Welcome to the latest bi-weekly news roundup for Block.one blockchain network and EOS cryptocurrency.
Block.one Brings 170 Jobs To Virginia With New HQ
Following our report a few issues ago regarding the marketing activity of Block.one, the company behind EOS has confirmed that it is establishing a new US headquarters in Arlington County, Virginia. This complements existing Block.one offices in Blacksburg (VA), Los Angeles (CA), and Hong Kong.
In a press release dated September 23, CEO Brendan Blumer stated that the fourth office opening will establish a new hub to which further talent can be attracted and developed. The company also cites Virginia’s relative proximity to central government.
“Our decision to open our U.S. headquarters in Virginia underscores our commitment to investing in the economic growth of the Commonwealth, and our confidence in the talented workforce and support of local leadership.
Arlington’s proximity to Washington, D.C. also allows us to continue building constructive business and government relationships as we provide insights for the application of blockchain based technologies.Andrew Bliss (Block.one, Chief Operating Officer)
The news was first announced by Ralph Northam, the Governor of Virginia who praised Block.one for its role in creating a positive association between VA and blockchain technology.
Northam signed off on a $600,000 grant in tandem with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Virginia ‘Opportunity Fund’ to ensure that the HQ (and it’s 170 new skilled jobs) came home to VA.
“Block.one maintains a strong presence at its Blacksburg operation, and we are thrilled that this global company will expand its footprint in Virginia by locating its U.S. headquarters in Arlington County…
A Tremendous testament to the flourishing high-tech talent pool that is prevalent in diverse regions of the Commonwealth, from the New River Valley to Northern Virginia.”Ralph Northam (Governor, State of Virginia)
We first reported on this after we observed a huge influx of job listings on the Block.one careers website in August.
Back then we only recorded 69 new opportunities across all office locations (14 of which for the then-untitled, non-Blacksburg “Northern Virginia” office) compared to the 170 just announced for Arlington County alone.
If the new hires follow the statistical trends set out earlier then this is the beginning of an organisation-wide, long-term recruitment drive. This is due to the number of managers being on-boarded with hiring duties, as well as recruitment specific roles (such as ‘talent acquisition manager’).
“Block.one’s new home base in Arlington County offers access to top-tier IT talent and proximity to policy and decision makers in Washington, D.C.
The company is a valuable corporate partner, and we look forward to Block.one’s continued success in Blacksburg and future growth in Arlington.”Brian Ball (Secretary of Commerce and Trade, State of Virginia)
EOS Hard Fork Goes Live, EOSIO 1.8 Released
EOS network underwent its first ever hard fork following a vote of confidence via deployment by all-but-one of its block producers. EOSIO v1.8 was “activated” on the EOS Mainnet on September 23, 2019, and has since been surpassed by the latest stable version 1.8.1 (available here).
According to the statement issued upon launch, the hard fork has marked the implementation of “major enhancements” for EOSIO. Many of these are features to facilitate major consensus upgrade, which “require changes to the protocol rules and alignment by block producing nodes for the upgrade to be successfully deployed”.
The fork introduces fundamental updates to EOSIO but is not as much of a revolutionary update as many hope more anticipated upgrades (such as Ethereum Istanbul) to be.
“This release marks major enhancements for EOSIO paving the way for a more secure and scalable future for EOSIO based blockchains.”Block.one / EOSIO (Official Statement)
In non-EOS hard fork news: the NEO network is expected to receive a significant upgrade in the second quarter of 2020, whereas the Litecoin network recently halved its rewards for miners. This had a short term and immediate negative effect on hashrate which, along with value, recovered fast.
Ethereum Game Raises $15 Million From Backers Which Include Galaxy EOS VC Fund
Blockchain video-games publisher Immutable has successfully raised $15 million in Series A funding from a range of investors, led by Naspers Ventures. Although the studios main title ‘Gods Unchained’ runs on the ethereum network.
The co-lead on the fundraising was, (converse expectations based on its name), the Galaxy Digital EOS VC Fund. Whether this marks a transitional period for the fund towards a less EOS oriented brand is yet to be seen, but it could be possible seeing that Galaxy divested from EOS in May 2019.
Gods Unchained is one of the few blockchain-meets-video games projects which has received consistent positive coverage. Not because it married the two concepts, which many are attempting, but because of the purity and focus of its goal.
“This round of financing helps us accelerate the speed and direction by which we approach that reality.
One acceptance criteria for investors was ensuring they shared our passion and vision for the future.”James Ferguson (CEO, Immutable)
Most visible blockchain / video-game projects are predominantly either gambling-oriented, or attempts from centralized video-games publishers to seek new forms of monetization for existing models (such as Ubisoft). Others, like Terra Virtua, seek to create a new economy from emergent and converging developments.
Conversely: Gods Unchained could be seen more as a combination of the collection models of CryptoKitties or Magic the Gathering, with some of the monetization techniques popularised by recent ‘traditional’ video-games. In fact, Chris Clay from Wizards of the Coast (the creators of Magic) is on the Immutable team.