Oyster Protocol issued $90,000,000 worth of PRL (pearl) near the end of last year. The crypto product is designed to enable website owners to earn money by participating in the storage and securing of files within the IOTA Tangle rather than advertising. Users contribute computing resources to the website instead of viewing advertisements. The PRL is the token of exchange, used by users of the file storage platform to store files and by the network to pay providers.
As earlier reported in CCN, the originator of this concept recently decided to exit scam with nearly half a million dollars in PRL through exploiting a loophole in the smart contract — a loophole he, “Bruno Block,” which is likely a nom de plume (Bruno Block was a baseball player) insisted on. Former Oyster CEO William Cordes was the first to deliver the news to the crypto world that Block had generated over 3 million fake pearls and subsequently cashed out as much as he could. The crypto company then appeared and still mostly appears to desire to continue without Block and in spite of this artificial inflation. They have demonstrated this by continuing operations as well as being wholly transparent about the events that have taken place.
A blog post published yesterday by William Cordes, who was fired by Oyster Protocol Inc’s 100 percent owner, Bruno Block, gives a lot more insight into the mindset of Bruno Block and the events that have taken place.
Bruno Block Cites r/Buttcoin in Bizarre Justification of Actions
The blog contains a few screenshots of a Telegram conversation in which Bruno Block never once apologizes for his actions. According to Block, he “dumped on [William Cordes]” instead of allowing Corde and his “VC friends” to “dump on [everyone else.]” In his bizarre justification, he sights as motivating factors the recent price drop of ethereum and, in the oddest part, the anti-bitcoin subreddit r/Buttcoin.
Block claims to have realized that “the entire crypto sphere is a giant ponzi [sic] scheme” and that ethereum is “headed back to $5.”
Perhaps the laughable part of the exchange is when he engages with Cordes, who points out that Block “had [himself] in mind” when he acted. At this point Block truly goes off the deep end, saying:
“yes I did, you and your credit card-swiping parents created a massive debt bubble prison I’m trying to escape from. I only wanted to protect my wife and children from the economic collapse that is coming anyday [sic] now.”
Block, of course, chooses an interesting time in history to say such a thing, when the economy is booming, unemployment is crazy low, and market confidence is extreme. The inevitable collapse of unsustainable systems is a dearly held and important belief of any cryptonaught, but generally, we view bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as safer shores. Not Block, though. He believes bitcoin is headed back to $20 and that for all of the above reasons, he is justified in his actions. He also believes that “none of the money is real,” as he said in response to Cordes’ asking “what about all the tokenholders.”
His final justification was that he had previously burned his own PRL tokens, so the creation of new ones using a weakness in the smart contract was wholly justified.
Cordes Addresses Allegations Made by Block
Block repeatedly said that his beefs with fellow corporate staff were that he wanted to hire more people and that the trading of the coin was not above board, but Cordes points out that at least one thing Block said (they were going to be listed on Binance) is totally false and that “insider trading” never happened and never would have happened.
“Speaking hypothetically, if we were aware of a potential listing on a major exchange, our team would not trade on this information. We do allow our staff to take their pay in either ETH or PRL, so PRL can be accrued in that fashion, but we would never advocate front-running a major catalyst like this. Bruno can string various messages without context together to imply otherwise but this is patently false.”
Cordes says that those fired in Block’s tirade are filing law enforcement reports.
“We are in the process of filing law enforcement reports, working with our attorney and have hired a private investigator. While we are eager to prove further vindication of our team, we are being advised by these parties to not reveal any confidential details of this ongoing investigation, as this may complicate and extend the duration of that investigation. Bruno’s actions are being investigated by some of the best in the industry, whom have identified and brought to justice bad actors that executed their crimes in far more sophisticated methodologies. Investigations do take time, as do any efforts involving the legal system and government/law enforcement, so while a play-by-play of the investigation won’t be given, we’re confident in stating Bruno will be held accountable and that PRL2 will be pushing forward with fervor.”
This is likely not the last we will hear about Bruno Block. His actions certainly appear to have been fraudulent and could result in criminal penalties. As to “PRL2” and the future of the Oyster Protocol, it seems a matter of investor confidence as to whether the embattled crypto company has any future. The idea is not novel enough that they are the only firm which can execute and implement it, so more likely a fork of sorts will emerge which does the thing properly.