ST JULIAN’S, MALTA—Nothing makes Roger Ver madder than the mere mention of his nemesis, self-proclaimed “Bitcoin inventor” Craig Wright.
“Too bad this recording is just audio so people can’t see the look on my face that I just gave you,” the CEO of bitcoin.com told Decrypt.
Ver is taking part in the AI & Blockchain Summit in Malta, which begins today. His response to our question about Wright’s latest antics—a copyright claim for the Bitcoin white paper—can be best described as a look of pure horror, followed by an extreme eye roll:
“I’m at a loss for words. How silly. What the hell is he thinking? Craig’s living in his own universe,” said Ver, as he regained his composure.
Ver was served with a lawsuit by Wright earlier this month in which the man who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, alleges that Ver called him a fraud and a liar in a YouTube video (which has since been removed).
“I’m annoyed that I have to spend some time on that rather than building tools to enable more economic freedom around the world. Craig’s a time waster,” Ver said.
The tools that Ver was referring to take the form of a new project called local.bitcoin.com, which he’s launching in early June. According to Ver, it’s the first private, peer-to-peer exchange for Bitcoin Cash.
“You can find people near you that’ll trade Bitcoin Cash, either online or in person,” said Ver. “It allows anybody to buy or sell Bitcoin Cash, in any country by any method. That has not existed ’til now, and I think that’s a really big deal.”
But that is not how his adversary sees it at all.
In the mix?
“Roger isn't seeking economic freedom. He is seeking anarchy and crime,” Wright told Decrypt in an email. “The systems that Roger is saying he is building do not increase freedom; they allow criminals to bypass money-laundering and anti-terrorist funding provisions.”
Wright claims that Ver is building “mixers and other illegal applications”—a system that “will allow criminals to trade and exchange illicit goods,” he said. “[A]nd he wants to benefit from it.”
He finished by accusing Ver of not caring about law, order or a sound society and brandished the iminent lawsuit like a sabre: “Roger can answer for this libel in court.”
For his part, Ver was bullish about the chances of defending himself in said court.
“I plan to defend [the libel suit] fully, and I think I’ll win,” said Ver. “And I’ll have to pay all of my court costs, so it’s just wasting both of our time and money.”
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Wright is suing Ver for £100,000 ($127,000)—a significant sum for most mortals. But we get the impression that money is not the prime consideration for the two adversaries.
Nevertheless, both Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV have experienced gains as of late. In fact, Wright’s BSV recently enjoyed a 200 percent jump in price, following news that Wright had successfully registered the Bitcoin whitepaper with the U.S. Copyright Office.
“I think that they timed that—it’s intentional manipulation,” Ver said in response to the spike in Bitcoin SV. “We’ll see the price dip down shortly. There’s no way to short BSV because it got delisted from all the exchanges, so anyone who wants to short it doesn’t have a way.”
Fighting words, to be sure, but we’d expect nothing less between these two.