OliverBlock.one published an open letter in response to Last Week Tonight host John Oliver after the comedian ribbed the company’s flagship project -- EOS -- during Sunday’s cryptocurrency-themed episode.
John Oliver Ribs EOS, Brock Pierce in Crypto-Themed Episode
As CCN reported, Oliver devoted an entire episode to cryptocurrency, a topic which, in his words, “combines everything you don’t understand about money” with “everything you don’t understand about computers.”
Most viewers lauded Oliver for his overall balanced take on the ecosystem, but fans of blockchain project EOS took issue with the host’s characterization of this cryptocurrency -- and its mammoth initial coin offering (ICO).
Specifically, Oliver poked fun at Block.one partner Brock Pierce, an early cryptocurrency adopter known for his eccentricities.
After playing several clips of Pierce, including one in which he discussed his “unicorn wedding,” Oliver said:
“I simply refuse to believe that a man who has the time to organize a unicorn wedding at Burning Man should be trusted around one and a half billion dollars. If someone turned up to mow your lawn and gave you that exact speech you would tell them, 'No way! I don't trust you with my lawn.' He's just gonna organize a warlock quinceañera on it.”
Oliver then extended his criticism to make EOS the poster-child of the ICO craze, which has seen a variety of dubious projects raise eye-popping amounts of capital.
“Who knows? Maybe EOS is going to be the next Google. I don’t think it is, and I certainly don’t think it can be worth over a billion dollars at this point, but I could be wrong. I’m absolutely not, but I could be,” Oliver concluded.
Block.One Responds to HBO Host
On Tuesday, Block.one responded to Oliver's segment in an open letter published on the EOS blog.
In the statement, which was addressed to "Block Chainiver" (Oliver floated changing his name to increase his ratings, much as several companies have done in an apparent bid to pump up their share prices), Block.one said that the company enjoyed the segment and agreed with his overall points about doing proper research before investing cryptocurrencies.
However, the company also pushed back a bit against his criticisms, arguing that the company's chief technical officer -- Dan Larimer -- is immensely qualified as a developer, given that he has built both BitShares and Steem. It also noted that Larimer and the other EOS developers are consistently making progress on developing the EOS blockchain and that these developments can be seen on the project's Github repository.
Block.one also revealed that -- prior to the Last Week Tonight segment -- the company and Brock Pierce had mutually agreed to part ways as he "transitions to independent community building and investment activities."
The company concluded its statement by acknowledging that there is room for improvement in the way in which it conducts corporate communications.
“As a growing company building value through an open source community as opposed to traditional avenues of proprietary software ownership, we are conscious of the importance of robust corporate communications,” the company said. “We take professional standards seriously and are always focused on raising the bar as our company transitions from startup to aggressive growth.”