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HEX in Chaos as Founder Fans the Flames

Now based on two blockchains, founder Richard Heart is expressing a strong preference for one version of HEX over the other.

In small pockets of the internet, communities devoted to smaller altcoins write upbeat posts about how their cryptocurrency is going to change the world — posts that are duly retweeted by other investors also hoping to make life-changing sums of money.

But what happens when the founder of said cryptocurrency makes divisive statements that split their community in two? In short, chaos.

Richard Heart is the controversial founder of several altcoins. He initially launched the Ethereum-based Hex in 2018, which was hailed as "the future of finance" by allowing users to mint their own rewards. PulseChain — billed as an Ethereum fork — followed five years later.

And so members of the community, who refer to themselves as "HEXicans," were left with a choice: which blockchain do they use? 

Heart has made it clear that he believes PulseChain is better because of how it reduces the painful gas fees associated with making transactions — but some who attempted to follow his instructions claim they've lost thousands of dollars.

That thread led to some pretty dramatic movements over a 24-hour period last month — with the Ethereum version of HEX suffering a sharp drop while its counterpart on PulseChain rallied.

Zooming out to June 2023, which is when PulseChain first launched, and the divide is even wider. Ethereum-based HEX has lost 87% of its value over this period, while the version on PulseChain is down 35%.

HEX on Ethereum from March 9-11. Picture: CoinGecko
HEX on PulseChain from March 9-11. Picture: CoinGecko

Heart struck a combative tone over the weekend — maintaining he wasn't to blame for the Ethereum version of HEX performing so poorly, writing:

"Bitcoin dropped 95%. Ethereum dropped 95%. Pro tip: If the 2 largest market cap things can drop 95% so can every other coin. Period. And you know who has been telling you that for years? Me. But now I must suffer the crybabies that didn't think it could happen to them, despite my warnings."

Now presiding over an unhappy community, Heart has a bigger battle on his hands — and wants a judge to dismiss the lawsuit brought against him by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last summer.

The SEC claims both cryptocurrencies — as well as the exchange token PLSX — amount to unregistered crypto asset securities. And in a nod to the excesses of old, it's also alleged that $12 million spent on sports cars, watches and the largest black diamond in the world amounted to fraud and misappropriation of funds.

Heart argues that the case impinges on his freedom of speech — and the SEC should have no jurisdiction given that he lives abroad.

As his legal fight continues to play out in the courts, Heart's defiant messages on social media show no sign of cessation.