Brock Pierce

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Brock Pierce
Born (1980-11-14) November 14, 1980 (age 39)
Minnesota, U.S.
CitizenshipUnited States
OccupationEntrepreneur
Director of the Bitcoin Foundation
Former child actor
Years activeActing: 1992–1997
Business: 1999–present
OrganizationBitcoin Foundation
Known forThe Mighty Ducks, D2: The Mighty Ducks, First Kid,
Bitcoin, Blockchain, and crypto currency work[citation needed]

Brock Pierce (born November 14, 1980) is an American entrepreneur and former actor known for his work in the cryptocurrency industry. As a child actor, he was in Disney films The Mighty Ducks (1992), D2: The Mighty Ducks (1994), and First Kid (1996). He is an independent candidate for president of the United States in the 2020 United States presidential election.[1]

Early life[edit]

Pierce was born in Minnesota, and appeared in commercials as a toddler.[2] His first major role was playing a young Gordon Bombay in The Mighty Ducks (1992). Pierce reprised the role in D2: The Mighty Ducks. He starred as Luke Davenport in First Kid (1996). Pierce had small roles in Little Big League (1994), Ripper Man (1995), Problem Child 3: Junior in Love (1995), Three Wishes (1995), Earth Minus Zero (1996), and The Ride (1997).

Career[edit]

Digital Entertainment Network[edit]

Pierce retired from acting at 17 and joined as a minor partner with Marc Collins-Rector and Chad Schackley in establishing Digital Entertainment Network (DEN), which succeeded in raising $88 million in venture capital.[3] DEN's goal was to deliver original episodic video content over the Internet aimed at niche audiences.[4] DEN was one of a crop of dot-com startups that focused on the creation and delivery of original video content online in the late 1990s[5] prior to wide adoption of broadband internet access. Pierce produced its first show, a pilot for gay teenagers called Chad's World.[6] As an 18-year-old, Pierce was making $250,000 a year and held 1% of the company's shares.[7]

DEN was slated for a US$75 million IPO in October 1999, but the IPO was withdrawn in the wake of allegations of sexual assault against Collins-Rector. All three executives subsequently resigned. Layoffs followed in February 2000. While a new executive team led by former Capitol Records President Gary Gersh and former Microsoft executive Greg Carpenter tried to salvage the company and relaunch in May 2000, DEN filed for bankruptcy and shut down in June 2000.[8][9]

Child sexual abuse allegations[edit]

In 2000, three former DEN employees filed a lawsuit against the founder of DEN, and also named Pierce as a defendant, alleging that they provided the plaintiffs with drugs and pressured them for sex when Pierce and one of the plaintiffs were still teenagers.[10][11][12][13] The three plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed all charges against Pierce without receiving any compensation.[14] Court records show that Pierce paid $21,600 to one of the plaintiff's attorney because said attorney refused to file the order of dismissal requested by his client until the attorney's expenses were reimbursed.[15] None of the accusations against Pierce has ever been corroborated, and the primary plaintiff has been convicted of fraud and has admitted to filing false lawsuits in other sexual abuse cases.[11][16][17][18]

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency[edit]

Pierce speaking at the SingularityU summit in 2016

In a February 2018 issue of Forbes magazine Pierce was named in the "top 20 wealthiest people in crypto" with an estimated net worth between $700 million and $1.1 billion.[19]

In 2015, Pierce served as a technical consultant for an episode of Silicon Valley.[20]

Blockchain Capital[edit]

In 2013, Pierce joined brothers Bart and Bradford Stephens in founding venture capital firm Blockchain Capital (BCC) which was reported to have raised $85 million in two venture funds by October 2017.[21]

Tether[edit]

Brock Pierce was co-founder of the cryptocurrency Tether with Reeve Collins and Craig Sellars in 2014.[22] Tether surpassed Bitcoin in trading volume with the highest daily and monthly trading volume of any cryptocurrency on the market in 2019.[23] Tether is a so-called stablecoin because it maintains $1 dollar in reserves for each tether issued.[23] In 2020, a court permitted the Attorney General of New York to pursue a claim that Bitfinex, an affiliated exchange, did not disclose the loss of commingled funds.[24] In an interview in July 2020, Pierce said his involvement in Tether ended in 2015 but described Tether as "one of the most important innovations in currency."[24]

Bitcoin Foundation[edit]

