Ask five people in the Bitcoin space who Satoshi Nakamoto is, and you’ll get five different answers. However, few will claim to have first-hand knowledge of the matter like Stefan Matthews does.
This week, the TAAL Distributed Information Technologies Inc. (CSE:TAAL | FWB:9SQ1 | OTC: TAALF) CEO and nChain board member joined the Crypto Bitz podcast to tell his story. For those who haven’t heard it before, it’s a real eye opener.
How Stefan Matthews met Satoshi Nakamoto at work
Before aligning his career with Dr. Craig Wright and the BSV ecosystem, Stefan Matthews worked in iGaming alongside Calvin Ayre and others. He tells us that while working for an online gambling firm in Australia, he met Dr. Craig Wright, who was hired as an auditor to do financial due diligence before the firm went public.
Matthews describes how he got to know Dr. Wright while working with him for about a year and how Dr. Wright told him about various concepts, techniques, and ideas around computer security, e-cash, e-gold, and other ideas he was working on. This happened between 2006-2008.
Over time, Matthews says that he came to understand how all of these pieces fit together, and then Dr. Wright presented him with an early version of the Bitcoin white paper on a USB stick. The interesting part is that this was before Bitcoin was ever released in public.
Matthews recalls several funny stories about Dr. Wright’s peculiar social mannerisms, including when he barged into his office and asked him for $500 for 50,000 bitcoins. He declined the offer and maintained to this day that he doesn’t regret it. He also freely admits he had little interest in Bitcoin and didn’t see its value, to begin with.
Wondering why Dr. Wright talked to him as he did about these things, Matthews speculates that it was likely because online gaming was the perfect use case to get Bitcoin started. This lines up with what we’ve heard previously about Dr. Wright building a token platform for Lasseters Casino, and it also explains why the original Bitcoin code had a poker client.
An unexpected phone call and the beginning of a Bitcoin journey
Matthews wasn’t only involved in Dr. Wright’s life in the early days of Bitcoin, but he also played a pivotal role in helping him when his identity as Satoshi Nakamoto began to leak out and in the formation of nChain.
Recounting how he moved to London and didn’t hear from Dr. Wright for several years, Matthews tells us how he got an unexpected phone call from Dr. Wright in 2014 asking for advice. This would be the beginning of a relationship that would see Dr. Wright through some of the most tumultuous years of his life.
What happened next? Matthews met Dr. Wright in Sydney and learned how he was facing bankruptcy primarily due to aggressive behavior by the Australian Taxation Office. He visited Dr. Wright’s office, saw an early research paper on blockchain dated 2006, and received the full lowdown on the state of Dr. Wright’s companies and financial affairs.
Next, Matthews tells us that he flew to Manila and called Calvin Ayre to talk things through. He recounts how his friend listened to his story about his trip to Sydney and then agreed to meet Dr. Wright at his penthouse in Vancouver. After learning how Bitcoin could work, Ayre struck up a friendship with Dr. Wright and backed him fully in his vision for Bitcoin (BSV).
Setting up nChain and relocating to England
Matthews then recalls how he spent six months in Sydney sorting through Dr. Wright’s various companies and intellectual property so he could form a new company, nChain. He worked closely with law firm Baker McKenzie and set up the new corporate structure.
Soon after that, Dr. Wright relocated to London with his family, and nChain grew from strength to strength. Matthews jokes about how social media sleuths didn’t believe nChain existed; meanwhile, he and a 50 strong staff sat in the offices many claimed didn’t exist, researching, filing patents, and working on blockchain technology solutions like Kensei.
Finishing up, Crypto Bitz host Britney invited Matthews to clear up some misconceptions about TAAL on part two of the podcast. Watch the part 2 of Matthews’ tell-all interview with Crypto Bitz here.
Check out all of the CoinGeek special reports on the Kleiman v Wright YouTube playlist.
New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.