Charles Hoskinson: on the Ethereum&Cardano split
By Iaroslava Kramarenko 62722 10 Dec 2022
Charles Hoskinson is not an ordinary crypto millionaire. This math professor joined the world of blockchain and digital currencies to realize his potential as a cryptographer-mathematician.
Charles Hoskinson is 35 years old. He is a technology entrepreneur and mathematician from Colorado. He was born in Hawaii and comes from a family of doctors. The guy was expected to continue the dynasty of doctors, but he decided to focus on the exact sciences rather than medicine.
Charles has a passion for solving complex cryptographic problems and analytic number theory. He attended Metropolitan State University of Denver and University of Colorado at Boulder to study advanced mathematics. He has a master's degree and is currently pursuing his Ph.D.
He stands out from popular crypto-personalities since they are more focused on the financial possibilities of the blockchain than on its practical applications. Nevertheless, Hoskinson’s capital made from crypto projects is estimated at $580 million as of September 2022. But this amount is not stable, as it depends on the market price of ADA and ETH.
Hoskinson started in consulting, but left his position in 2012 to focus on cryptocurrencies and their potential. He considered Bitcoin to be the digital equivalent of gold due to its limited supply. Later that year, he created the BitShares network, a pioneering BTC-to-fiat DEX platform.
Collaboration with Buterin
Charles’ journey to wealth and fame began when he first met Vitalik Buterin. At that time, Vitalik was in the process of creating a decentralized, censorship-resistant blockchain, and needed the advice of a cryptographer. In 2013, their collaboration resulted in the development of the Ethereum network. Then Joseph Lubin and Gavin Wood from the Polkadot and Solidity projects joined them.
However, the partnership was short-lived. Disagreements among the co-founders started already in 2014. Charles insisted on making a commercial project to get rid of the pressure and control of Japanese venture investors, and Buterin saw the Ethereum blockchain as a non-profit open-source structure. As Wood and Lubin sided with Vitalik, Hoskinson, who was in the minority, slammed the door and left the project. He enticed Jeremy Wood, director of strategic development, to follow him.
However, those disagreements did not stop him from making tens of millions on the rapid growth of Ethereum in 2018, since he invested some of the money in ETH during the partnership.
IOHK and Cardano
After leaving the Ethereum co-founding team, Charles and Jeremy registered Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), an engineering and technology company. It has been successfully engaged in research activities in the fields of blockchain and cryptography since 2015.
The IOHK decentralized platform was created for the remote development of distributed ledgers of public and private companies. In 2019, IOHK signed a cooperation agreement with the Georgian government. Hoskinson's company has committed to managing the development of a blockchain for the country's higher education system. An earlier initiative of a similar nature was started in Greece.
The second collaborative project between Hoskinson and Wood is Cardano, a blockchain with its own ADA coin and green mining technology. It was launched in September 2017. Cardano is the first successful Proof-of-Stake (PoS) platform for creating smart contracts based on mathematical proof algorithm combined with game theory. Hoskinson believes that this algorithm gives a 100% guarantee against hacking.
And indeed, so far the platform proves to be highly reliable. “You can certainly steal ADAs from a holder’s wallet, but try to hack its blockchain,” Charles Hoskinson said at one of the hackathons.
The master's degree in Advanced Mathematics of Cardano's "spiritual leader" had a positive impact on the reliability of the system. So far, no one has been able to hack it.
Hoskinson has funded several energy-saving blockchain technology research labs throughout the world, including at the University of Edinburgh, Tokyo Institute of Technology, and the University of Wyoming. In September 2021, Hoskinson donated $20 million to Carnegie Mellon University to establish the Hoskinson Center for Formal Mathematics.