On April 20, 2020, Taal Distributed Information Technologies (TAAL.C) entered into a 10-year strategic licensing agreement with nChain Group Holdings to use key elements of its intellectual property profile.

Historically, Taal has been involved in cryptocurrency mining on the Bitcoin SV blockchain and therefore were entirely reliant on block reward subsidies, impacted naturally by the reward halving every 210,000 blocks. Now they’re pivoting away from being reliant on a relatively unstable source of income towards transaction processing on the same blockchain, which is something they’re hoping will be far more lucrative. The company will be releasing an operational roadmap later on this year.

Bitcoin SV is the number six largest cryptocurrency by market cap, and presently trading at $185.32.

Source: coingecko.com

The licensing agreement gives Taal non-exclusive access and rights to develop advanced blockchain transactional systems on top of nChain’s existing patents, pending patents and future filed patents in specialized blockchain transaction handling, processing, storage, retrieval and display. Taal will pay nChain USD$1 million in licensing fees over the first year of the agreement.

The nChain group includes a UK-based blockchain research and development centre focusing on the Bitcoin SV platform, which touts itself as the original Satoshi Nakamoto blockchain protocol. nChain Group has further enhanced its leadership position in blockchain development by acquiring Slovenia-based blockchain development firm, CREA, expanding nChain’s reach in terms of blockchain development and solutions. Taal views nChain and its portfolio as key to unlocking some of Taal’s strategic objectives relating to expansion of blockchain infrastructure, transaction processing and cloud computing solutions that use blockchain to deliver solutions to traditional markets.

You don’t have to go too far into the deal to realize what’s wrong here. If you click onto nChain’s site and visit their C-suite page, you’ll see their chief science officer on the third to the right in the top row is none other than Craig Wright.

nChain

Craig W. Wright or “Faketoshi” – Source: nChain.com

If you’re not familiar with Mister Wright—he claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto or he was plagiarized by Satoshi Nakamoto or Satoshi is a pseudonym for him and a partner—he’s not entirely clear on which of these three statements is the correct one. What is clear is that he will totally take your ass to court if you say otherwise.

Here’s some of this guy’s story:

This started in 2015 when Wired and Gizmodo magazines received information from a source close to Wright indicating he may be Satoshi Nakamoto. They investigated further, and published the results. Their evidence pointed that Wright had first come up with Bitcoin, and together with his friend David Kleiman, ran a collection of computers and generated the first 1 million coins held by Nakamoto.

Wright came out as Satoshi Nakamoto a year later.

Wired has since recanted, and other subsequent investigations have drawn suspicion upon Wright’s claim. It’s highly probable that the same hacker provided both news organizations with the lead that led to the investigation.

He’s been running with this ever since.

Then there’s the point where he’s been forced to defend himself in a lawsuit filed on behalf of Kleiman’s estate, alleging that after Kleiman’s death in 2013, Wright unlawfully appropriated more than a million BTC that he had mined with Kleiman in the early years of bitcoin.

In August of 2019, Judge Bruce Reinhart rejected Wright’s testimony on grounds of perjury and submission of false documents, and recommended he had over 50% of the more than 1 million BTC they mined together, and the intellectual property rights associated with Bitcoin’s software.

Yeah. That’s the guy that Taal is getting involved with here. Normally, it wouldn’t make sense to nitpick about the foibles of a non-CEO member of the C-suite but Wright is a special case, and any company that has him on their board is necessarily suspect by association.

Tread lightly.

—Joseph Morton

Written By:

Joseph Morton

Joseph is a Vancouver-based author and journalist with both a communications degree and journalism diploma (and a few novels) under his belt. His joie de vivre is to spin difficult technical topics into more human-centric narratives. Buy him a coffee and he'll talk your ear off for hours about privacy issues, blockchain, cryptocurrency and martial arts. Don't talk to him if you're either a tomato, a bully, or if you're not a fan of either 1984 or Tender is the Night. No. You can still talk to him. Just be prepared to be told why you're wrong.

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