Like most of you already know by now, the hit HBO show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver tackled cryptocurrencies this week. On Sunday, Mr. Oliver – in his typical style of highlighting (in-depth) an important issue of the moment – introduced his massive audience to the world of decentralization and blockchain technology. He touched on a number of coins, including Wax (WAX), Dogecoin (DOGE) and, most critically, EOS (EOS).
John Oliver’s take on this cryptocurrency project was – let’s say rough. It also got one of its most famous advisors removed from the project, thanks to Mr. Oliver ruthlessly mocking his over-the-top hyping of such a vague cryptocurrency venture.
EOS isn’t alone out there
Like a lot of cryptocurrencies out there on the market, most investors are pretty much banking on their faith alone – there are so many multi-million-dollar projects that don’t even have a functioning product launching in the near future. EOS is absolutely one of those coins.
At the moment, it is just an ERC-20 token that launched on the Ethereum network. It is a simple payment token, because you can’t really do anything with it. When the EOS blockchain goes live in June (which is quite a long time from now) things will change – and it will be its own native token instead of being an Ethereum token.
At that point, the product will be functioning. But right now, it’s in development – and it has a lot of competition. It is essentially trying to be an Ethereum-like platform, but there are a ton of those in the works right now.
That’s partly what made John Oliver’s roasting of their marketing strategy so much funnier.
Dissecting the EOS hype and marketing blunders
Mr. Oliver went after one figure in particular – an advisor to the project named Brock Pierce, who has been a very public face of EOS. The guy has a tendency to speak in a certain way – I think it’s better to watch John Oliver describe it than me (it’s worth a watch).
Brock Pierce was mocked so much, and exposed as a sort of hype man that doesn’t really talk much substance.
In fact, after the show, the team behind this cryptocurrency announced that they were firing Mr. Pierce:
“Brock Pierce was an early advisor to Block.one for several months and made significant contributions to the awareness of the EOSIO project. His past experience working with projects such as Ethereum, Blockchain Capital, and as chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation have proved immensely valuable. As we mentioned last week, we recently came to a mutual agreement that Brock would end his role at Block.one as he transitions to independent community building and investment activities. We thank Brock for his contributions, support, and continued larger than life passion for the EOSIO project.”
That’s something referred to as the “John Oliver Effect.” The show exposes stuff, then companies or politicians have to react and make decisions based on the public outrage/mockery. It’s an interesting phenomenon.
It’s not just EOS – we need to chill with the over-hype
And that isn’t just for cryptocurrency companies –investors, fans and HODLERS do a lot of this type of stuff. Each coin has its own die-hard fans (typically on Reddit), and they have a tendency to embrace this strange sort of blind loyalty to whichever coin’s they have decided will take them to the moon.
It’s natural to be excited about this kind of stuff, but Last Week Tonight points out how little substance is driving billions of dollars into vague projects.
I think we can all agree that HODLERs need to chill a bit – and start taking a realistic look at why exactly they are pumping up this technology. Just check out how EOS fans brushed off the humiliation on social media – many just stuck their heads in the sand to ignore what was going on.
Sure, the team behind this cryptocurrency responded, but it wasn’t super convincing – and there were a lot of things that Oliver said which they didn’t address.
"Many of us at https://t.co/LgcclYjBIb are loyal viewers of the “Last Week Tonight” show and tuned in to watch the latest episode on cryptocurrencies. Most importantly, we agree with your message regarding general industry wide caution." @iamjohnoliver https://t.co/Nwdxmk6YmK
— EOS (@EOS_io) March 14, 2018
And they fired Pierce right after – so they basically admitted that he wasn’t a good look and was a bad image for their brand thanks to his overhyping (which they sanctioned).
Hopefully some other cryptocurrency marketing teams can learn from this epic embarrassment.
Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency.