nChain Holdings, a company built around research of Craig Wright – a controversial figure who claims to have invented the Bitcoin cryptocurrency – has been sold recently to Malta-based High Tech Private Equity Fund SICAV plc.
The value of the deal hasn’t been disclosed, but those aware about the deal claim that it could be anywhere near the $300 million mark. According to Wright, the deal is the biggest to date involving Bitcoin’s underlying blockchain technology. Wright says that they intend to make bitcoin a global payment “system with no ruler, no king” with at least a billion people on-chain.
Reuters previously identified nChain, formerly known as EITC Holdings, as Wright’s vehicle for filing hundreds of Bitcoin and blockchain-related patents. UK records confirm that the target company – under both its EITC and nChain names – already filed more than 80 Bitcoin and blockchain-related patents. A person close to the deal said $300 million had been invested in nChain, but it was not clear over what period of time.
nChain says that it might “make some of its intellectual property assets available to the blockchain community through open-source software and royalty-free licensing.”
nChain’s patent filings, seen by Reuters, range from the storage of medical documents to WiFi security. Investors have spent more than $1.5 billion on blockchain and bitcoin start-ups over the past four years, according to CB Insights, an internet research company.
The company said it was also working on software tools and applications to support the growth of blockchain. These include a software to develop applications on the bitcoin blockchain, solutions for bitcoin blockchain scalability, inventions to improve security, on-chain scripting for smart contracts, and a decentralised trading platform that uses autonomous agents.
The company also called for a neutral standards body to be set up to coordinate bitcoin’s development.