Cryptocurrency legend Charles Hoskinson was interviewed recently by Forbes on the theoretical underpinnings of crypto and how its rapid evolution relates to the history of math and computer science.
Charles Hoskinson began his career as a mathematician who entered the cryptocurrency sector in 2013 with the Bitcoin Education Project. It launched as an online school and led Hoskinson to meet Vitalik Buterin. He would later become one of the eight Ethereum founders.
After disagreements following a controversial update in 2016, Ethereum broke into two with the creation of Ethereum Classic with Hoskinson being a vocal supporter. In 2021, Hoskinson’s attention has shifted toward Cardano, a public blockchain platform launched in 2017. Hoskinson hopes to compete with, and eventually overtake, Ethereum.
The importance of interoperability
As more and more consumers are moving toward blockchains as a safe and reliable option, problems with cohesion arise. Countless projects have been relying on various blockchains in recent years and with each using specialized payments, platforms, and data storage solutions. Each has unique governance and, in essence, play by their own rules.
As a result, each blockchain differs from the next. This means that no universal standards for blockchain developments exist. The landscape is heterogeneous, making it difficult to operate in silos and realize its potential at the same time.
Forbes queried Hoskinson about this very topic, asking about the best route to finding balance in blockchains. Hoskinson responded by stating:
What you do is focus on the ability to move information, value, and identity between chains, and then you kind of let the markets decide where things are going to live. It’s funny, everybody wants to be open source until they don’t.
Hoskinson went on to say that he believes in the next three to five years the industry will converge in what he refers to as a “Wi-fi moment.” This move would allow users, no matter which ecosystem they are in, to migrate from one system to the next.
Hoskinson views it as a race to the bottom and the winners will be those who cut operating costs. The belief is that users will flock to apps that are cheaper to operate blockchains on.
The future of Cardano
As if Hoskinson didn’t have his finger in enough pies, he also founded the blockchain platform, Cardano. Launched in 2017, it has grown into what is now considered the sixth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
Initially, the five-year plan for Cardano starting in 2015 was to finish putting the pieces together by 2020. While that deadline was not met, Hoskinson remained upbeat about the progress his team has made.
“Of course, I’m a very optimistic person and I tend to underestimate engineering and scientific complexity, so we didn’t quite hit that milestone. 2021 is kind of our overflow year, where we’re pulling together and turning on all the things we dreamed of over the last five years.”
Smart contracts, token issuance, and governance stack are mentioned along with full decentralization as upcoming goals for Cardano. With upwards of 10,000 tokens issued in a single month and upcoming smart contracts, Hoskinson hopes that he’s positioned his company well to meet those goals and then some.