“I’ve got more money than your country.”
With those words, bitcoin cash promoter and self-described bitcoin creator Craig Wright found himself embroiled in yet another controversy, this time at an information technology conference in Rwanda.
The nChain Group CTO made this inflammatory statement earlier this month at the Transform Africa Summit, which took place from May 7 to May 10 in Kigali.
While exhorting Rwanda to open its borders and embrace free trade and lambasting other presenters for seeking to sell the country solutions, he said:
“I’ll say this quite frankly, because I’ve got more money than your country, so I’m not going to ask for anything. I don’t want your investment. I don’t want -- like Stellar and everything else -- to be handed money. I don’t really care. I’m just going to develop solutions and they’re going to go out there and they’re going to be created and they’re going to be used, because we can basically make them that way.”
“Now, one thing that annoys me is how, ‘Oh, I’ve got to be happy and tell everyone what they want.’ No, I’m going to do things so that people can trade whether you like it or not. I don’t want an African currency, I want the world,” he continued.
In fairness to Wright, the man who introduced Wright at the conference -- CNBC Africa anchor Georgie Ndirangu -- appeared to poke fun at Wright’s one-time claim that he created bitcoin, and Wright did not seem to take that prodding in good spirits.
“So, no thanks for that,” visibly-irritated Wright said as he stepped up to the podium to begin his speech, “but anyway, I’m going to do the bit no one likes. I don’t like really caring whether you like me.”
Given that Wright’s talk, which was titled “Bitcoin Cash: The Cryptocurrency & Blockchain for Africa, explicitly mentioned neither cryptocurrency nor bitcoin cash, it’s quite possible that Wright chose to respond to the jab with the ill-advised decision to improvise the speech, which ended five minutes later to less-than-enthusiastic applause.
Craig Wright Image from YouTube/BBC