Dan Larimer is a software engineer and entrepreneur who is best known for his contributions to the development of blockchain technology. Over the course of his career, Larimer has been involved in several high-profile blockchain projects, including BitShares, Steem, EOS, and Block.one.
Born in 1983 in Colorado, Larimer showed an early interest in computers and technology. He began programming as a teenager and went on to study computer science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).
After graduating from Virginia Tech in 2003, Larimer began working as a software engineer. He worked for several companies in the technology industry, including Microsoft and Digicert, before eventually founding his own software development firm, Cryptonomex, in 2013.
It was during his time at Cryptonomex that Larimer first became involved in the world of blockchain technology. In 2014, he co-founded BitShares, a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange that was designed to be fast, secure, and decentralized. BitShares used a consensus mechanism known as delegated proof-of-stake, which allowed users to vote for representatives who would verify transactions on the network.
BitShares quickly gained traction in the blockchain community and Larimer became a well-known figure in the industry. He was recognized for his technical expertise and his advocacy of decentralized technologies.
In 2016, Larimer left BitShares to found another blockchain project, Steem. Steem was designed as a decentralized social media platform that rewarded users for creating and curating content. The platform used a unique consensus mechanism known as delegated proof-of-stake with a witness system that allowed users to vote for individuals to verify transactions and maintain the network.
Steem was another success for Larimer, and it gained a large following in the blockchain community. However, the project was not without controversy. In 2018, Steemit Inc., the company behind Steem, faced a hostile takeover by a group of users who had acquired a large amount of Steem tokens. Larimer and other members of the Steemit team ultimately left the project, citing concerns over centralization and governance.
Following his departure from Steem, Larimer went on to work on EOS, another blockchain project that was designed to be highly scalable and decentralized. EOS used a delegated proof-of-stake consensus mechanism that was similar to the one used in BitShares and Steem.
EOS was another major success for Larimer, and it quickly became one of the most widely used blockchain platforms in the world. EOS was designed to be highly flexible and customizable, and it was used for a wide range of applications, from gaming to supply chain management.
In 2017, Larimer co-founded Block.one, a blockchain software company that was focused on developing the EOSIO platform. Block.one held an initial coin offering (ICO) for the EOS token in 2018, which raised a record-breaking $4 billion. However, the ICO was also controversial, with some critics alleging that the sale was manipulated and that Block.one violated securities laws. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) eventually settled with Block.one, imposing a $24 million fine for failing to register the ICO as a securities offering.
Despite the controversies surrounding the EOS ICO, the EOSIO platform has gained significant traction in the blockchain industry. Many decentralized applications have been built on the EOSIO platform, and it has been used for a number of high-profile blockchain projects, including the Voice social network, which was also founded by Larimer.
In January 2021, Larimer announced that he was leaving Block.one and the blockchain industry entirely, citing a desire to focus on other projects and interests. He has since been working on several non-blockchain-related ventures, including a decentralized social media platform called Clarion and a project focused on interstellar travel.