Pierce was elected Director of the Bitcoin Foundation in May 2014.[13][25] Several members of the Bitcoin Foundation resigned over concerns about the directors.[26] The organization announced its insolvency in July 2015.[27]

EOS.IO[edit]

Pierce was co-founder of Block.one, which released EOS.IO software.[24] The ICO raised more than $4 billion, the largest in history.[24] By March 2018, Pierce's role at Block.one had changed to chief strategy officer and he resigned from the company that month to pursue community building.[12]

Internet Gaming Entertainment[edit]

In 2001, Pierce founded Internet Gaming Entertainment (IGE), a company which pioneered the MMORPG currency-selling services industry.[28] Between 2004 and 2005, IGE spent more than $25 million buying out seven smaller competitors, including four auction platforms and a number of fan and content sites.[29] In 2005, Pierce estimated that IGE accounted for about 50% of this online market in the U.S., which has about $500 million in annual volume.[29][30]

Pierce brought in Steve Bannon, formerly of Goldman Sachs and Breitbart News, to seek venture capital and a deal was made in February 2006 yielding $60 million of which Pierce took away $20 million for a minority stake. The next year, facing a class-action lawsuit, the company failed, had no assets and Pierce was forced out.[31]

Pierce founded ZAM, a network of websites oriented around massively multi-player online role-playing games (MMORPG), such as World of Warcraft, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Rift, EverQuest, etc., in 2003.[32] The ZAM.com network included gaming websites such as ZAM.com, Wowhead, Thottbot, Torhead, and D3DB.

Titan Gaming/Playsino[edit]

In 2010, Titan Gaming recruited Pierce to sit on its board along with EA Executive Keith McCurdy.[33] Pierce joined other Southern California angel investors, including MP3.com's Michael Robertson, SOA Software's Eric Pulier and William Quigley and Jim Armstrong of Clearstone Ventures.[34] Also that year, Titan Gaming purchased the rising online gaming network Xfire from Viacom.[35] In October 2011, after Xfire received over $4 million in fresh funding from Intel Capital, Titan Gaming and Xfire cut ties and went their own ways. Titan Gaming and Xfire now operate independently.[36] In late April 2012, Titan Gaming announced that it would be rebranded as Playsino to embark in a complete makeover, with Pierce as the new CEO and $1.5 million of new funding.[citation needed]

As of 2013, Pierce was managing director of the Clearstone Global Gaming Fund a board member of IMI Exchange (a remnant of the IGE restructuring), Xfire, Playsino (having been replaced as CEO in 2013), GoCoin, FGL, Spicy Horse Games, KnCMiner.cn and the Mastercoin Foundation. He was also a member investor of Bit Angels and an investor in BTC China.[37]

Pierce has been a guest speaker at the Milken Global Conference,[38] Singularity University,[39] and Caltech.[37]

Puerto Rico[edit]

In 2018, Pierce moved to Puerto Rico and based his operations in a hotel called the Monastery in Old San Juan.[40] It subsequently became an events and community center for the growing blockchain community on the island.[10] After the damage from Hurricane Maria in 2017, Pierce started a conference called Restart Week to encourage entrepreneurs to give back to the community through innovation and philanthropy in different regions of the island.[41] Some residents have questioned how much local business has benefited from the tax incentives meant to kickstart the economy.[40] Pierce is also the chairman of the Integro Foundation which helped raise $1 million for KN-95 masks in April 2020.[42][43]

2020 presidential campaign[edit]

On July 5, 2020, Pierce announced his Independent candidacy for the 2020 United States presidential election as an Independent. The campaign filed registration documents with the FEC on July 7.[44] Pierce based his campaign around his background as an entrepreneur,[1] and his running mate is Karla Ballard, a fellow entrepreneur.[45][46] Pierce gained ballot access in Oklahoma on July 15,[47] in Arkansas on August 12,[45] Colorado on August 19.[46] and was nominated by the New York Independence Party on August 24.[48] Pierce was endorsed by venture capitalist and Bitcoin advocate Tim Draper.[49] Pierce was also backed up by singer and entrepreneur Akon, who will manage his presidential campaign as chief strategist.[50] In September 14, he announced that he will form a new party and run candidates under party banner in 2022.[51] Party's name is unknown.[52]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1992 The Mighty Ducks Gordon, age 10
1994 D2: The Mighty Ducks Young Gordon
1994 Little Big League Sidney
1995 Ripper Man Kevin
1995 Problem Child 3: Junior in Love Duke TV movie
1995 Three Wishes Scott
1996 First Kid Luke Davenport
1996 Earth Minus Zero Joey Heller
1997 Two Small Voices Brad TV movie
1997 The Ride Danny O'Neil
1997 Legend of the Lost Tomb John Robie TV movie
2014 An Open Secret Himself Documentary; archive footage
2015 Play Money Himself Documentary

