On a Wednesday morning in November, Yves La Rose, a member of the EOS blockchain community, addressed a virtual gathering of China-based users. “EOS, as it stands, is a failure,” he said.
Built using open source technology created by a Cayman Island-based company named Block.one, EOS promised more efficiency than any other cryptocurrency network at the time. At one point, a running joke among crypto enthusiasts was that EOS stood for “Ethereum on Steroids.”
Ahead of the launch of EOS in June 2018, Block.one had raised over $4 billion in the biggest initial coin offering of all time. (ICOs let startups rake in eye-popping sums in exchange for cryptocurrency tokens to be used on a not-yet-built blockchain platform.) From those early days, La Rose devoted himself to EOS. He had even helmed the EOS Nation “block producer,” a kind of digital umpire responsible for validating the transactions taking place on the blockchain.
Nearly four years later, EOS was in free fall. Its user base was shrinking, it supported just a handful of popular apps, key developers were leaving, and the value of its token, also called EOS, had plummeted from $10 in June 2018 to $4.40 in late 2021. In the virtual session last fall, La Rose said that he and everyone else in the community had become the casualty of a venture that profited off their work and left them with nothing.