Roger Ver is facing a different type of welcome in his new hometown of Antigua and Barbuda.
CoinGeek has learned that representatives of Dr. Craig Wright have filed a defamation claim with the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda against the Bitcoin.com chairman, who has acquired Antiguan citizenship courtesy of the sovereign state’s Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP).
The claim for defamation stemmed from a video on Bitcoin.com’s YouTube channel, which featured Ver declaring “Craig Wright is a liar and fraud. So sue me. Again.” The video was removed after it was pointed out to Ver that posting libelous material is a civil and criminal offense in Japan, where he was based.
Dr. Wright filed a similar claim in the English High Court, but it was struck down in 2019 on grounds that England and Wales is not clearly the most appropriate jurisdiction for the nChain chief scientist to bring his defamation claim against Ver—the ruling did not address the merits of Wright’s claim, such as whether Ver committed libel by calling Wright a fraud. Dr. Wright is appealing that jurisdictional ruling.
Now his illegal actions and statements—libelous or otherwise—are coming back to haunt Ver. All the way to Antigua, where he’s reported to be deliberately evading service.
Ver is currently in the process of being served, but Wright’s representatives said he’s elusive. Ver has been allegedly instructed by his lawyer in Antigua not to make himself available for service—which serves no purpose other than delaying the inevitable.
Law enforcement is catching up
Ver, who describes himself as a “libertarian” and “anarcho-capitalist,” isn’t a stranger to law enforcement. In 2002, the then-U.S. citizen was sentenced to 10 months in prison on charges of selling explosives on eBay. He moved to Japan after serving jail time, and then in 2014, he renounced his U.S. citizenship after becoming a citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Ver is also known for his pro-crime statements as well as his support of crime coins and other zero utility tokens, which can be allegedly used to manipulate markets and rob unsophisticated investors via unregulated exchanges.
Most alarmingly, Ver is suspected to be a partner in the $722 million fraud scheme BitClub Network, which federal authorities describe as “worldwide fraudulent scheme that solicited money from investors in exchange for shares of pooled investments in cryptocurrency mining and that rewarded existing investors for recruiting new investors.” Three of the alleged BitClub founders were indicted in U.S. in December 2019 on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to offer and sell unregistered securities, while a fourth suspect was arrested in Germany.
The scheme’s alleged leader, Russ Medlin, was nabbed in Indonesia on sex charges in June 2020, according to local media reports. The report quoted Jakarta police saying Medlin, who U.S. prosecutors said headed BitClub Network, “was sought by foreign law enforcement agencies.” Medlin is currently detained in Indonesia “pending extradition proceedings.
BitClub CEO Russ Medlin seeking strategic advice from @rogerkver & @AntPoolofficial Yoshi about how to direct BitClub mining power.
3 BitClub arrests already made in $722m cryptocurrency mining fraud scheme but two more are still at large & under seal. https://t.co/0ndgc0vghD pic.twitter.com/iZj44sC25J
— Bitcoin (@Bitcoin) December 11, 2019
As shown in the Twitter video above, Ver has met with the group publicly in the industry. Ver reportedly borrowed BitClub’s hash power to illegally manipulate hash and steal the BCH trading ticker in the 2018 hash war.
The 2018 hash war
Ver and his so-called “team of conspirators”—including Bitmain, its then CEO Jihan Wu, and ABC developer Amaury Sechet, among others—initiated a hostile takeover of the BCH network in November 2018, resulting in the network becoming centralized.
In a nutshell, the ABC camp forced changes on the BCH blockchain, introducing arbitrary checkpoints that allow Sechet and ABC to take over the network. Bitmain, Wu, Bitcoin.com and Ver—who publicly acknowledged their support of ABC—spearheaded the scheme: The BCH Cartel (Ver & Wu) allegedly rented hash power and deployed 90,000 Bitmain’s rigs in favor of ABC, while also unloading BTC to fund ABC’s operations. Ver, for his part, also directed Bitcoin.com’s mining pool to ABC and reportedly borrowed hash from BitClub Network to aid ABC.
Roger Ver and his Antigua plan
Recently, local media outlets reported that Ver is looking “to begin building Antigua and Barbuda’s market presence in this new drive to strengthen another sector in the Antigua and Barbuda economy.”
The “sector” the reports were referring to was the digital currency sector. On August 20, the Office of the Prime Minister confirmed that its Cabinet has invited a former Attorney General and his client—Ver—to discuss the state’s nascent “cryptocurrency sector, which Antigua and Barbuda is embarking upon,” following the recent passing of the Digital Assets Bill.
According to the Cabinet Notes, Ver has “demonstrated his commitment to Antigua and Barbuda,” and is also poised to become the state’s “non-resident envoy to Japan.” But to what end?
Antigua is making a mistake
The mounting legal action that Ver is facing hasn’t stopped the entrepreneur from launching attacks against Dr. Wright and his ideas—a form of social engineering to censor Wright’s ideas and to stop the spread of knowledge about his superior technology. Bitcoin technology, as envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto in the original Bitcoin whitepaper, exposes the current lie that token platforms cannot operate under existing laws.
Unpopular but true opinion:
BSV is more than just CSW.
Popular and true opinion:
CSW is a liar and a fraud.
— Roger Ver (@rogerkver) June 11, 2019
Regulation will soon choke the “token crime free for all” exchange model that Ver has been allegedly involved in for years. It’s evident that Ver is looking at retreating to jurisdictions like Antigua where he believes he can continue to operate globally with impunity.
It’s worth noting that Dr. Wright—the subject of Ver’s commercialized attacks—has been an Antiguan citizen since 2016, and the BSV community has been sponsoring the development of a regulatory friendly token ecosystem for Antigua for years now. An attack on Dr. Wright and BSV is an attack on Antigua itself.
By letting Ver, his cohorts and their crime friendly model into its newly regulated jurisdiction won’t help Antigua’s prospects for economic growth. If anything, this move will kill Antigua’s ability to benefit from the new paradigm that its new initiative is bringing.
Antigua’s legislation was written for the new regulated tokenized utility and security model that is only possible with a massively scaling utility platform like the original Bitcoin (BSV) protocol. This model is the future. Antigua should focus only on being a pioneer of the future and not get dragged into the death throes of the existing criminal focused paradigm that other governments are in the process of regulating out of existence.
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