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Calvin Ayre Net Worth, Crypto and NFT Investments

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The 2023 net worth of Calvin Ayre is estimated to be around $1.2 billion. He acquired this wealth through his online gambling platform; Bodog. The massive growth in the adoption of online gambling initially soared the net worth of Calvin Ayre to $600 million around 2006. However, the manner in which he accumulated his wealth has been a subject of tough controversies. There were questions about his lavish lifestyle when he operated his online gambling business. 

Calvin Ayre

Meanwhile, Ayre is also the founder of the Ayre Group,  CavinAir, Ayre Ventures, and Calvin Ayre Foundation. He also owns a media organization that publishes crypto-related content. Despite being controversial, the Canadian entrepreneur is a generous giver. Over the years, he contributed to various charitable projects in the Philippines and Antigua through his Calvin Ayre Foundation. 

Ayre resides in Antigua where he manages the activities of this foundation. He is well-respected in  Antigua due to his immense contribution to the development of the country. Around 2017, he was appointed as a special economic envoy for the government of Antigua and Barbuda. Also, in 2018, Ayre was named the Antiguan Halo Foundation’s Philanthropist of the Year. 

On August 2, 2023, Calvin Ayre finalized a series of agreements to obtain a controlling interest in nChain. The firm is regarded as a global leader in blockchain and Web3 technology. Through his investment firm, Ayre aims to invest over $500 million into the platform.

As a prominent investor and entrepreneur, he owns stakes in TAAL Distributed Information Technologies. Some of his assets include a $40 million five-story office complex known as Canada Place. The complex serves as the global head office of Ayre Group. In 2023, Ayre started building a $400 million “Nikki Beach-branded resort” and another $40 million conference center in Antigua. 

Calvin Ayre’s Net Worth

YearNet Worth
2023$1.2 billion

Early Life

Calvin Edward Ayre was born on May 25, 1961. He’s a Canadian-Antiguan. His parents were grain and pig farmers. Therefore, he grew up on the farm and assisted his parents with their engagements. Ayre completed his high school education and proceeded to the University of Waterloo. Around 1984, he bagged a Bachelor of Science in General Sciences from the institution.

A few years later, Ayre earned an MBA in Management Finance from the University of Seattle. Then, he decided to return to the University of Waterloo to earn a degree in law. However, Ayre couldn’t cope and had to discontinue the program. In one of his recent interviews, he reflected on his attempt to become a lawyer, stressing that he “might not have been quite smart enough to be a lawyer.”

However, In 1987, Ayre’s father was nabbed for moving marijuana from the Bahamas to Canada. As revealed, his father intended to distribute the marijuana in Canada before his eventual arrest and prosecution. Ayre was not spared in the trouble as he was also accused of conspiring with his father to sell marijuana. But, he proved his innocence and relocated to Vancouver for a new life. 

Later in 1990, Ayre was employed at a heart valve manufacturer known as Bicel Medical Systems. During his time in the organization, he became the subject of unwanted attention after he illegally moved company shares. His actions prompted the intervention of local authorities in Vancouver. Nevertheless, Ayre, in his defense, claimed he engaged in such activities to help Bicel Medical Systems stay afloat. Eventually, he was directed to pay $10,000 in fines and banned from operating a company on the Vancouver Stock Exchange until 2016.

Bodog

Shortly after he ended his controversial stint with Bicel Medical Systems, Ayre was keen on setting up a business enterprise. This interest propelled him to establish an internet service provider firm in Vancouver. Later, he read about the huge patronage recorded by a Canadian-based gambling firm in a newspaper article. The company belonged to Ronald Sacco, a renowned businessman in the Dominican Republic. Then, the company offered betting services over the phone. He became interested in the business and resolved to convert his internet service firm into a gambling platform. 

Around 1994, security agencies nabbed Sacco for running illegal gambling operations. Ayre was undeterred by this development. He proceeded to convert his internet incubator company to a software platform for online gambling. 

