He bought Bitcoin when it was valued at just $1. He was the fifth person to join the group that founded Ethereum. Now Charles Hoskinson is working on the “3rd generation cryptocurrency”, as he calls it, and wants to prove that blockchain can be the key to solving some of the world’s most critical problems.
An Active Participant in Cryptocurrency History
Speaking to Mpho Dagada in an interview, Charles Hoskinson shared his experience as cryptocurrency enthusiast and then co-founder of one of the most popular digital currencies. Starting from a free course on crypto (still available online), Hoskinson turned down an offer to create a stablecoin, forged a partnership with the inventor of BitShares, left that partnership and joined the Ehtereum group of founders – all within one year.
Speaking of his first foray into cryptocurrency entrepreneurship, Charles Hoskinson admitted that being first-time entrepreneurs was one of the reasons why his partnership with BitShares inventor, Dan Larimer, did not last. After many disagreements on how to create the first decentralized cryptocurrency exchange platform, Hoskinson returned to teaching online classes, when he was approached by Anthony Di Iorio and asked to take a look at a white paper written by Vitalik Buterin.
The Founding of Ethereum: a Get Together in Miami for a Crypto Convention
Ethereum came into being when the entire team working on the project got together to attend the North American Bitcoin Conference in January 2014. Hoskinson detailed the internal dissensions between the two fractions in the group of founders: the business team who wanted to establish a for-profit foundation for Ethereum (they called it “Crypto Google), and the technical team who wanted a nonprofit foundation (internally referred to as “Crypto Mozilla”).
Soon after it was established as a nonprofit, most of the founding members left the project. Back then, Hoskinson personally didn’t think Ethereum was going to succeed. He felt that “the lack of rigorous structure and discipline would be a recipe for too much indulgence.” After leaving Ethereum, he was at the point of abandoning all entrepreneurial efforts in the cryptocurrency world.
Cardano: “The First 3rd Generation Cryptocurrency”
An invitation to host a TED talk in Bermuda prompted Hoskinson to reconsider parting ways with the cryptocurrency world. He decided to launch one more venture – this time developed 100% according to his philosophy.
In Charles Hoskinson’s opinion, both Bitcoin and Ethereum lack something important to help them reach global acceptance: Bitcoin lacks the ability to set up smart transactions, and Ethereum lacks scalability.
According to Hoskinson, Cardano, the cryptocurrency and technological platform capable of running financial applications, which he founded in 2015, is trying to tackle the three issues which qualifies it to be the 3rd generation cryptocurrency: scalability, interoperability and sustainability.
Blockchain Technology Used to Empower Development in Africa
Through IOHK, a tech company using peer-to-peer innovations to provide financial services to people who don’t have the access to them, Hoskinson is currently involved in several projects in Africa. One of them aims to improve the supply chain in coffee trade in Ethiopia. The other has created an innovative solution to develop more housing units, by financing landowners to build houses for rent and transfer the deed of property to them in only 5 years.
Both projects are based on the blockchain principles to ensure traceability, transparency and help transform a society which is based more on verbal agreements than written documents. By creating digital identities using the blockchain, Hoskinson believes that the African people can step into the future by having a clear track record of ownership and financial transactions.