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Calvin Ayre talks iGaming and Bitcoin on the My Big Break Almost podcast

This article was originally published on CoinGeek on April 14, 2020.

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Calvin Ayre has led quite a life, going from humble beginnings to becoming a leader of both the online gaming and Bitcoin industries. On the podcast My Big Break Almost, hosts Paul and Lindy spoke with Ayre, exploring his history and what he’s up to now.

Phoning in from his COVID-19 quarantine home in Panama, Ayre first spoke about his current mission, which is to round up personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies for Antigua. He’s happy to be in Panama, where facilities are top notch, and where he visited many times when he previously lived in Costa Rica.

Paul has been a big fan of Bodog, and asked Ayre to talk about how the company got started. The name came from a list of criteria to make it as memorable and marketable as possible. Otherwise, having been raised on a Saskatchewan pig farm, Calvin started the company with a mere $10,000, and a lot of hard work. “To make a company, you have to use your own time when you’re starting companies,” he said. “You have to use your time as a substitute for capital.”

That doesn’t mean everything went perfectly, but Ayre notes that there’s nothing he regrets about what he’s built. “I don’t really have a big, I wish I wouldn’t have done that moment,” he said. “I kind of seem to have a skill for taking disasters and finding a way to make it work into something positive.” The bottom line for the Bodog founder is that he rather take the risk of trying something, than to always wonder what could have been.

A big part of the Bodog brand has always been the parties, and that helped keep the company so interesting to Ayre for so many years. “What made it so fun, because it was an entertainment brand, partying was part of the brand,” he said. He noted that parties weren’t just a perk, but a strategy of building the brand into something bigger, using them to attract, influence and partner with several influential people in the industry.

The hosts of the podcast showed a curiosity about the billionaire life throughout the podcast, and Ayre noted that, unlike other tycoons that might be into cars or other extravagant purchases, his interest has been in building houses. He likes to be personally involved in designing and building homes all over the world, with houses in Antigua, Canada, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Ayre’s current focus is on Bitcoin, and he had to explain to the hosts the basics of what Bitcoin is. As originally designed by his friend Dr. Craig S. Wright under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, its purpose is to allow for microtransactions and act as an immutable ledger. It’s also capable of monetizing data. He explained further:

“What I’ve done, I’m working with Craig, myself and others, and we’re bringing the original design back that had been abused by people, after he let it go in the wild, and it’s now trading on the exchanges as BSV, Bitcoin Satoshi Vision, and it’s the only one in the world that scales massively, has utility and does all of the things, it’s the original design that he launched in 2009.”

He also noted the real world utility that is already possible on Bitcoin SV. Pointing to the American healthcare company EHR Data, Bitcoin SV is being used to help track healthcare data and combat the opioid epidemic in the United States.

Ayre expects to see a thriving Bitcoin industry next 2-3 years, when “the industry will take on a life of its own.” But he’s not really focusing on running a company in the space; his emphasis is on being an advisor and investor in a totally new industry.

That’s not all Ayre is working on though. He teases that he’s getting pretty involved with technology related to wellness. He notes that the next wave of health and wellness will come from customizing diets and supplements based on an individuals’ needs. By testing a person’s genome and getting all of their bodily indicators, Ayre notes that a specific nutritional plan can be devised that suits them best.

When asked by the vegetarian hosts what his diet currently consists of, he notes he’s currently on a Mediterranean diet with intermittent fasting, which immediately ended acid reflux. While he notes that he’s currently testing this idea on his own body, “the idea is to create a business out of it at some point.”

Finally, the hosts asked what advice Ayre would give to entrepreneurs who might want to follow in his footsteps. “If you’re going to start a business, because you think it’s going to make money, but you don’t like the industry, it’s going to be painful,” he said. “I think I would advise people to find an industry that they’re naturally attracted to, because it’s going to be a lot of work, and if you’re doing work in an area that you like, it doesn’t feel like work.”

