Monday, December 5, 2022

Craig Wright Supercomputing Firm Liquidated by Australian Tax Authorities

Craig Wright Supercomputing Firm Liquidated by Australian Tax Authorities

Cloudcroft Pty. Ltd., the supercomputing firm led by Dr. Craig Wright, has been put into liquidation by Australian tax authorities. Whether it still owes a substantial amount of money to the government is unknown.

Also read: Ross Ulbricht Moved Interstate, Family Not Notified

The liquidation wasn’t really a surprise — Australia’s Deputy Commissioner Of Taxation submitted an application to wind up the company on 12th May 2017. Cloudcroft was first registered in March 2011.

Australian tech news site ARNNet reported that Cloudcroft was part of the DeMorgan group of companies which Wright founded. The group also contained a number of other companies related to cryptocurrencies and alternative banking, such as Hotwire.

Companies at Center of Wright’s Battles With Aus. Government

Cloudcroft and DeMorgan were mired in Wright’s battles with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The group companies had allegedly claimed tax rebates of around $54 million AUD ($41m USD) for research and development. The ATO fraud squad launched a probe into the rebates in January 2016, a month after raiding Wright’s Sydney home and office.

SupercomputerARNNet noted that since the Australian tax authorities sought to wind up the company, it probably still owes the ATO money — but the amount is unknown.

Cloudcroft announced in 2015 that the rebates would allow it to build one of the world’s top 20 supercomputers. Wright would also front a master class on programming supercomputers.

The company claimed to be assisting high-end computing firm SGI in building supercomputers. SGI quickly denied that claim. However, one news writer last week countered SGI’s denial, saying he had evidence SGI had worked with Wright but under a non-disclosure agreement.

(Incidentally, the same article also said it verified Wright does have a PhD from Australia’s Charles Sturt University — debunking another claim often used to attack him.)

Wright Has Moved on to Other Things

Wright now works at U.K. and Canada-based blockchain research firm nChain, as Chief Scientist. The company noted, however, that he is not a shareholder.

He recently stirred controversy with an animated and profane presentation at the Future of Bitcoin conference in Arnhem, Netherlands. In it, he promised to run nodes blocking SegWit transactions, and said he favors only on-chain scaling and “big block” solutions for Bitcoin.

What will Craig Wright do next? Let’s hear your thoughts.

Images via QZ, Wikimedia Commons

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