In 1996, Ayre ventured fully into the online gambling sector, setting up his platform; Bodog. Reports indicated that the moniker Bodog surfaced as part of Ayre’s branding strategy. He envisioned the name long before he thought about the online gambling concept. As reported, the name came alive after the businessman typed potential brand names into an Internet domain-registration search engine. He opted for a name of not more than six letters that would suit an international project and appeal to a vast audience. 

Later in 2000, Ayre established Bodog.com, thereby giving his gambling business an online presence. This site enjoyed huge patronage owing to the strong interest in online gambling at that time. This development laid the foundation of the net worth of Calvin Ayre. His business empire caught the attention of top publications like Forbes.

He was featured in Forbes’ “2006 annual Billionaires Edition.” Also, Ayre made it to the People magazine’s 40 hottest bachelors and Star Magazine’s “Most Eligible Billionaire Bachelors” list in 2007. This media attention indicated that the net worth of Calvin Ayre attained a noticeable level as early as 2006. 

Meanwhile, Ayre loves partying and spending lavishly. He hosted various expensive parties in Costa Rica and Antigua. These parties were usually spiced with bikini-clad ladies referred to as “Bodog Girls.” Then, he termed his luxurious lifestyle as the “Bodog lifestyle.” Despite the criticism that greeted Ayre’s extravagance, his online gambling business benefited hugely from it. Gamblers became fascinated with the lifestyle and began to play more on Bodog with the hope of winning. 

The marketing strategy proved vital as the business expanded swiftly. Around 2005, Bodog recorded a turnover of $7.3 billion and $210 million in generated revenue. During the year, the online gambling platform processed more than 1 million bets per day.

Nonetheless, Bodog suffered a setback after the United States government made a new law that listed online gambling as illegal. This development compelled Ayre to sell the U.S. arm of the online gambling platform to a Quebec-based firm, Morris Mohawk Gaming Group (MMGG).

Still, the widely celebrated businessman retained his rights to the Bodog name and licensing abilities. The company continued to provide online gambling access to users in the United States under the Bodog brand until December 2011. That year, MMGG announced that it would no longer operate Bodog-branded websites and transitioned all customers to its new site.

Ayre exited the gambling space as a result of a fallout with regulators in the United States. Despite being away from the industry, he is still respected as one of the pioneers of the gambling industry. His opinions about certain gambling decisions or issues are highly regarded by experts and newbies in the industry.

Meanwhile, shortly after he stepped down from his active role in the online gambling business, Ayre established CalvinAyre.com. The platform publishes news items relating to the gambling industry. However, it stopped functioning in 2021. 

It is worth mentioning that the Bodog brand wasn’t limited to online gambling alone. As a seasoned businessman, Ayre launched various projects under the Bodog brand. He dreamt of building a “mainstream 21st-century digital entertainment conglomerate.” He gained inspiration from Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, and how he uses his personality to promote the companies he established.

Driven by this ambition, the business mogul organized BodogConference.com in Las Vegas for sports handicappers in 2003. The gathering was graced by the National Football League Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana as a special guest. Eventually, Ayre grew the initiative to become an annual event. 

The initiative was expanded in 2005 following the establishment of Bodog Music record label in 2005. Through the record label, Ayre created the Bodog Music Battle of the Bands television series. The program focused on empowering talented bands. He also founded the Calvin Ayre WildCard Poker. The initiative is a televised poker series on Fox Sports Net, that pits pro and celebrity players against one another in online qualifiers.

Furthermore, Ayre conceived and developed the concept of a mixed martial arts league. The initiative gained widespread popularity to the extent that its Clash of Nations finale was held in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2017. The occasion had in attendance the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, former prime minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, and actor Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Philanthropy

Despite the controversies surrounding his business endeavors, Ayre is quite popular for his generosity and contribution to numerous charitable causes. In 2005, the business mogul launched the Calvin Ayre Foundation. With the foundation, Ayre extended support to animal welfare, environmental and education needs of the less privileged. He leveraged the foundation to assist needy families, physical rehabilitation centers, and elementary schools in Costa Rica. Similarly, Ayre, due to his generosity, supported charitable causes like the LA Lakers Youth Foundation and actress Shannon Elizabeth’s Animal Avengers organization.

