Bitcoin SV’s billionaire benefactor Calvin Ayre has promised to self publish a Craig Wright book dumped by its publisher over legal fears.
Wright, who controversially claims to be the inventor of Bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto, had cooperated with two journalists on the book and Bitcoin SV proponents have been anticipating its publication for months, expecting it will help cement Wright’s credibility.
Ayre tweeted that he believes Bitcoin Core supporters are trying to prevent the publication of the book and has vowed that he will publish it himself.
Micky broke the news yesterday that publishers Affirm Press, had dumped Behind the Mask: Craig Wright and the Battle for Bitcoin over legal fears.
Affirm Press told Micky in an email: “Unfortunately, that book has been cancelled from our publication list. The threat of litigation was too high.”
They confirmed the book has been ‘postponed indefinitely’ to CoinGeek.
Core/BTC gang has blocked this to stop the truth about Bitcoin coming out. Craig was supporting and cooperating with the authors of this book so this is FUD to say its fear of him that caused this. These criminals will do anything to keep this quiet. I will publish this. https://t.co/Q5LS3zRkMJ
— Calvin Ayre (@CalvinAyre) January 21, 2020
No grand conspiracy behind the story
There was no grand FUD conspiracy behind the story’s publication, Micky had simply seen Ayre tweeting about the book and decided to chase up a review copy, as we were interested to read it.
Responding to Micky’s story yesterday Ayre wrote: “Core/BTC gang has blocked this to stop the truth about Bitcoin coming out. Craig was supporting and cooperating with the authors of this book so this is FUD to say its fear of him that caused this. These criminals will do anything to keep this quiet. I will publish this.”
In another tweet, copying in coauthor Jeremy Wagstaff, Ayre said: “We are on it as we know them. I would expect this is BTC supporters who are behind this as Craig was supporting and cooperating with this book.”
Where do legal fears stem from?
Affirm Press did not provide any further details on why they feared legal action, however, both Affirm Press and co-author Bryon Kaye have been aware since Friday that Micky was writing a news story about the publisher dropping the book in fear of legal action from Wright and could have simply issued a denial.
From Micky’s perspective, it is an even better story if there is a conspiracy by outside forces to block the book, rather than a preemptive strike by a nervous publisher.
If you have any evidence this is the case, please get in touch.
Wright has sued numerous public figures for libel and defamation, from Roger Ver to Hodlonaut and Peter McCormack with the express intention of making people think twice about publishing material that goes against his interests.
Fear of litigation does not mean that a legal threat has been issued – simply that the possibility is there.
Media outlets get legal advice numerous times a day on stories that could potentially expose the publication to litigation or large defamation payouts.
Wright is yet to read the book
Wright, it turns out, has not yet read the book and told CoinGeek last night he had not issued any legal threats as he is still waiting for a purchased copy to turn up on the publication date of January 28.
If the book was a hagiography that paints Wright in a favourable light, it seems likely he would have at least been sent a review copy for a cover quote by now, or asked to help publicise the book in interviews.
It is certainly not unusual for authors to gain the confidence of a subject, while also gathering material from other sources the subject would not wish to see published.
UPDATE 7:39PM. Calvin Ayre just tweeted that he needs to find out the facts first:
If needed I will publish but for now we need to get to the facts.
— Calvin Ayre (@CalvinAyre) January 22, 2020
What is the book about?
According to publicity material, Behind The Mask follows Wright from “his humble beginnings in dirt poor Queensland, to a besuited guru trying to recover his reputation and control over the cryptocurrency state, squaring up to multiple enemies.”
It includes covers “blackmail, police raids, hidden fortunes, death threats and a billion dollar offshore trust” and was “Painstakingly researched by two international journalists, Behind The Mask is the secret history of Bitcoin, which, it turns out, is as much about betrayal and human weakness as it is about a world-changing technology.”
The book was written by British journalist Jeremy Wagstaff (Reuters, The Wall Street Journal) and Australian Byron Kaye (Reuters) who claims have been the first reporter on the scene when the Australian Federal Police raided Wright’s home in 2015.