The term “disruptive” barely scratches the surface when trying to describe Calvin Ayre.
His eccentric lifestyle, immense wealth, brushes with the law, and a fervent affection for cryptocurrency – particularly his beloved Bitcoin Cash – make him a favourite of the media tittle-tattlers. Yet, for all his eccentricity and ability to find the limelight, it’s rare that anyone can get close enough to interview arguably the most fascinating character in cryptocurrency.
The man behind Bodog Entertainment recently lit a fuse and stood back to watch the fireworks with his latest antics by declaring that “Bitcoin Cash is now Bitcoin”. A gutsy statement that required a gutsy announcement.
Not content with simply declaring his feelings with a retro video, a quick overview and a few canapes at a subtle launch event, he decided to throw one of the most outrageous parties the crypto world has ever seen.
Samurai dwarves, body-painted geishas, an indoor circus and naked ladies pretending to be sushi tables are but a tantalizing peek through a gap in the curtains of the wild shenanigans that went on behind the doors of 93 Mortimer Street the other week.
Coin Rivet’s Editorial Director – Darren Parkin – was there. A little shocked and blushing, but there nonetheless. More importantly, he caught up with Calvin Ayre shortly after to see if the Canadian billionaire could decipher just what the hell happened…
DP: Well, let’s not beat around the bush. That was some party wasn’t it? My head was fuzzy for days.
CA: Glad to hear it – you mustn’t view a hangover negatively, you EARN a hangover!
DP: It was like a weird dream – was everything your idea or did someone come up with a load of seriously wild plans and you just said ‘okay, that sounds like fun’?
CA: I’ve been doing parties for quite a while now so there are some things that are ‘must haves’ like little fellas and a decent bar. We then try and layer in something different each time and have a theme. I think one of the craziest was the Mad Max party in a disused factory north of Prague… there were pigs and stuff running about and a lot of absinthe.
DP: Afraid I missed the Prague pig party – it may have been a little too much for my innocent eyes. But where does all that imagination come from? You grew up on a pig farm. People who grow up on pig farms don’t throw parties like that.
CA: Ha! My Dad always liked to have fun (and still does) so I guess it came from there – when you’re on a farm you need imagination, right?
DP: The other thing that little boys on farms don’t tend to end up becoming is billionaires. Seriously, do you ever look back and wonder how that happened?
CA: It’s certainly been some ride so far but when I was very young, my father gave me a few pigs that were mine – to rear and then sell. I guess that was my first foray into business. But I really think the best is yet to come. BCH can really change the way we do business not to mention bring economic freedom to the unbanked of the world too.
DP: Let’s face it, you have a lifestyle that most men between the age of 15 and 99 would envy, but do you ever find yourself tiring of the champagne, the oysters, the caviar etc and just think ‘I’d kill for a beans-on-toast supper in front of the telly with the big light on’?
CA: I don’t have so much champagne these days because of the sugar content – but make up for that with good red wine. I still have ‘TV Dinners’ on the rare occasion the Cannucks or Ayr United have a good run – actually they’re doing good right now.
“Bitcoin Cash is now Bitcoin!”
DP: On a serious note, though, the message from the one-year anniversary of Bitcoin Cash was pretty explosive. ‘Bitcoin Cash is now Bitcoin’ – it’s pretty bold, you’d better explain yourself.
CA: It’s actually very simple; if you read the original whitepaper Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer, low transaction fee currency. The Segwit coin cannot claim to be that anymore and in fact they do not claim that, they call themselves ‘digital gold’ and this means it’s not Bitcoin. But Bitcoin is back in the form of Bitcoin BCH and is in its original, successful form on the original chain and this is going to allow the explosive innovation that was happening previously before Bitcoin was hijacked by the developers. This can not happen to Bitcoin BCH because the miners are now in control of the road maps and will never support this.
DP: Market stability and security seem high on your agenda in this industry – do you think we’ve all taken our eyes off the ball in this respect?
CA: Bitcoin BCH has the original industry leading security and this is why we do not support any changes to this battle-tested protocol. Stability comes from increased utility and this is also baked into Bitcoin again with the ability for Bitcoin BCH to do microtransactions. We have our eyes firmly on the ball and its going in the right direction.
DP: Where do you see Bitcoin’s destiny?
CA: Bitcoin as BCH wants to become a universal, low transaction fee mechanism for everybody – even the unbanked. The internet of things. There is going to be a Cambrian explosion on top of the Bitcoin Protocol so I doubt anyone knows for sure where this is going but it will be a platform for everything.
DP: And what role do you play in that story?
CA: Well, a lot of it is marketing/education. There is so much FUD out there and having the means to fund the CoinGeek.com news portal means we can correct those seeking to damage BCH. Then there is the need to bring in miners and developers and, again, we are funding those guys and inviting any others to join open source programmes. We are also now looking closely at how we can become more energy efficient too. In essence, BCH is already the one true Bitcoin but we are always looking to add anything that makes it better and easier to use. I expect I will be a major venture capitalist in this area also. I am also involved in getting my home country of Antigua to be a hub for this industry and all things Bitcoin.
DP: You can’t get away with being very wealthy and influential in this space without people pointing the finger and suggesting you are, in fact, Satoshi Nakamoto. You know what I’m going to ask now, right?
CA: I am certainly not Satoshi. I can say that on record, but the whole ‘who is Satoshi’ is kind of a distraction really. I’m sure that will come out in time but there are some people that won’t believe the most irrefutable truths… some people deny dinosaurs. I’ve had trolls in the gaming space and they are far more diverse in the crypto landscape but that’s likely because they have an agenda; trying to make money out of some alt coin or other. I intend to do a movie on all of this in the future.
DP: The #FindSatoshi group have raised quite a bit of money to hire private detectives to find the Bitcoin creator. Do you think he/she will ever be found?
CA: I think it was a group of people, some of whom are no longer with us. It will probably come out in some form or another but, as I say, there are people who will deny whatever they are shown. Everyone can just wait for the movie!
DP: Should they be found or reveal themselves? Perhaps it’s best it remained a mystery?
CA: I don’t think its really important to be honest. The whitepaper is important and nothing reflects that closer than the original Bitcoin which is now Bitcoin BCH.
DP: What’s next for you?
CA: If there’s a ‘next’ then it means this has worked out and, man, that would make me truly ecstatic.