A supercomputing research and development company once led by controversial Australian Bitcoin figure, Craig Wright, has been placed into liquidation.
Cloudcroft Pty. Ltd., which had been branded as a specialist in the development and research of supercomputers and hyper density storage systems, was part of the DeMorgan group of companies – of which Craig Wright was founder and CEO.
Wright, a computer scientist and businessman, rose to prominence in 2015 when a number of media outlets, including Wired and Gizmodo reported that he might, in fact, be Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonymous identity widely credited with creating the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
The assertions remain shrouded in controversy.
Regardless, Wright founded or was associated with a number of organisations involved in cryptocurrency and online security.
As of 2015, DeMorgan described itself as a “pre-IPO Australian-listed company focused on alternative currency, next generation banking and reputational and educational products with a focus on security and creating a simple user experience”.
Wright’s DeMorgan group of companies - which included Coin-Exch Pty Ltd, Denariuz Pty Ltd and Cloudcroft Pty Ltd, according to a 2015 media release - made news after it revealed in mid-2015 that it was in line to receive up to $54 million in rebates from the Australian Government’s AusIndustry R&D Tax Incentive Scheme.
“This rebate will strengthen the group’s cash position and is an important source of funds for our development activities,” said Wright at the time. “We acknowledge the Government’s support of important R&D activities, and we look forward to the successful commercialisation of our Blockchain and smart contract systems research.”
The company said at the time that it expected the rebates to place it in the top 20 super computers globally, and the fastest computer managed in the southern hemisphere.
In June 2015, Cloudcroft announced it would host an “all-new master class” on programming supercomputers, with Wright, CEO of Cloudcroft, set to run the master class.
“Dr Wright has published over 100 research papers and has also worked with CSU as student, lecturer and researcher. By certification Dr Wright is the world’s foremost expert on cyber security,” a media release stated at the time.
“Access to supercomputers is not normally freely available and Tulip Trading – Cloudcroft’s supercomputer with 160,600 cores – is currently ranked #64 in the world’s top 500 supercomputers,” Wright was quoted as saying.
Now, Cloudcroft has gone into liquidation, after the Commissioner of Taxation applied to the Federal Court of Australia for a winding up order for the company in May. Jason Bettles of solvency management firm, Worrells, was subsequently appointed liquidator for the company.
Additionally, liquidators have also been appointed for Coin-Exch Pty Ltd and Denariuz Pty Ltd.
Given that the court application to wind up Cloudcroft was brought by the Commissioner of Taxation, it is likely Cloudcroft went down owing money to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). However, it is unclear how much the company may have owed.
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