The John Oliver Effect? Brock Pierce and Block.One Part Ways
John Oliver’s new cryptocurrency-themed episode caused a ruckus in the space. One reason why? Oliver gave Decentralized Autonomous Communities (DACs) play EOS and its larger-than-life public face Brock Pierce a thorough ribbing. Block.one, the company behind EOS, has responded by saying Pierce will be moving on to independent projects.
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Block.one, Pierce Mutually Agree to “End His Role”
As Oliver’s latest show made its rounds through the cryptoverse, one of the main questions that many viewers had was what’s next for EOS?
Of course Oliver slammed BitConnect, as would be expected in such an episode, but EOS and Pierce were the next largest recipients of Oliver’s very public ire. The Last Week Tonight host honed in on the fact that EOS has been able to raise money faster than Uber or Facebook all while not having a currently working project — a dynamic that Oliver largely contributed to Brock Pierce’s seemingly utopian evangelism, with Oliver calling Pierce a “douche.”
Now, it appears the segment has contributed to Pierce’s departure from Block.one and his EOS efforts. In a March 13th Medium post entitled “Dear John Oliver,” the company clarified that Pierce’s time there had come to a close:
“Brock Pierce was an early advisor to Block.one for several months and made significant contributions to the awareness of the EOSIO project. His past experience working with projects such as Ethereum, Blockchain Capital, and as chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation have proved immensely valuable. As we mentioned last week, we recently came to a mutual agreement that Brock would end his role at Block.one as he transitions to independent community building and investment activities. We thank Brock for his contributions, support, and continued larger than life passion for the EOSIO project.”
At the time of Oliver’s episode, Pierce responded on Twitter that “He had me ROFL while making important points. The main ones are that you are responsible for your own destiny (to respond and to be responsible is a great responsibility).”
John Oliver mentions our wedding. I suggest watching the entire segment. He had me ROFL while making important points. The main ones are that you are responsible for your own destiny (to respond and to be responsible is a great responsibility) https://t.co/izCmKfqA2C @crystalrose
— Ƀrock PiErce 🦄🎩🙏🏼 🇵🇷 (@brockpierce) March 12, 2018
So Pierce has seemingly taken the situation in stride. Notably, he retweeted EOS’s “Dear John Oliver” announcement tweet as well.
Response Gets Some Applause
To be sure, the heat from John Oliver’s episode was a PR nightmare for EOS. But a few notable pundits in the space were impressed by how Block.one handled the situation.
For example, Wall Street macro wiz turned institutional cryptocurrency investor Mike Novogratz applauded Block.one’s response, calling the announcement graceful.
A very graceful response. https://t.co/twVjdOZX1Q
— Michael Novogratz (@novogratz) March 14, 2018
Civic CEO Vinny Lingham also agreed, calling the move “classy.”
Classy response to a tough situation https://t.co/P07xdLmTus
— Vinny Lingham (@VinnyLingham) March 14, 2018
Accordingly, PR responses in the cryptocurrency space should mimic the best responses in the traditional business world: hit the issue fast, hard, and resolutely. Doing so has seemingly won Block.one some goodwill points.
What’s your take? Is EOS best without Pierce in the picture? Sound off in the comments below
Images via me Convention, YouTube