SeeThruEquity Blockchain News, New York, New York, June 6, 2018–There is no denying that cryptocurrencies are here to stay. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, initial coin offerings (ICOs) raised $6.6B in 2017, and more amazingly, have already raised about $7.15B in 2018. That last billion dollar figure doesn’t even include the $4 billion just raised by Block.one, a Cayman Islands-based company run by 31-year old CEO Brendan Blumer.
Block.one? Never heard of ’em
It is amazing that a company started in January 2017 has now raised $4 billion. To put that figure in perspective, Dropbox, a tech unicorn and darling of Silicon Valley that had been around for a decade, raised $1 billion in its IPO with some of Wall Street largest banks earlier this year.
So what does Block.one do, and more importantly, what are they going to do with the dough they just raised? The answer to the first question is not very easy-according to the Linkedin profile of its CEO Blumer:
“Block.one’s first product EOS is an Operating System on which scalable DAC’s can be easily built, launched, and governed; this technology was made possible by the invention of asynchronous smart contract communication and will enable the rapid buildout of the next era of disruptive organizations.
… Decentralized Autonomous Corporations (DAC’s) [are] a concept introduced by Block.one CTO Daniel Larimer in 2014 that empowers open source communities to disrupt existing centralized business models.
What the heck? Basically, Block.one is creating a “blockchain platform” which can be used by software developers to write new apps, called dApps, using blockchain technology. Reshaping the “architecture” of the online world with a platform like Block.one’s EOS would usher in an “Internet 3.0″ according to its supporters.”
A New Apple or Google?
Think Android or iOS except that no one company owns the operating system or platform. Ethereum is another platform created by Vitalin Buterik, but that is increasingly running against the scalability problem of blockchain, which essentially limits the number of transactions per second that can be processed to around 15-20. As a comparable, VISA can handle tens of thousands of transactions per second.
There are 16 other major blockchain platforms out there, according to most industry experts, that are also competitors to EOS. A few of the most notable are Hyperledger, Stellar and HydraChain. Ironically, Block.one’s supposed path to surpass Ethereum to the holy grail of mass adoption is to create an operating system that is not as decentralized as Ethereum such that it can process more transactions per second. Hey wait a minute, I thought the whole point of blockchain was decentralization…I know, I know, we will research the technical details of this more and get back at you with another blog post.
Block.one’s growth strategy: genius or just a gamble?
Ok that was a long answer to the first question, now to the second: what is Block.one saying they are going to do with all of the dough? This is the easier of the two questions, as Block.one isn’t really clear on how they are going to spend the war chest of $4 billion. They are building a platform for hosting applications which is set to go live in June, but once it goes live, they aren’t going to develop the software-they are depending on developers to do that. This sounds a lot like Apple’s App Store or gaming console companies and gaming software company type ecosystems. A lot of people say that how Block.one is spending the $4B sounds vague, like the recent piece on Block.one in the Wall Street Journal. But is it? The strategy of creating an easy to use, developer-friendly platform isn’t new, ie. Apple App Store or Google App Store etc.; in fact it makes tremendous sense.
The other clearly defined strategy that Block.one has laid out is its intention to invest $1B of its cash hoard in startups that are building apps on EOS. Now that’s putting money where your mouth is and pushing the ball forward to promote adoption of your EOS platform.
These are exciting times in the pursuit of Internet 3.0, and really only time can tell whether Block.one’s strategy leads to mass adoption of the EOS platform.
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