Blockchain company nChain announced its acquisition today by Europe’s High Tech Private Equity Fund SICAV plc. But what is nChain’s plan for Bitcoin, and who is involved?
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nChain Wants On-Chain Bitcoin Scaling, Block Size Increase
Of note is that, according to a press release, one of nChain’s goals is “In adherence to the original vision, removing the Bitcoin blockchain’s artificial block size limit (temporarily set at 1MB) to fuel increased scalability and usage”.
The company has identified the “Internet of Transactions” as disruptive, with a transaction value that is the highest in the world to date.
“nChain has designed and architected a blockchain infrastructure to transform people’s lives and the way in which businesses operate. We believe this innovative technology will be disruptive on a scale that most people have yet to fully appreciate. nChain sees the full extent of this disruption being achieved by maximising transactional velocity on the Bitcoin blockchain.”
It also proposes on-chain Bitcoin scaling “without degrading the benefits of decentralization”. The company has over 60 employees, based mainly in London, UK and Vancouver, Canada.
Dr Craig Wright Involved
Here’s where it gets even more interesting: UK government companies register Companies House lists Australian Allan Pedersen as nChain’s director. An Allan Pedersen previously worked with fellow Australian Craig Wright — best known for his early 2016 claim to be Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
Pedersen was project manager on Wright’s work to prepare dozens of blockchain-related patent applications through a company called nCrypt, and its Canada-based parent nTrust.
The SICAV/nChain acquisition announcement does not mention either Pedersen or Wright. Instead, it refers to another newly-appointed director of nChain Holdings Limited, Arthur Davis.
Update 7AM EST: Bitsonline has spoken to a company representative who confirmed that Dr. Craig Wright is employed by nChain Limited, and holds the position of Chief Scientist — but does not hold shares in the company.
“(He) is one of the more than 40 talented scientists, mathematicians, and researchers that comprise nChain Limited’s team in London. Dr. Wright’s focus is on visionary scientific research about blockchain technology.”
“Dr. Wright is not, nor has he ever been, a Director or shareholder in the nChain companies. Dr. Wright has never invested in nChain and has never had any ownership interest in nChain.”
Other nChain Projects
According to today’s announcement, nChain is responsible for a “growing portfolio of patent applications”. Its mission is to research and develop tools, protocols and applications to support blockchain growth worldwide.
As well as scaling Bitcoin, this involves a software development kit to help programmers build applications on the Bitcoin blockchain, security improvements, a decentralized trading platform and scripts for on-chain smart contracts.
The announcement continued: “nChain also advocates for the formation of a neutral standards organisation to coordinate and manage the Bitcoin protocol and technical standards. This will result in a more robust software design. To ensure the long-term advancement of the Bitcoin blockchain it is essential to harmonise a miner’s principal objective of profitability and the importance of the principles of innovation and governance led by the software development community.”
nChain has also promised to release some of its intellectual property to the blockchain community in 2017, through open-source software and royalty-free licensing.
About the Companies
Before today’s acquisition announcement, nChain was known as EITC Holdings Limited. The group includes two companies: nChain Holdings Limited and nChain Limited.
High Tech Private Equity Fund SICAV plc is an EU regulated investment fund managed by Accuro Fund Solutions. It appears to be registered in Malta.
Is this big news for Bitcoin? What do you think of the company’s supposed personnel? Let us know in the comments.
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