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Pasquini, Maria (July 6, 2020). "Brock Pierce, Former Child Actor and Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur, Announces 2020 Presidential Run". People. Archived from the original on July 7, 2020. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  2. ^ Dibbell, Julian (November 24, 2008). "The Decline and Fall of an Ultra-Rich Online Gaming Empire". Wired. Archived from the original on December 2, 2008. Retrieved December 8, 2008.
  3. ^ "DEN Teaser". Archived from the original on March 13, 2014.
  4. ^ KAPLAN, KAREN; HUFFSTUTTER, P. J. (April 5, 1999). "Viewing TV-Style Programs in the DEN". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Archived from the original on May 28, 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  5. ^ KAPLAN, KAREN (October 7, 1999). "Coming Soon to a Monitor Near You". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Archived from the original on September 19, 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  6. ^ Menn, Joseph (May 18, 2000). "Web Pioneer DEN Lacks Cash, Is Closing Down". LA Times. Archived from the original on May 27, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  7. ^ Grover, Ronald (November 15, 1999). "Digital Entertainment Network: Startup or Non-Starter?". BusinessWeek. Archived from the original on March 13, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
  8. ^ Rice, Andrew (November 1, 1999). "DEN Board Asked Founder to Leave". Wired. Archived from the original on January 3, 2018. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
  9. ^ Lynch, Stephen (November 11, 2003). "A Den of Iniquity: After 3-year exile, Web exec faces perv charges". New York Post. Archived from the original on October 10, 2017. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
  10. ^ a b Strauss, Neil (June 26, 2018). "Brock Pierce: The Hippie King of Cryptocurrency". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  11. ^ a b Hoyle, Ben (February 9, 2019). "Brock Pierce: from Hollywood child star to bitcoin billionaire". thetimes.co.uk. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Shen, Lucinda (March 16, 2018). "Why the Cofounder of This Hot Crytocurrency Startup Is Out After John Oliver Criticized Him on 'Last Week Tonight'". Fortune. Archived from the original on March 17, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  13. ^ a b Menn, Joseph (May 16, 2014). "Bitcoin Foundation hit by resignations over new director". Reuters. Archived from the original on May 18, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  14. ^ Abramovitch, Seth (May 23, 2016). "Elijah Wood Denies Personal Knowledge of Child Sex Abuse in Hollywood (Exclusive) | Hollywood Reporter". www.hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  15. ^ "The Truth About Presidential Candidate Brock Pierce's Legal Payment". Halt Law: Connecting Attorneys with Clients in Need. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  16. ^ Handel, Jonathan (May 29, 2014). "Garth Ancier Files Motion to Dismiss Sex Abuse Case | Hollywood Reporter". www.hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  17. ^ Handel, Jonathan (December 30, 2014). "Complexities Multiply for Hollywood Sex Abuse Accuser After Criminal Indictment, Civil Suit (Analysis) | Hollywood Reporter". www.hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  18. ^ Handel, Jonathan (June 7, 2015). "Hollywood Sex Abuse Accuser's Lawyers Admit Filing "Untrue and Provably False" Claims | Hollywood Reporter". www.hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  19. ^ "Forbes Releases First-Ever Crypto Rich List, A Compilation Of The 20 Wealthiest People In Crypto". Forbes. Archived from the original on February 7, 2018. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  20. ^ "Brock Pierce". IMDb. Retrieved September 16, 2020.
  21. ^ Levy, Ari (October 17, 2017). "Crypto venture firm Blockchain Capital is raising $150 million for two funds". CNBC. Archived from the original on March 17, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  22. ^ Casey, Michael J. (July 8, 2014). "Dollar-Backed Digital Currency Aims to Fix Bitcoin's Volatility Dilemma". WSJ. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  23. ^ a b "Bloomberg - Tether, not Bitcoin is likely the worlds most used currency". www.bloomberg.com.
  24. ^ a b c d Kharif, Olga (July 10, 2020). "Crypto Coin Founder Joins Skeptics While Investigation Heats Up". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  25. ^ "Interview with Brock Pierce," Archived May 18, 2015, at the Wayback Machine Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast, December 21, 2014.