If that industry happens to be the gambling industry, and building on Bitcoin SV, Ayre is looking to help you get started. The Ayre Group is looking to invest in companies who hope to get to the next level, and do so on the original Bitcoin SV ecosystem.

In the meantime, if you want to hear more from Ayre himself on how he’s done so well across several industries, check out the My Big Break Almost podcast below.

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News & Views

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Calvin Ayre explores Bitcoin halving, scalability and problems it solves on Faiaside podcast

This article was originally published on CoinGeek on April 6, 2020.

Tech entrepreneur and CoinGeek founder Calvin Ayre was featured on the very first episode of the Faiaside podcast. Adam Bowcutt from Faiaside caught up with Ayre to get his insight on Bitcoin SV and blockchain technologies.

We encourage you to check out the Faiaside podcast on Anchor or Spotify, but in the meantime, here are a few of our favorite excerpts from Ayre’s episode.

What initially made you so passionate about BSV? 

Calvin Ayre: Well I was using it when I lived down in the Caribbean in a country called Antigua and it’s notoriously hard—in all of the islands—to do banking. So I started using it [Bitcoin] quite early and I was running my business on it and using it quite a lot at something like an enterprise-level, pretty early on. But then, people started monkeying around with it and taking it weird directions [BTC] and it stopped working the way it was.

That was kind of an upsetting moment for me but I was also an early investor in applications on top of BTC at the time, [when BTC had] the original Bitcoin protocol. But of course, that didn’t work out very well either with the way the Core group and Blockstream kept changing the protocol and making it hard and making it so it wouldn’t scale and putting all of the different obstacles in front of it. So when I met Craig in 2015 he explained to me how it should really work and the different ways it can be useful to society at large so since then I’ve just been a really big fan of what we can do with it and I think we’ve been very successful in bringing it back to where it could have been and now the future is wide open and in front of us.

Calvin, what’s the biggest problem in the blockchain technology and distributed public ledger space right now?

Calvin Aye: I think if you asked 100 people you’d probably get 100 different answers, but my personal pet peeve with the space is the massive amount of misinformation that’s intentionally pumped out by all the scammers and all the people with their little scams that are threatened by a technology that actually works and has real utility.

To me, that’s the biggest problem and that’s the one that I wake up every day fighting against because a lot of what I do is working to try to educate the world through my media company and various other things I do to try and educate the world, about the super powers that this technology has and all the things that it can do and the problems that can be solved with this technology it’s just absolutely amazing. But soon, I’m not going to have to do any talking, because there’s applications coming down the pipe like EHR Data out of the United States that’s going to put medical records on the BSV blockchain. And hopefully, that will help solve the opioid crisis and I believe the same technology can be used to deal with the pandemic that we are dealing with right now and they’re working on this right now, this is something that’s coming, something that’s being worked on and it’s going to be within the next 12 months. It’s going to prove all of the things that we’ve been talking about so it won’t be necessary for me to do any talking.

What do you foresee the future of Bitcoin SV to be?

Calvin Ayre: I’ve been saying for months now that I believe the platform wars are over and from my perspective, they were over pretty much the second the hash war was started and we got rid of all the anarchists that all went over to the other branch. Once we got all the anarchists away from the original Bitcoin protocol and there was nobody blocking us, we were free to scale and from my perspective, that’s was it. It was over.

It’s just a matter for the rest of the world to figure out that this has in fact happened, so I think the future of the platform is set in stone already it’s going to end up subsuming pretty much everything that we see around us digitally. It’s going to be layered in with the Metanet and it’s going to layer in on top of the internet. Everything that you do now is going to be done on top of Metanet and it’s going to work similar except you are going to be able to put a value to all data, which is going to change business models that exist and the applications that are built on top of it.

In the full episode…

In its entirety, Bowmann and Ayre explore the Bitcoin halving, Bitcoin’s scalability and the problems it solves, the upcoming CoinGeek New York City event, as well as influential books, memorable mottos, and much more. You can listen to the full podcast on Anchor or Spotify.

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