A war of words has erupted over Algorand’s repeated claims to be the world’s first pure Proof of Stake blockchain. As long-time industry observers know, that assertion isn’t remotely true, since enterprise blockchain Algorand only launched in 2017 and PoS has been around a lot longer than that.
The first blockchain to experiment with Proof of Stake was Peercoin, which debuted a hybrid PoW/PoS chain. However the accolade for first pure PoS chain, which Algorand have been so keen to claim, goes to NXT. The Proof of Stake chain launched in 2013 – four years before Algorand shuddered into life. It’s a fact that Jelurida co-founder and NXT core developer Lior Yaffe has been at pains to point out.
Algorand’s ‘First’ Is Not the First Such First
Businesses all over the world are guilty of claiming tenuous firsts in a bid to bolster their PR and impress readers. Normally they get away with it, but on this occasion Algorand have been caught bang to rights. Seeking justice, Lior Yaffe is determined to see that Algorand doesn’t get away with the falsehood it keeps perpetrating. And he’s not the only voice that’s taken the project to task for its marketing.
“The #algorand marketing machine has misleadingly crowned themselves as the "First Pure Proof of Stake Blockchain". A bold statement considering that #Nxt is the first project to introduce a working #PoS #Blockchain,” tweeted Yaffe, before highlighting how Algorand keeps emphasizing this falsehood in its press releases and website.
“I agree that I'm very confused by Algorand’s claim,” replied another Twitter user. “How can they market being the first pure PoS blockchain platform when it was invented years ago…” Fittingly, one of the Twitter accounts that joined the conversation, and sided with Yaffe, was named “JustPurePos.”
What Next for Algorand?
Algorand has led a troubled life since launching, with the ‘pure PoS’ controversy merely the latest fire it’s had to fight. Its ALGO token shed 94% in its first three months, sending the project’s engineers back to the drawing board, while Algo Capital, a VC fund focused on the Algorand ecosystem, lost as much as $2 million of crypto after its CTO’s phone was hacked.
While the NXT controversy is unlikely to leave lasting damage to Algorand, at the very least it’s tainted the project, and may prompt closer scrutiny of its marketing materials. At press time, Algorand’s website is still titled “The First Pure Proof of Stake Blockchain” despite NXT’s community having shown this to be false.