  26. ^ Arivar, Cyris. "Some in Bitcoin group resign over new board member's link to sex abuse". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on March 7, 2018. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  27. ^ Pick, Leon (July 4, 2015). "Olivier Janssens: Bitcoin Foundation Has No Money Left". Financial Magnates. Archived from the original on April 10, 2016. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  28. ^ Boorstin, Julia (November 28, 2005). "Yield of Dreams". Forbes. Archived from the original on November 11, 2007. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
  29. ^ a b Boorstin, Julia (November 28, 2005). "Yield of Dreams". Forbes Magazine. Archived from the original on November 11, 2007. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
  30. ^ Lu Stout, Kristie (October 24, 2004). "Material gains from virtual world". CNN. Archived from the original on October 3, 2012.
  31. ^ Dibbell, Julian (November 24, 2008). "The Decline and Fall of an Ultra Rich Online Gaming Empire". Wired News. Archived from the original on February 27, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  32. ^ "TechCrunch - Playsino Funding". Archived from the original on July 5, 2017. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  33. ^ "Titan Gaming Taps Pierce, McCurdy For Board". July 8, 2010. Archived from the original on July 19, 2010. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
  34. ^ Alexander, Leigh (August 3, 2010). "Competitive Gaming Heats Up With Titan's Xfire Acquisition". Archived from the original on January 15, 2011. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
  35. ^ DeCarlo, Matthew (August 3, 2010). "Xfire purchased by Titan Gaming, developers leaving". Archived from the original on August 6, 2010. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
  36. ^ Wauters, Robin. "Xfire To Fly Solo Again, Raises $4 Million From Intel Capital". Archived from the original on October 7, 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  37. ^ a b "Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum Speaker Biography". www.entforum.caltech.edu. Archived from the original on December 24, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  38. ^ "Global Conference 2012 Speaker: Brock Pierce". www.milkeninstitute.org. Archived from the original on December 24, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  39. ^ "Brock Pierce | SU Videos". videos.singularityu.org. Archived from the original on December 24, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  40. ^ a b Bowles, Nellie (February 2, 2018). "Making a Crypto Utopia in Puerto Rico". The New York Times. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  41. ^ Paris, Martine (October 21, 2018). "Brock Pierce's Restart in Puerto Rico: Cryptolife A Year After Hurricane Maria". HackerNoon. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  42. ^ Nelson, Danny (April 30, 2020). "Binance, Brock Pierce Donate $1M to Puerto Rico's COVID-19 Fight". finance.yahoo.com. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  43. ^ "Integro Foundation joins effort to raise $1M, donate 200K masks in Puerto Rico". News is My Business. August 10, 2020. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  44. ^ Winger, Richard (July 7, 2020). "Brock Pierce Files as an Independent Presidential Candidate with the FEC". Ballot Access News. Archived from the original on July 8, 2020. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  45. ^ a b Wickline, Michael (August 12, 2020). "Rapper Kanye West qualifies for fall ballot in state". Arkansas Online. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  46. ^ a b Murray, John (August 19, 2020). "Presidential candidates on Colorado's November 2020 ballot". The Denver Post. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  47. ^ Winger, Richard (July 15, 2020). "Three Independent Presidential Candidates Pay $35,000 to Qualify for Oklahoma Ballot". Ballot Access News. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  48. ^ https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-independence-party-of-new-york-endorses-brock-pierce-for-president-of-the-united-states-301117435.html
  49. ^ Neumann, Sean (July 30, 2020). "How a Child Star-Turned-Millionaire Spent the Years Between Hollywood and Unlikely Bid for President". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  50. ^ Aaron Williams (August 24, 2020). "Akon Will Manage The Presidential Campaign Of 'Mighty Ducks' Actor And Bitcoin Entrepreneur Brock Pierce". Uproxx. Retrieved September 14, 2020.
  51. ^ Tobacco, John (September 14, 2020). "President Brock Pierce: Let's Put the US Dollar on the Blockchain". YouTube.com. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  52. ^ Winger, Richard (September 14, 2020). "Brock Pierce, Independent Presidential Candidate, Intends to Form a New Party Next Year | Ballot Access News". Ballot Access News. Retrieved September 17, 2020.

External links[edit]