In 2006, Ayre, through his entertainment venture, produced “Bodog Salutes The Troops.” The initiative is a weekend event specially designed for the U.S. military officers in Hawaii. The businessman promoted the event to the extent that Spike TV dedicated one hour of its airtime to broadcast it. The program featured a poker tournament and a live musical concert with Snoop Dogg as the performing artist. The returns from the event were donated to the Fisher House Foundation. The Fisher House Foundation provides free housing for service members, veterans, and their families. 

Ayre’s philanthropic efforts didn’t stop there. In 2010, he contributed hugely to providing relief materials for victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The famous entrepreneur also donation to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Likewise, he donated $200,000 to provide relief materials to locals.

Following his relocation to Antigua, he decided to channel the activities of his foundation towards the country and the Philippines. The foundation provided support and rehabilitation assistance to a school and communities affected by typhoons in Northern Samar, Central Philippines. Similarly, he donated $200,000 to an initiative aimed at providing a premier education for qualified students in Antiguan. 

Meanwhile, the business tycoon established a helicopter service; CalvinAir.com, in Antigua. The firm usually conveys travelers to various locations around the Caribbean. Ayre availed the services of CalvinAir to the government of the country for rescue operations and urgent medical attention.

Notably, Ayre’s contribution to various charitable causes has not gone unnoticed. Recently, the government in Antigua awarded him with prestigious honors. 

Lawsuit/Controversy

Despite distancing himself from public attention for a while, Ayre alongside three others was indicted of gambling and money laundering in February 2021. Then, the U.S. attorney for Maryland accused them of involving in the aforementioned activities before the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Consequently, Ayre was placed on a wanted list for extradition from Antigua to Maryland. Then, the businessman debunked the allegations, stating that the allegations were an abuse of the U.S. criminal justice system. 

Ayre established that the US Attorney confiscated Bodog.com. He disclosed how the platform had been vacated after Bodog revoked its licensing agreement with MMGG the previous year. However, after several interrogations, he pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor charge. He admitted that his involvement in transmitting gambling information is against the Federal Wire Act. Later, Ayre was sentenced to a year of unsupervised probation. He was also asked to pay $500,000 in fines. 

Shortly after he was sentenced, the Think Tank Democracy Institute kicked against the ruling. Through a report, the group argued Ayre’s innocence and stated that it was against the World Trade Organization’s proclamation on internet gambling. Likewise, the report revealed that law enforcement officials in the United States tried to intimidate the businessman before the allegations were leveled against him. The group also alleged that officials attempted to convince Ayre to make a deposit of $350 million to the U.S. Treasury. 

Similarly, the government of Antigua and Barbuda defended Ayre amid the prosecution. Then, the government said the United States failed to comply with the disposition of the WTO on internet gaming. In a statement, it insisted that Ayre is a victim, and not a culprit.

Later, Ayre became a subject of heavy criticism from the Bitcoin community. The issue came up after he tweeted that a judge has affirmed Craig Wright as Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin. The claim highlighted Ayre’s lone support for the acclaimed founder of Bitcoin. His disclosure didn’t sit well with many Bitcoin enthusiasts who criticized Ayre for his controversial relationship with Wright. 

Is Calvin Ayre Pro Crypto?

Just like Craig Wright, Calvin Ayre is one of the most controversial personalities in the crypto industry. In recent years, he criticized several cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin to promote his favorite, Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (Bitcoin SV). Ayre shares the same belief with Wright that Bitcoin had been hijacked and deviated from its original focus by developers. Driven by this controversial belief, the duo have continued to nurture the Bitcoin SV as the original Bitcoin project that reflects the aim of Satoshi Nakamoto. In Ayre’s view, other crypto assets apart from the Bitcoin SV are scams. 

