Adios, EOS: Brock Pierce and Block.one Part Ways
With millions having seen Sunday’s Last Week Tonight’s segment on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, which included John Oliver having poked fun at EOS and its co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO), Brock Pierce, it was always going to interesting to see what (if any) PR strategy the team of the oft-criticised EOS project would utilise. Some four days later, EOS (and Block.one) provided a response that justified their existence, as expected. What was surprising, however, was the fact that (and the way by which) the EOS team was parting ways with the much-maligned Pierce.
Indeed, in a Wednesday blog post titled, ‘Dear John Oliver’, EOS responded to the popular American talk show’s depiction of their project, which had left investors feeling embarrassed and angered.
Buried in the announcement, though, was the significant news that EOS and Block.one “recently came to a mutual agreement” with Brock Pierce which will see him “end his role at Block.one as he transitions to independent community building and investment activities.” Notably, the EOS team chose to describe Pierce as “an early advisor,” despite him being the company’s co-founder and CSO, as mentioned above.
Pierce has led an eventful life, to say the least, and it appears as though his shady reputation was beginning to do more harm than good for the very company he had such an influential part in creating (which by extension, includes EOS.IO itself).
The once-childhood actor who famously starred in The Mighty Ducks, has long been tied to a Hollywood scandal, despite having been cleared of any wrongdoing. Granted, Pierce deserves credit for being an early Bitcoin adopter and significant pioneer of the cryptocurrency movement, as reflected by his 2014 election as Director of the Bitcoin Foundation.
However, Pierce also rightfully attracts criticism from members of the cryptocurrency community particularly concerning his involvement with Tether Limited (which he co-founded as Realcoin in 2014). Indeed, Tether (USDT) has been marred by controversy in tandem with its parent company, Bitfinex; which Pierce also sits on the board of. Of course, Wells Fargo infamously blocked all international bank transactions with Tether early last year, prompting a string of events that have only caused crypto-enthusiasts to become more suspicious of their operation.
Just today, Tether was once more the subject of wild conjecture, after @BitFinexed tweeted that over 5 million USDT tokens appear to have been frozen; displaying a screenshot of multiple frozen transactions linked to the Tether treasury address.
For EOS, the official separation from Pierce has pleased much of the project’s followers. The team used Wednesday’s blog post to redeem reputational damage inflicted by Oliver’s television program. Whilst they gave the comedian credit for the emphasis he placed on warning viewers about the malignancy currently plaguing the cryptocurrency space, the EOS team sought issue with his slighting coverage of their EOS.IO operating system; currently being developed by block.one, a privately-owned company.
In the post, EOS reassured readers how “Block.one and community contributors make continual progress on the development of the EOS.IO platform;” referring them to the EOSIO Github, a “fully transparent hub where the real time progress of feature creation through to completion can be viewed and contributed to.”
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