Who is Calvin Ayre?
Calvin Ayre is a businessman who rose to fame in the early 2000s. After years of running his gambling enterprise, he became the business acquaintance of Craig Wright, who has famously masqueraded as Satoshi Nakamoto since 2015, earning himself the title of "Faketoshi."
While there are other Faketoshis like Jurgen Debo, no individual comes remotely close to the level of Wright. Today, I will do a deep dive into Ayre's past, to better understand his crypto activities, which encompasses Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV).
Ayre's parents owned a sprawling farm, where he took care of baby pigs at a young age. He first learned how to be an entrepreneur here, eventually keeping some of his parents' profit when they sold the animals.
After graduating from the University of Waterloo in 1984 and earning an MBA in 1989, Ayre also tried to earn a law degree from the University of Western Ontario, but it went far from well. His grades were so bad that he failed out in the first year. On the topic of being expelled from law school, he stated:
"I might not have been quite smart enough to be a lawyer."
In 1990, Ayre found a job at a heart valve manufacturer called Bicel Medical Systems. Authorities discovered he was illegally moving company shares without proper paperwork and he was fined $10,000 in 1996, thus being barred from operating a company on the Vancouver Stock Exchange until 2016. He said his actions were all to help the company stay afloat.
The rise of Bodog
In 1992, after his father's failed drug enterprises in the late 80s, Ayre was in a fervent mood to start his own business: he had a plan to build on the idea of phone-betting. The scheme involved launching a website that would allow people to wager online: enter Bodog Entertainment in 1994.
After launching the website, Ayre started marketing campaigns to attract investors and users of the website. His strategy appeared to be riding around in a black hummer and constantly be surrounded by models to convey a celebrity lifestyle.
By 2005, Bodog processed over 1 million wagers per day. After success in marketing his new online gambling business, he began to make immense amounts of money, raising him to the sought after status of billionaire. Ayre became so popular that he was on the cover of Forbes at one point.
However, in 2006, The United States passed a new law essentially making online gambling illegal. This forced Ayre to sell the US section of Bodog to a Quebec-based firm, Morris Mohawk Gaming Group. Although, he retained his rights to the Bodog name and licensing abilities. In 2009, the now defunct calvinayre.com was launched, and he began to license the Bodog name for different products, even including Italian coffee.
By 2012, Ayre was in deep heat with American law enforcement. In similar fashion to other gambling moguls, he was accused by US prosecutors of money laundering and operating an illegal gambling business. This resulted in him being placed on a wanted list for extradition from Antigua to Maryland.
The charges against him were eventually dropped in 2017 by prosecutors after he pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge and gave up over $60 million in assets. Lurking in the shadows, though, was a crypto business venture with Faketoshi.
Faketoshi and BSV
The story begins with Bitcoin Cash, a Bitcoin fork which launched in 2017 due to disagreements with Bitcoin core developers involving the supposed vision of the project.
This is where Craig Wright found some support, since he was the only big blocker Satoshi candidate. However, after excellent reporting by Arthur van Pelt and public debunkings by Adam Back and Vitalik Buterin, it was clear that Wright was nothing but a fake.
Eventually, Bitcoin Cash was split in two due to the disagreements with Wright and, just like Bitcoin beforehand, the Bitcoin Cash chain was forked on November 15, 2018, officially launching BSV.
The "Satoshi vision", is of course not the real Satoshi Nakamoto's vision, but the vision of Craig Wright. While BSV is a fork of Bitcoin Cash, Ayre and Wright assert that it is the real Bitcoin, while BTC is the knockoff.
After a short time of supporting Bitcoin Cash, CoinGeek thus became what appears to be the BSV media arm. This is supported by a CoinGeek reporter's recent story about supporting other projects being taken down swiftly. Ayre also happens to own a massive stake in the largest BSV block producer, TAAL.
In addition to CoinGeek, one of Ayre's top goals in the past has appeared to be funding Craig Wright's court fights with people who oppose his claims. For example, as part of Wright's fake Satoshi story, he claimed that he had a co-Satoshi named Dave Kleiman, who was his former business partner.
Kleiman, a former disabled vet, died in 2013 under odd circumstances, and his brother Ira sued Craig Wright for the Satoshi Bitcoin stash (which in actuality, belongs to someone else). An extraordinarily strong case can be made for Nick Szabo being Satoshi.
"Everyone attacking Dr Craig Wright is involved in crimes."
Though, years ago, Wright sued both Vitalik Buterin and Adam Back for proving his claims wrong, which resulted in both court cases being dropped and paying the legal fees of both men. Ultimately, Calvin Ayre will likely continue to fund BSV until the end comes.
Article Disclaimer: The information in this article is based on research and represents the author's opinion, not established fact. Readers should evaluate independently.