The online gambling pioneer sees the Bitcoin SV as the only chain with the potential to scale to enterprise levels, thereby providing an outstanding user experience. In a 2020 interview, Ayre gave more explanation about why he chose to become a vocal advocate of the project.

He said; “Bitcoin SV is a massively scaling immutable ledger; every single transaction or piece of data is stored and verifiable giving every user or business total transparency. There is nothing that can’t be built on the BSV chain. Every type of data storage and indexing you can think of and many you cannot can be done economically and with real value attached to all the data on BSV.”

Notably, Ayre’s support for Wright’s claim to being the inventor of Bitcoin has continued to spark controversies in the industry. Recall that Wright has been portraying himself as “Satoshi Nakamoto” since 2015, thereby earning the title of “Faketoshi” from critics. Although the crypto community is fully divided over his claim to being the creator of Bitcoin, Wright is yet to put up a convincing argument on the table. His stance is that the various modifications made to Bitcoin by developers have, in recent years, altered his original intention for the project as the creator.

Recently, Wright emphasized that the original Bitcoin “is a peer-to-peer system for cash payments without needing a third party. Quite the contrary, it will not replace the banks, as many quickly assume.” He added that “Bitcoin was designed to make these types of “casual” transactions feasible and cost-effective by eliminating the need for a trusted third party (like a bank or payment processor), thus lowering transaction costs.”

As one of the close associates of Wright, Ayre has continued to support Wright’s “Satoshi Nakamoto” campaign. Although his relationship and support for the controversial “Bitcoin inventor” has subjected him to numerous controversies, the Canadian gambling pioneer remains undeterred.

 In recent years, he was dragged into various messes surrounding Wright’s campaign. As a matter of fact, critics alleged that Ayre founded CoinGeek to further help Wright achieve his agenda of depicting the Bitcoin SV as the original Bitcoin project. He is also said to be one of those bankrolling Wright’s court fights against those who believe he is a fraud. 

Around 2019, Ayre reacted to an “anti-harassment campaign” against Wright instigated by a Twitter user, identified as Hodlonaut. The campaign gathered huge momentum, thereby forcing Wright to announce a $5,000 reward to anyone who could help him with the identity of Hodlanaut. Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao is one of the major critics of Wright’s antics. He joined the campaign, stressing that “Craig Wright is not Satoshi” and threatened to delist Bitcoin SV. 

Although the crusade forced Wright out of Twitter for some time, Ayre was definitely not bothered and even shared a troll to show he was not losing sleep over the matter.

The same year, Ayre dragged Roger Ver over his comment on the arrest of a member of the Ethereum research team, Virgil Griffith by U.S. authorities. Then, the team member was reported to have traveled to the Asian nation to participate in a crypto and blockchain conference. During the conference, Griffith enlightened the audience on how Ethereum could help them evade the menace of U.S. sanctions. Ver condemned the arrest and called for the immediate release of the team member. 

In reaction to Ver’s post, Ayre said the Bitcoin Cash developer committed treason with his comment on the arrest of Griffith. Ayre’s outburst on Ver is not surprising as they have been on different sides of the war field since the Bitcoin Cash hard fork in 2018. Recall that Ayre supported Wright to carry out the hard fork which later birthed the Bitcoin SV. 

In one of his articles, titled “Is Roger Ver a Bitcoin con man or just a moron?” Ayre reflected on his meetings with Ver and how he realized he was not in support of Bitcoin’s original design. 

“The last time Roger and I met was in September 2018 at a miner’s meeting in Bangkok, where Roger had dinner with Craig, Jimmy Nguyen, Steve Shadders, myself and a few others. It was shortly after this meeting that Roger began pitching me on his new view that Craig was not Satoshi and that I should join him and the other Soupers on their poorly conceived plans to fork away from Bitcoin. This was the point where we realized that Roger did not really support Bitcoin’s original design and was prepared to do anything to support his own version, including attacking Craig publicly by saying the exact opposite of what he’d told us all privately,” he revealed. 

