Brock Pierce

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Brock Pierce
Brock Pierce.jpg
Occupation Chairman
Employer Bitcoin Foundation
Location San Juan, Puerto Rico
Personal Twitter @brockpierce
LinkedIn Profile

Brock Pierce is a cryptocurrency celebrity entrepreneur.

Current Activities

Pierce is the chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation. He was elected to the post by other members of the board of directors on April 21, 2015.[1] His election to the board itself was controversial in 2014, and at the time it caused a number of the individual members of the foundation to quit.[2] The foundation was established in 2012 by developers and entrepreneurs as a trade association to help create awareness and understanding of bitcoin among "technologists, regulators, the media and everyone else globally."[3]

Pierce was one of the founders of Block.one, whose EOS coin launched on June 1, 2018 after reportedly raising $4 billion.[4] In March 2018, after being mocked by the comedian John Oliver on his HBO television show Last Week Tonight, Pierce reportedly stepped down as Block.one's chief strategy officer.[5]

Pierce is also currently publicly advocating for investment and entrepreneurial activity in Puerto Rico in conjunction with a number of other crypto businessmen who are founding "Sol" there. The project was originally called Puertopia (Puerto Rican utopia); however, it was noted that Puertopia can translate from Latin to "eternal boy playground." [6] Pierce told Forbes in February 2018 that he would donate $1 billion of his wealth to establish a "decentralized autonomous community run on a blockchain" that was then set to launch on June 1, 2018. It was not clear whether the donation was connected to his project in Puerto Rico.[7]

An early believer in bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies, Pierce was a founder of Blockchain Capital, one of the earliest venture capital funds focused on blockchain investments. Since then he helped start and fund dozens of crypto companies, including Mastercoin, Coinbase, Ethereum, Tether, Bitfury and, as mentioned, Block.one.[8]

Before Crypto

Before starting up Blockchain Capital, Brock Pierce had had a varied and seemingly successful business career.

Internet Gaming

Pierce was introduced to the world of internet currencies when he took-up real money trading ("RMT") of virtual gear farmed while playing EverQuest. Pierce became expert at EverQuest while he was hiding out in Spain with former business associates (see below for more about that). Using his own funds, Pierce established Internet Gaming Entertainment ("IGE") in 2001. IGE sold virtual gear "farmed" by his employees in Marbella, Spain. His employees played EverQuest, slaying enemies and winning their tunics, which Pierce would sell for Norrathian platinum pieces within the EverQuest economy. Pierce then sold the virtual platinum pieces for cash outside of it. IGE grew, took over its biggest competitor, brought in $60 million of outside money, expanded into World of Warcraft's virtual gold, was targeted in a class action suit for ruining the fun of World of Warcraft by violating the game's licenses, sold its assets, pushed out Pierce in 2008 - who was replaced by Steve Bannon who had earlier arranged the outside investment, and closed its RMT doors. But Pierce had profited along the way, particularly when he took out $20 million dollars when the company took in $60 million. [9]

IGE was briefly dominant in the field of buying and selling virtual gear. According to Fortune Magazine, Pierce estimated that that IGE accounted for half of the U.S. RMT market, the size estimates of which ranged from $50 million to $500 million in annual sales. In its brief life, IGE was growing at the rate of 100% per year and had 200 employees handling trading, according to Pierce.[10]

Scandal and Digital Entertainment Network

Pierce joined a start-up named Digital Entertainment Network ("DEN") in 1998 as a junior partner. He was 17 years old at the time. DEN was supposed to produce original content for distribution though the internet to consumers. It raised $88 million in venture funding. Pierce produced at least one pilot show for DEN, "Chad's World." [11] DEN attracted Ford, Microsoft and Pepsi-Cola as program sponsors according to its pre-IPO statements.[12]

DEN's IPO stalled and then was abandoned when Pierce and the two other founders were accused of sexual improprieties, especially during parties with underage boys at the house they shared. All three fled California and were arrested in Spain in 2002, where Pierce had launched IGE. Eventually, Pierce's two older business partners were charged with criminal activity and all three of them were the subject of at least one civil suit alleging sexual harassment. DEN was liquidated in 2000.[13]

Disney Kid

According to IMDb, Pierce appeared in The Mighty Ducks (1992) and D2: The Mighty Ducks (1994) and starred in First Kid (1996).[14]

References