Since Block.one’s June 1st announcement to launch Voice, the EOS community has been eagerly waiting in anticipation. But as the beta draws near, the debate surrounding the question of “How will Voice work with EOS?” heats up. Early after the B1June announcement, many had hoped that Voice would wholly reside on EOS, with only the private KYC information held off chain. But as time passed, and more information emerged, a growing number of people began to speculate that Voice will be entirely segregated from EOS, residing on a private EOSIO chain hosted by Block.one. Where does the truth lie? What do Dan and Brendan have to say on the matter? Could the SEC and Block.one legal counsel have stripped EOS of it’s Voice? Let’s dig in…but first some housekeeping.
“EOS” denotes the specific chain and token launched by the community on June 14th 2018 based on the snapshot of the Block.one token sale. The term “EOSIO” denotes the software developed by Block.one that powers EOS and many other blockchains.
Join me as we hop in a time machine and take a trip way, way, back to July 9, 2017 on Telegram where Dan Larimer boldy announces, “With EOS I hope to build a platform which my future visions can be realized,” Just six days later the same sentiment is echoed and he definitively states, “My future is built on EOS.” The message is loud and clear, and “EOS” is the message.
As time goes by, Dan continues to be a regular on Telegram, popping in and engaging the main EOS chat as well as a few others. Brendan isn’t quite as active but would still make an occasional appearance from time to time. After the B1June announcement, the two were in rare form and showed up to share some exciting insight into Voice. Here are some of the relevant posts that relate to EOS and Voice in the week after June 1, 2019 announcement.
Wow, so every user that completes the KYC process will get an EOS account. That’s great, but why does that mean good things for EOS?
Oh, other dapps will be built in order to access those new and verified users. Please pay special attention above to the delineation between Voice accounts and EOS accounts. Voice accounts are verified EOS accounts that have passed KYC requirements. There is value knowing that your dapp is only interacting with real humans and not bot accounts.
Dapps will be able to only allow verified accounts onto their platforms, if they so choose.
Voice users won’t even need to know about the underlying EOS accounts unless they choose, but if they do, their account is for any other APP ON EOS.
BUT WHAT ABOUT MY TOKEN PRICE??!! Contracts require EOS? Then there must be Voice contracts on the EOS chain. How can they possibly hope to run Voice on top of EOS?
Dan reminds us that Block.one is not only one of the largest RAM holders, but the largest holder of CPU.
Can I transfer my VOICE to other verified EOS accounts? Why yes, that includes corporate and dapp accounts that get validated.
Voice accounts will either be new accounts or existing EOS accounts that are verified and tied to the Voice KYC.
Even though Brendan was not as prolific on Telegram as Dan, he joined the fray with gusto after the Voice announcement, seconding many of the statements Dan had made.
ADVERTISERS WILL BUY EOS TOKENS TO BUY VOICE TOKENS TO ADVERTISE?! WHOA.
This is a big deal for social media…..AND FOR THE EOS BLOCKCHAIN. There is nothing they could have done in Brendan’s opinion that would add more VALUE.
Now, here is where the FUD begins and where the Block.one’s message went a little off the rails with the EOS community. Brendan’s last day on Telegram was August 15th. He deleted his account shortly after. Dan’s last interaction with the community on Telegram was July 19th. After that he went silent for almost 3 months, before returning October 17th to announce he was shutting down his Telegram account and moving to Twitter, citing impersonation issues. Why would they leave the community that they nurtured? Dan was a member of dozens of Telegram channels both open and private, large and small, from a few dozen to tens of thousands, and seemed to delight with interacting and bouncing ideas off of the community. I believe the answer lies wholly with the Security and Exchange Commission and Block.one’s legal team.
On September 30, the SEC announced a $24 Million dollar fine would be levied against Block.one for not registering its ICO as a securities offering and selling to US investors without providing material information for making investment decisions. The fine was part of a settlement offer negotiated between the SEC and Block.one. A settlement that likely was in negotiations for months leading up to the announcement, the months where Brendan and Dan went radio silent.
Section 4, Paragraph 18 of the SEC report specifically mentions the conduct of the founders. “Its founders also published articles and blog posts to promote the EOSIO software, and actively engaged U.S. purchasers and potential U.S. purchasers on social media, online message boards, and other outlets. In the course of marketing the EOSIO software, Block.one encouraged U.S. purchasers to rely on the founders’ expertise and vision to secure the widespread adoption of the EOSIO software and anticipated launch of one or more EOSIO blockchains.”
