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Key employees from Peter Thiel-led startup Block.One have left to form their own venture, StrongBlock, claiming that their former company did not address a specific need in the blockchain marketplace.
The Hong-Kong cryptocurrency startup Block.One has lost a group of its early employees, who have moved on to start StrongBlock, a blockchain project that has not released any details of its future plans. Specifically, the employees were within the five first employees that the company hired, and two contractors also left to join StrongBlock, as well. For those who are unfamiliar, Block.One is the corporation behind the dentralized operating system, EOS, a top-ten cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of about $5 billion.
Their Linkedin profiles suggest that they had left quietly to move on to their new venture. The exit has left a talent gap in the technical team at the startup founded by Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of Paypal, famous venture capitalist, and early proponent of bitcoin. Although no information has been released about StrongBlock, it has been confirmed that the project was formed in July.
The move comes at an interesting time, considering that Block.One just completed a year-long ICO that raised a record-setting $4 billion, $1 billion of which was meant to be reserved specifically for development and funding of the project. Peter Thiel is not the only billionaire involved in Block.One, either, as hedge fund managers Louis Bacon and Alan Howard also signed on.
In fact, Bitmain, the crypto mining company that is on track to have a staggering $10 billion in revenue this year, also invested, in addition to Thiel investing some of his own money. In addition to this, there have been several investment groups that have bought EOS without directly investing in Block.One. These groups include well-known firm such as Union Square Ventures, founded by successful venture capitalist Fred Wilson.
The EOS blockchain was marketed as an “ethereum killer”, and certainly had some issues with its source code that stalled its success, despite the fact that it is one of the largest cryptocurrency projects in the world. It seemed as though these issues were subsiding, as it was revealed recently that EOS dApps recently were seeing a higher transaction value than Ethereum dApps.
Many considered this news extremely promising and believed that this indicated that the EOS blockchain actually had the capability of eventually overtaking the ethereum blockchain in terms of relevancy and value.
BancorX, a liquidity-generating application, also announced that it would be available on the EOS network, as well. Considering that Bancor is one of the most popular dApps on the ethereum blockchain, many also considered this a sign that EOS was a viable competitor to ehtereum.
An employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity elaborated on why the group had left for the new venture, stating:
“We left because we saw a need in the blockchain marketplace that Block.One was not going to address”.
Block.One has not released a statement or responded to inquiries regarding the departures, or StrongBlock.