What is Block.one?
Block.one is a global software company specializing in high performance blockchain software. It is the publisher of EOS, a free, open-source protocol designed to bring speed, scalability, and ease of use to the secure and transparent fundamentals of distributed databases. Its Voice platform is a content marketplace that redefines social media by leveraging blockchain technology to bring transparency, accountability and alignment between the platform and the user.
Block.one was established in 2017 following the release of a white paper for the EOS.IO
blockchain platform, which was scheduled to launch in June 2018. On
26 June 2017, the company launched an initial coin offering (ICO) for EOS tokens distributed on the Ethereum blockchain. The offering was unique in that was carried out over the course of one year, with a select number of tokens issued each day until July 2, 2018.
Why Build on EOSIO?
EOS launched two test networks in September and December 2017 and two test networks in January and May 2018.
The main network was released as an open-source software platform in June.
In October 2019, EOSIO 2, the second iteration of the EOS blockchain, was unveiled.
Block.one said that EOSIO 2 was built with developers in mind and will create a faster, simpler, and more secure environment to build on EOS.
In October 2020, Block.one reported that Google Cloud Platform, a global hyperscale cloud and infrastructure provider, joined the EOS community and is taking steps to become an EOS network block producer. As a block producer candidate, Google Cloud will need to be selected by token holders to secure a position within the block producer ranks on the EOS network. Google Cloud will publish a microsite that will highlight their participation in EOS’s network operation as an elected block producer.
VOICE New Social Media Platform on the EOSIO Blockchain created by Block.one
Block.one announced on March 26, 2020, that it had invested $150 million in a start-up social medium platform called Voice. $100 million of the investment was cash and $50 million was in the form of intellectual property. The platform is to provide users with payments for original content that are paid by other users. In January, the social media app hired former Forbes global chief digital officer Salah Zalatimo as its CEO and rolled out a public beta the following month. The company is looking to officially roll out the app in Q1, 2021.
Initial Coin Offering
In 2018, through an initial coin offering, Block.one offered EOS tokens in return for Ethereum. The offering brought in the equivalent of $4.15 billion, according to blockchain advisory New Alchemy. At that size, Block.one’s ICO surpassed the value of all but two IPOs sold worldwide in 2018, according to Dealogic, and ranked as the largest ICO ever, New Alchemy said. The ICO lasted from June 2017 to June 2018. A total of 1 billion EOS tokens were issued, of which 900 million were made available to the public. The other 100,000 were reserved for Block.one and can’t be traded or transferred.
In May 2020, a group of individual and corporate investors filed a class action lawsuit against Block.one, alleging it defrauded them through a year-long illegal initial coin offering that netted the company in excess of $4 billion but left investors with an unregulated asset that became virtually worthless.
The suit, brought in federal court in theUnited States District Court for the Southern District of New York, was filed jointly by leading investor law firm Grant & Eisenhofer along with renowned investor advocate James L. Koutoulas, blockchain and cryptocurrency litigator Jenny Vatrenko, and J. Samuel Tenenbaum of The Bluhm Legal Clinic's Complex Civil Litigation and Investor Protection Center at Northwestern University. In asserting violations by Block.one, the lawsuit alleges breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment by defendants, who comprise both current and former company executives. They include co-founders Brendan Blumer and Dan Larimer, who remain with Block.one, and co-founder Brock Pierce, who departed. Also named is former partner Ian Grigg.
In May, the Crypto Assets Opportunity Fund (CAOF), along with individual investor Johnny Hong, accused Block.one, CEO Brendan Blumer, CTO Dan Larimer, former Chief Strategy Officer Brock Pierce and former partner Ian Grigg, of trying to “capitalize on the investor fervor for cryptocurrencies” in 2017 to host an illegal securities sale.
In a strongly worded filing with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, plaintiffs argue defendants purposefully misled investors and artificially inflated the EOS token price during the yearlong initial coin offering (ICO), which raised a total of $4.1 billion between June 2017 and June 2018. Both COAF and Hong were seeking damages, to be agreed on by the federal court, from the defendants.
Venture capitalist Peter Thiel, hedge fund managers Louis Bacon and Alan Howard and cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain invested in the funding round that ended at the ICO’s close. Galaxy Digital CEO Michael Novogratz, Christian Angermayer and Lansdowne Investment Company Ltd. participated in a previous round, a company press release said. 
Other investors included Fred Wilson' s Union Square Ventures and Multicoin Capital, a Texas cryptocurrency investment group backed by Andreessen Horowitz and Chris Dixon. Dixon bought EOS without investing in Block.one in May 2017 around when co-founders Brock Pierce, CEO Brendan Blumer and CTO Dan Larimer introduced EOS.
Founder and CEO Brendan Blumer has been working in blockchain since 2014. His first project, Gamecliff, was a platform to trade virtual assets within online video games. In 2005 at the age of 18, he sold the company and moved to Hong Kong. Block.one’s Chief technology officer is Dan Larimer, who’s also the co-founder other crypto-companies including BitShares and Steemit, a blog and social network where users are rewarded with STEEM crypto tokens for posting and discovering content.
In September 2018, four early employees and two contractors resigned from Block.one to start up StrongBlock, a new blockchain project. David Moss, Thomas Cox, Brian Abramson and Corey J. Lederer, the employees, were the second, third, fourth and fifth people to be hired by Block.one. According to Linkedin, Abramson, Lederer, Cook and Mason left Block.one and EOS in the summer of 2018. Moss already quit by May, a month before Block.one published the EOS main network. Starting in August 2017, Moss was the senior vice president of technology operations and Cox was the vice president of product. Abramson, the vice president of infrastructure, and Lederer, the senior director of technology products, on-boarded in September 2017. Software developers Jon Eric-Cook and Michael S. Mason, the contractors, began remote work on EOS in spring 2018. The ex-Block.one associates formed StrongBlock in July 2018 with Branden Espinoza, an EOS governance specialist.
In October 2020, Block.one appointed Goldman Sachs veteran R. Martin Chavez to chair Advisory Board. Chavez served as Chief financial officer at Goldman Sachs until 2019. Previously, he was the company’s Chief information officer and the global co-head of the securities division. He has been a partner since 2006 and a member of Goldman’s management committee since 2012, and he remains a senior director. He started his career as a technologist in Silicon Valley, where he co-founded Kiodex and Quorum Software Systems before bringing his engineering and computer science expertise into investment banking.
Brendan Blumer - CEO
Dan Larimer - CTO
Andrew Bliss - Chief Strategy Officer
Ted Cahall - COO
Steve Ellis - CFO
Abby Blumer - Chief Communications Officer
Alex Erasmus - Chief Legal Officer
James Mendes - Chief People Officer
Eddie Schwartz - Chief Information Security Officer
Kokuei (Guo) Yuan - Executive Chairman