As a committed advocate of Bitcoin SV, Ayre has continued to leverage his publications to hype the project. In one of his publications, the Canadian entrepreneur told readers that “BSV is the only scalable distributed blockchain solution capable of supporting a global enterprise platform.” He added that “Regardless of what others want you to believe, the blockchain protocol wars are over, the other chains are dead men walking. In the end, there will only be Bitcoin SV, don’t take my word for it, take my proof of work.”

Apart from writing about its enticing potential, the online gambling pioneer has also been sponsoring yearly conferences through his Ayre Group to facilitate the widespread popularity of Bitcoin SV and the blockchain sector at large. These conferences usually feature notable actors in the industry as speakers and participants to discuss the expanding utility of blockchain tech. Although Ayre has publicly admitted that his “Ayre Group” is a big promoter and investor in BSV businesses, he still insists the yearly conferences are not for the project. According to him, “BSV is just a tool. If someone else has another tool that wants to compete in that space, then the conference is open to them.”

Meanwhile, the most recent one was held around June 2023 at Parliament Square, London. The theme of the conference was “Bringing government and enterprise onto the blockchain.” Ayre said the event focused on “solving big data challenges in a unique way with blockchains.” According to him, the massive adoption of blockchain could prove beneficial not only to governments but to citizens too.  

“Governments can use this technology to manage data in a way that makes them look really good to their citizens. They’re saving costs. They’re being able to provide unique services that weren’t possible before. It’s going to be interesting to see how this unfolds because we do know that a lot of governments don’t like things that force them to be honest.”

Driven by his various endeavors in the blockchain sector, Ayre earned the appointment of the government of Antigua and Barbuda as a special economic envoy in 2017. His role is to advise the government on how to ensure the efficient execution of technological advancement in crypto and blockchain. This explains why he has been at the heart of BSV’s mainstream adoption in Antigua and Barbuda. He believes the prospects associated with the project will enable Antigua and Barbuda to realize the opportunities enveloped in blockchain. 

Meanwhile, Ayre is not foreseeing any positive future for crypto and has, over the years, distinguished the project he supports from the industry. As expected, his position on the “original Bitcoin,” BSV aligns with that of Wright who believes it is digital cash and not crypto. Recently, Ayre supported the recommendation by the Select Committee of British MPs that crypto should be regulated under gambling laws. He banked on his initial exposure to the gambling world to affirm that crypto is “like gambling—only it’s like illegal, unregulated gambling.” 

Recently, the controversial entrepreneur took a stance as regards the various clampdowns on crypto offerings in the U.S. Unlike many others, Ayre did not condemn the SEC’s action. His stance is that all crypto assets except BSV are securities. 

Crypto and NFT Holdings of Calvin Ayre

Prior to the 2017 hard fork, Calvin Ayre held Bitcoin in his crypto portfolio. As a matter of fact, he confirmed that the largest crypto by market cap was the first asset he bought after venturing into the industry. But, unlike other popular Bitcoin investors, Ayre emptied his “BTC” holdings for the “original Bitcoin.”

Recall that he joined the likes of Craig Wright and Roger Ver to ensure the execution of the Bitcoin hard fork, a development that brought Bitcoin Cash to life. However, barely a year later, Wright and Ver disagreed over the future of the project. This thus birthed the emergence of BSV, described by Ayre as the “real Bitcoin.”

Therefore, by holding BSV, Ayre believes he owns the “original Bitcoin.” His loyalty to the asset is second to none as he does not hold any other cryptocurrencies in his portfolio. Although Calvin Ayre is yet to publicly declare the aggregate worth of the BSV coins in his portfolio, there is no doubt it has contributed only a little to his net worth.

Despite holding a pessimistic stance on other crypto offerings, Calvin Ayre is thrilled by the potential of utility NFTs. But, he has reservations about the current version of art NFTs and does not hold any.