In Block.one’s request for waiver on the same day as the settlement was announced, their lawyer’s state “On June 1, 2019, Block.one announced the launch of Voice, a social media platform to be developed and launched using Block.one’s EOSIO blockchain software. The new platform currently contemplates utilizing a cryptographic token that will serve as a digital currency within the blockchain-based application. Footnote (The design, implementation, distribution, features, function and structure of Voice and the related Voice token are an ongoing project and significant development decisions remain.) The General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer, as well as outside counsel, have been essential to, and deeply involved in, the development discussions and decisions around Voice and have been working to identify and analyze the applicability of securities laws in the U.S. and other jurisdictions where Voice is expected to launch.” At no point in the ENTIRE 14 PAGE WAIVER is there a mention of the post-launch EOS token or chain. It is about this time when we begin seeing Brendan, Dan and Block.one make very clear and pointed delineations in their statements about EOSIO and become guarded about any way shape or form that Voice or even Block.one may interact with EOS, the token or the chain, in the future. Hardly mentioning EOS in any of their communications except in benign or cryptic fashion, with the occasional pass at governance or chains operability.
Why is that? I believe that the above mentioned General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer have put a restriction on Block.one employees with regards to any statements that may impact the EOS price. Why would they do this? To avoid further altercations with the SEC. For example, the $20 Million fine that Elon Musk received for tweeting about taking Tesla private in 2018. They also likely recommended that Block.one employees quit using Telegram as the nature of the small and sometimes private groups could trigger SEC claims of insider trading should any tidbits be dropped indicating that the price should increase.
So all this to say, “Has EOS lost its Voice?”. We honestly don’t know. Based on the initial chatter after B1June, one would surmise that Voice will be built on EOS, all Voice users will have KYC’ed EOS accounts, and advertisers will need to use EOS to purchase voice tokens and Voice is the biggest thing that Block.one could have done for EOS.
What do we know, post SEC settlement? Not a whole hell of a lot. Below is the only statement on the entire Voice website where there is mention of the EOS public chain.
So, it all boils down to this. Do Dan and Brendan intend to keep true to the words they echoed to the community following the B1June or has the Block.one General Counsel put a gag order on the EOS Voice? What do you think? Who do you trust?
The Voice Beta is set to launch on February 14th, and I personally can’t wait, but I’m not feeling so good right now. Cough, cough…my throat feels a little scratchy.
I’ll leave you with this simple legal disclaimer from Block.one’s December Road to Beta announcement.
Block.one is a software company that is producing the EOSIO software as a free, open-source protocol. This software may, among other things, enable those who deploy it to launch a blockchain, or decentralized applications with various features. For more information, please visit https://github.com/eosio. Block.one does not provide financial support to anyone seeking to become a block producer on any version of the EOSIO platform that may be adopted or implemented.
Block.one will not be launching any of the initial public blockchains based on the EOSIO software. It will be the sole responsibility of third parties, the community, and/or those who wish to become block producers, to adopt and implement EOSIO in the manner they choose, with the features they choose, and/or providing the services they choose. Block.one does not guarantee that anyone will adopt or implement such features, or provide such services, or that the EOSIO software will be adopted and implemented in any way.
Block.one does not endorse any third party or its products or services, even if they are mentioned herein. Block.one is not responsible for any linked content.
Please note that the statements herein are an expression of Block.one’s vision, not a guarantee of anything. While we will try to make that vision come true, all aspects of it are subject to change in all respects at Block.one’s sole discretion. We call these “forward looking statements”, which includes statements in this document, other than statements of historical facts, such as statements regarding Block.one’s business strategy, plans, prospects, developments and objectives. These statements are only predictions and reflect Block.one’s current beliefs and expectations with respect to future events; they are based on assumptions and are subject to risk, uncertainties and change at any time.
We operate in a rapidly changing environment. New risks emerge from time to time. Given these risks and uncertainties, you are cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. Actual results, performance or events may differ materially from what is predicted in the forward-looking statements. Some of the factors that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include, without limitation: market volatility; continued availability of capital, financing and personnel; product acceptance; the commercial success of any new products or technologies; competition; government regulation and laws; and general economic, market or business conditions.
All statements are valid only as of the date of first posting and Block.one is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any obligation to, update or alter any statements, whether as a result of new information, subsequent events or otherwise. Nothing herein constitutes technological, financial, investment, legal or other advice, either in general or with regard to any particular situation or implementation. Please consult with experts in appropriate areas before implementing or utilizing anything contained in this document.
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