Interview with Charles Hoskinson, who is the co-founder of Ethereum and CEO and founder of IOHK — the company developing Cardano. During that interview, Hoskinson shared details about some of the crypto projects that he is most interested in.
“It’s one of the most revolutionary cryptocurrencies ever built. Got so many crazy ideas like non-outsourceable puzzles and sigma protocols and pruning the blockchain and roller chains. All this crazy stuff. Even has a proof of no premine.”
Ergo was founded by Hoskinson’s “favorite technologist”, Alex Chepurnoy, who also contributed to the development of Cardano. It is a PoW blockchain platform with Turing complete smart contracts that employs a number of advanced features like zero-knowledge proofs, ring signatures, oracles, and adjustable block size.
“They’ve advanced the entire discussion of zero knowledge cryptography. We’ve borrowed some of their stuff. We’ve innovated on some of the things.” … “They’re carrying the banner of privacy and the banner of inclusive accountability, and both of these things are incredibly important as a core.”
Zcash is a privacy coin that allows for both transparent and private transactions. Hoskinson has a lot of respect for ZCash and their work with zero knowledge proofs.
“Those are wonderful people and they’re incredibly smart people. And again, they’re allowing us to do amazing things with scale.”
Hoskinson likes the fact that StarkWare’s development also helps Cardano to improve its scalability. The company was co-founded by Eli Ben Sasson, who was one of Zcash’s founding scientists. Its goal is to enable on-chain scalability through the usage of zero-knowledge proofs.
“I have a lot of respect for Lightning Labs. <…> And that’s a good solution, if not for scalability, for interoperability between cryptocurrencies. And they seem to be easy enough to talk to, to collaborate with, and fairly open people, good people.”
The company is building second layer solutions for the Bitcoin network. Their mission is to offer users a way to send and receive money more efficiently than ever before. Hoskinson noted that he approves of Elizabeth Stark’s specification-driven approach to development.
“I have a lot of respect for the Dash community. I think they were one of the first to really prove out a cryptocurrency treasury and show the power of a treasury. And they even sponsored research at Arizona State University with it.”
Dash is another project on Hoskinson’s list that is focused on privacy. It employs two layer consensus — with master nodes sitting on top of the proof-of-work base layer. Hoskinson believes that Dash proved “the power of a treasury”. He also has an appreciation for Dash’s community.
“I don’t really like their community too much because they’re so toxic and negative towards us and they just never seem to let an opportunity kick us when we’re down, escape. But overall, I do have a lot of respect for at least the philosophy and the technology that they’ve been deploying.”
Tezos is a proof of stake blockchain with on-chain governance. Tezos was created to provide the safety and code correctness required for assets and other high value use cases. Hoskinson praises Tezos, despite its community’s perceived toxicity towards Cardano.
“… they are another one of the science coins and we all kind of support each other. Even though we get academically competitive, we’re able to reference each other’s work and learn from each other and grow from each other.”
Algorand is another proof-of-stake blockchain that was founded by Turing-award recipient, Silvio Micali. It’s main goal is to create a transparent system in which all users can achieve success via decentralization.
“I think Avalanche has some merit as well, especially in the IoT [Internet of Things] space in Ava is going to be an interesting coin that comes out. And there’s a lot of interesting ideas there.”
Founded by another preeminent scholar, Cornell professor Emin Gün Sirer, Avalanche promises scalability and operability. Hoskinson is optimistic about Avalanche’s coin, which pays for fees and provides the basic unit of account between the multiple blockchains deployed on the larger AVA network.
“… the growth curve and the adoption of BATs has been just phenomenal. And I think they’re poised on a five or 10 years to become a major player in the very least displaced Firefox completely and potentially even have a meaningful share of the browser market, which could translate to billions of dollars of advertising revenue that’s not connected to, you know, the cartels that exist and allow people to avoid being deplatformed.”
It is not surprising that Hoskinson, who is building Cardano with a research-first ethos and who studied number theory in school, has picked quite a few projects that both share his philosophies and focus on privacy.