses through blockchain technology and is committed to expanding its client base and projects.
In light of the recent upheavals within nChain, Stefan Matthews’ reappointment as acting CEO seems to be a strategic move to bring stability and continuity to the organization. Given his co-founding role and previous stewardship, Matthews brings a level of institutional knowledge and credibility that could be vital in navigating the company through this challenging period. His statement underscores a commitment to not only maintain but also expand the company’s focus and reach, indicating a forward-looking approach. This could be a pivotal moment for nChain to reaffirm its mission and values, leveraging its existing successes to build a resilient future.
Another Blow for the “Real Satoshi” Claimant
Christen Ager-Hanssen’s abrupt exit from nChain and the serious allegations he has levied against the company and its associates mark a tumultuous chapter in the firm’s history. These developments raise critical questions about governance, ethics, and transparency within nChain and potentially extend to the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem.
This incident serves as a cautionary tale for the crypto industry, highlighting the importance of robust governance structures and ethical practices. It also underscores the need for transparency and accountability, not just for the sake of individual companies but for the credibility and integrity of the entire sector.
- Lucy Walker is a journalist that covers finance, health and beauty since 2014. She has been writing for various online publications.
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