Crypto and NFT Projects Featuring Calvin Ayre

There is an NFT collection featuring Calvin Ayre’s relationship with Craig Wright on DappRadar. The collection, known as “Calvin Ayre – Gold Edition” is enveloped with a cartoonish image of the Canadian entrepreneur and a textual representation of his antecedents. Recently, it was sold for 0.19 ETH equivalent to about $340 as of August 2023. 

Meanwhile, there are indications that the Ayre Group founder will be featured on Wall Street Memes. This project is well-known in the digital space due to its Instagram memes. The uniqueness and attractiveness of these memes have helped its team to sustain superb engagement on social media.

Wall Street Memes strongly believes in the capacity of memes to challenge the agelong stigma, convey unfolding events and drive more innovations into the crypto industry. Today, memes featuring renowned guys in the industry, like Jim Cramer, Changpeng Zhao, Elon Musk, and more can be found on its Instagram and Twitter handles. Therefore, it will be interesting to see Ayre on the list soon.

Nonetheless, Wall Street Memes has already secured a strong presence on social media, particularly on Instagram and Twitter. On both platforms alone, it enjoys the backing and loyalty of about seven hundred thousand followers in spite of the heavy competition in the meme market. Some of the members of its community command a very vast influence to the extent that they are among the few followed on Twitter by Musk. So, it is not surprising that Musk has not only noticed the project but has also interacted with it. 

Notably, Musk, has in recent years, built a reputation as a great supporter of meme projects. His support for Doge helped pushed the project into the mainstream. Investors are optimistic that the same fate will befall $WSM, the native token of Wall Street Memes that was launched in mid-2023.

According to its whitepaper, the meme coin was launched so as to expose members of its community to the financial development of the project. Its distribution method is community-oriented, with at least 50% allocated to early investors. With this, the team behind the project is seeking to place the future of the token in the hands of its community. 

The $WSM presale started in May, raising over $300,000 barely a day after going live. Shortly after, it began to record a massive spike in its daily investment, courtesy of the activities of crypto influencers. Michael Wrubel, a famous YouTuber, with over 300,000 subscribers was one of the first to hype the presale on his channel. Wrubel portrays himself as a strong believer in the capacity of $WSM to replicate the recent successes recorded by Doge, Shiba, and Pepe. 

Satoshi Stacker, another crypto influencer, also posted a seven-minute video on his YouTube channel in July to hype the ongoing $WSM presale. He reminded his subscribers how early investments in meme coins have yielded great returns to their investors in recent years. 

As of August 3, the presale is still ongoing and has already secured over $18.5 million in investment. Investors are convinced that it might be the next cryptocurrency to take off. 

Meanwhile, the team behind the project recently commenced a $50,000 airdrop for active members of the community. You can find more information about this airdrop when you visit wallstmemes.com.

Calvin Ayre’s Net Worth – Our Verdict

Calvin Ayre is a billionaire today due to his success in the online gambling sector. He was quick to realize the huge opportunity in poker gaming and ventured into it before it became popular. So, the rise in the widespread popularity of the sector soared the net worth of Calvin Ayre. In 2006, he made the list of the “Billionaire” edition of Forbes magazine. Likewise in 2007, he was featured on the list of “Most Eligible Billionaire Bachelors” by Star Magazine.

Therefore, it is safe to affirm that Ayre was already a Billionaire before he ventured into the crypto and blockchain sector. But his strong relationship with Craig Wright has made him one of the most controversial individuals around. 

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FAQs

When did Calvin Ayre launch Bodog?

He founded Bodog, an online gambling site in 1996.

What's the 2023 net worth of Calvin Ayre?

The 2023 net worth of Calvin Ayre is estimated to be around $1.2 billion.

What blockchain project is Calvin Ayre supporting?

Calvin Ayre is a strong supporter of the Bitcoin SV blockchain. He believes the project aligns with the vision of Satoshi Nakamoto.