Bitcoin’s roots in gambling from Craig Wright


Malta’s 2019 SiGMA conference had a dedicated blockchain and Bitcoin track of talks, and the list of speakers could never truly be considered complete without the inventor of Bitcoin, nChain Chief Scientist Dr. Craig Wright. After concluding his day, Dr. Wright joined our Becky Liggero Fontana on the sidelines to talk about his own history in gambling, and how it helped inspire the world’s biggest public blockchain.

But before talking history, Dr. Wright had to make the case for why the original Bitcoin, now found only in Bitcoin SV (BSV), is perfectly suited to help the gambling industry. “We can allow them to actually audit on their own time without actually shutting machines down, without bothering customers, without slowing down your operations,” he told Liggero Fontana. “And that means you make more revenue, your affiliates know what they’ve got, there’s no worrying about whether you’ve been skimmed or anything, and because everyone’s making more money, even the regulators, the government makes more money.”

Dr. Wright was happy to be at a gambling conference for a change, and was asked about his feelings of working Bitcoin into the industry’s technological portfolio. “Well actually, one of the reasons I created Bitcoin was all about gambling,” he admitted. “It was sort of following the entire collapse of the regulated industry back in the Noughties and we got to the scenario where there was no way of getting payments. Legal operators were actually punished punitively by the government allowing illegal operators, fraud, criminals and everything actually to take over. So we had a while sort of developing things that were wrong, and rather than having a system that could be easily operated, easily regulated and actually grow in scale, we created the system sort of that was everything that they were saying was bad about the industry.”

BSV has some clear advantages that, according to Wright, could quickly improve the bottom line of every operator. “It allows us to actually have all of that audit data, not requiring auditors to come in and turn your machines off or shut you down, but just to run so they can see it in real time,” he said. “That’s the great thing with peer systems and distributed data. You can have a copy, they can have a copy, everyone’s assured that it’s real.”

If you’re left doubting that the man who invented Bitcoin knows much about the gambling industry’s needs, Liggero Fontana cleared up all doubt, asking him to elaborate on his history. “I got involved right back in the late nineties with Lassiter’s,” he began. “So I was brought into help set up the security and audit systems and everything like this. And Deloitte, well, they weren’t able to do it so I got in as the third choice after everyone else had failed, and we set up connections so that we mirrored all of the transactions across a really expensive line that we had to put into the auditors in Darwin. So we ran this sort of leased line halfway across the country to be able to do it, and the copy of all the records was updated in real time, live, all of the changes, all of the logins, everything like that, was mirrored across the country.”

Finally, he explained why Bitcoin’s new approach helps solve that exact same scenario. “Now, with Bitcoin, that just happens,” he said. “You don’t need to build new infrastructure or anything like this. You don’t need to have specialized systems to be able to do that, all of those things that I spent a lot of time and effort doing, where we had to have auditors come back on-site all the time, all of those things, could be just avoided with Bitcoin.”