About Charles Hoskinson
Despite having a non-tech background, Charles Hoskinson, the co-founder of Ethereum and Cardano CEO, is amongst the most renowned founders in the crypto world. With his formal background, Hoskinson is a mathematician who later switched his career and became a tech entrepreneur. This profile will explore Charles Hoskinson’s role in the development of Ethereum and Cardano, his understanding of blockchain technology, his startups, and some of the controversies that have been developed over the years.
Early Life and Education
Born in Hawaii in 1987 to a family of physicians, Charles Hoskinson initially considered following in his parent’s footsteps in the medical field. However, he ultimately chose a different path, setting his sights on a career in mathematics. He began his academic journey by enrolling at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he earned his bachelor’s degree. Hoskinson continued his education at the University of Colorado, completing a master’s degree to deepen his expertise further.
In addition, Hoskinson also started a PhD but dropped out quite early and did not earn his degree. Instead, he joined the presidential campaign of Ron Paul in 2008 as his libertarian views were something he looked forward to, which were inspired by the way the Austrian economy worked.
Pre-Cardano Career and Crypto Beginnings
After the presidential campaign came to an end, Hoskinson joined a consultancy firm. Additionally, according to Hoskinson, he also worked for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for a brief moment but there’s no formal recognition by the institute if he worked there or not.
Hoskinson learned about Bitcoin at its inception and by 2013, he went all-in. Before joining the developer’s team of Ethereum, Hoskinson became the founding chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation’s education committee and helped with the establishment of the Cryptocurrency Research Group.
The goal of the project was to help reduce knowledge barriers, thereby bringing one million users to the space. Seeing its importance, both Udemy and Bitcoin Magazine immediately formed a partnership.
Co-founding Ethereum and Contributions
Later in 2013, Hoskinson was approached by Anthony Di Lorio, his fellow Bitcoin enthusiast, who introduced him to Ethereum’s whitepaper. Upon reading the whitepaper, Hoskinson was inspired and started to attend early Ethereum meetings. Later, he joined the team of founders to help develop Ethereum.
While it’s unclear what Hoskinson’s exact role was at the time of Ethereum’s development, however, he was pivotal for the Ethereum network’s success. He also helped to develop Ethereum’s first Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and made the final decision to register Ethereum Foundation in Switzerland. For a brief moment, he also served as Ethereum’s CEO.
However, trouble began when Hoskinson opted for Ethereum to have a for-profit approach, which other developers disagreed with, including Vitalik Buterin. Shortly after the disagreement, Hoskinson left Ethereum and Vitalik went on with a non-profit system for Ethereum.
Founding Cardano and IOHK
After disappearing for six months, Hoskinson decided he should return to mathematics when shortly he was approached by Jeremy Woods, another Ethereum co-founder, over a possible collaboration. Woods’ idea was to start an engineering and research company that would build blockchains for public entities, corporations, and academic institutions.
They named the company IOHK or Input Output Hong Kong. After a few projects, Hoskinson proposed the development of a “Japanese version of Ethereum” to a client. Upon mutual agreement, later in 2017, Hoskinson developed Cardano; an open-sourced, decentralized public blockchain platform focusing solely on the Japanese market.
As the founder of Cardano, Hoskinson made sure Cardano would never harm the environment, which is a reason why at its launch, Cardano was the biggest cryptocurrency that used a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.
Leadership as Cardano CEO
As the CEO of Cardano, Hoskinson has ensured Cardano will always address the issues of scaling, governance, and decentralization. Cardano also solves network congestion by being relatively much faster and more flexible than both Bitcoin & Ethereum. This is a reason why, despite being young, Cardano hosts thousands of decentralized systems and applications.
Hoskinson also partnered with some of the leading financial jurisdictions that offer training in blockchain and various other topics. A decision Hoskinon made to ensure Cardano becomes widely adopted and can host several thousand more decentralized applications. Some of these financial institutes include OIKOCredit, Mirova, World Economic Forum, and FMO, among others.
Perspective on Blockchain and Crypto
Despite being a mathematician, Hoskinson is deeply passionate about the use cases of blockchain technology and the adaptation of cryptocurrencies. He’s convinced that blockchain is the technology of the future that can help the world become a better and more inclusive place. This is a reason why Hoskinson has become a voluntary spokesperson of the technology.
Reception and Criticism
Despite being passionate and a prominent public speaker for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, Charles Hoskinson is not immune to criticism. For one, users criticize him for having too much control over Cardano’s decision-making. Secondly, Cardano’s roadmap that he laid out has been struck with complaints of slow progress and being too long.
Regardless, he’s still seen as a top crypto innovator and is recognized for his philanthropic work, as he donated $20 million to Carnegie Mellon University in 2021. Additionally, his company, IOHK also donated $500,000 to create a blockchain laboratory at the University of Wisconsin and $4.5 million to a research hub at the University of Edinburgh.