Brock Pierce in 2016
|Born||November 14, 1980|
|Residence||San Juan, Puerto Rico|
Director of the Bitcoin Foundation
Former child actor
|Years active||Acting: 1992–1997|
|Known for||Bitcoin, Blockchain, and crypto currency work|
Brock Pierce (born November 14, 1980) is an American entrepreneur 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).
Pierce was born in Minnesota, and appeared in commercials as a toddler. 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).
Digital Entertainment Network
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. DEN's goal was to deliver original episodic video content over the Internet aimed at niche audiences. 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 prior to wide adoption of broadband internet access. Pierce produced its first show, a pilot for gay teenagers called Chad's World. As an 18 year old, Pierce was making $250,000 a year and held 1% of the company's shares.
DEN was slated for a $75 million USD IPO in October 1999 but the IPO was withdrawn in the wake of allegations of sexual assault against Collins-Rector, Shackley, and fellow executive Brock Pierce. All three executives subsequently resigned. Layoffs followed in February 2000. While a new executive team led by former Capitol Records President Gary Gershand 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.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency career
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. Described as its managing partner, Pierce announced a $50 million Initial Coin Offering (ICO) by BCC in February 2017. On its launch in June 2017, the currency was named EOS and marketed through a new vehicle called Block.one of which Pierce was variously described as co-founder, head, minority partner and advisor. Block.one was said to be developing "end-to-end solutions to bring businesses onto the blockchain from strategic planning to product deployment" by means of its later to be released EOS.IO software created by Brendan Blumer and programmer Dan Larimer, Block.one's CEO and CTO, respectively. The ICO attracted $700 million and was by far the biggest in 2017. By March 2018, Pierce's role at Block.one had changed to chief strategy officer and he resigned from the company that month.
Pierce was elected Director of the Bitcoin Foundation in May 2014. Several members of the Bitcoin Foundation resigned after his election, due to controversy over his association with allegations of sex abuse 15 years previously, as well as concerns about other directors. The organization announced its insolvency in July 2015.
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.
Internet Gaming Entertainment
In 2001, Pierce founded Internet Gaming Entertainment (IGE), a company which pioneered the MMORPG currency-selling services industry. 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. 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.
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.
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. The ZAM.com network included gaming websites such as ZAM.com, Wowhead, Thottbot, Torhead, and D3DB.
In 2010, Titan Gaming recruited Pierce to sit on its board along with EA Executive Keith McCurdy. 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. Also that year, Titan Gaming purchased the rising online gaming network Xfire from Viacom. 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. 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.
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.
Sexual abuse allegations
In 2000, three former DEN employees filed lawsuits against Pierce, alleging that he provided them with drugs and pressured them for sex when they were minors. Court records show that Pierce paid more than $21,000 to settle one of the lawsuits, while the other two were dropped.
- Dibbell, Julian (2008-11-24). "The Decline and Fall of an Ultra-Rich Online Gaming Empire". Wired. Retrieved 2008-12-08.
- "DEN Teaser". Archived from the original on 2014-03-13.
- KAPLAN, KAREN; HUFFSTUTTER, P. J. (1999-04-05). "Viewing TV-Style Programs in the DEN". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
- KAPLAN, KAREN (1999-10-07). "Coming Soon to a Monitor Near You". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
- Menn, Joseph (18 May 2000). "Web Pioneer DEN Lacks Cash, Is Closing Down". LA Times. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- Grover, Ronald (November 15, 1999). "Digital Entertainment Network: Startup or Non-Starter?". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2007-02-22.
- Rice, Andrew (November 1, 1999). "DEN Board Asked Founder to Leave". Wired. Archived from the original on January 3, 2018. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
- 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.
- Levy, Ari (17 October 2017). "Crypto venture firm Blockchain Capital is raising $150 million for two funds". CNBC. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- "Block.one creates EOS cryptocurrency to raise capital". Reuters. 26 June 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- 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. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
- Menn, Joseph (May 16, 2014). "Bitcoin Foundation hit by resignations over new director". Reuters. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- "Interview with Brock Pierce," Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast, December 21, 2014.
- Arivar, Cyris. "Some in Bitcoin group resign over new board member's link to sex abuse". Ars Technica. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
- Pick, Leon (July 4, 2015). "Olivier Janssens: Bitcoin Foundation Has No Money Left". Financial Magnates. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
- "Forbes Releases First-Ever Crypto Rich List, A Compilation Of The 20 Wealthiest People In Crypto". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
- Boorstin, Julia (November 28, 2005). "Yield of Dreams". Forbes. Retrieved 2007-02-22.
- Boorstin, Julia (2005-11-28). "Yield of Dreams". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved 2007-02-22.
- Lu Stout, Kristie (2004-10-24). "Material gains from virtual world". CNN. Archived from the original on 2012-10-03.
- Dibbell, Julian (24 November 2008). "The Decline and Fall of an Ultra Rich Online Gaming Empire". Wired News. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- TechCrunch - Playsino Funding
- "Titan Gaming Taps Pierce, McCurdy For Board". July 8, 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-07-19. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
- Alexander, Leigh (August 3, 2010). "Competitive Gaming Heats Up With Titan's Xfire Acquisition".
- DeCarlo, Matthew (August 3, 2010). "Xfire purchased by Titan Gaming, developers leaving".
- Wauters, Robin. "Xfire To Fly Solo Again, Raises $4 Million From Intel Capital". Retrieved October 6, 2011.
- "Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum Speaker Biography". www.entforum.caltech.edu. Archived from the original on 2015-12-24. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
- "Global Conference 2012 Speaker: Brock Pierce". www.milkeninstitute.org. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
- "Brock Pierce | SU Videos". videos.singularityu.org. Archived from the original on 2015-12-24. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
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