19.07.2018 - Summary of Charles Hoskinson's Video update

The latest video update from Charles comes all the way from Singapore where he was attending the World Blockchain Conference. Watch the video or read the summary below:


Cardano 1.3

  • this is currently in QA
  • it is moving through nicely, there had been bugs that were caught here and there so the QA process is definitely working
  • however, it is a little slow as its manual but they are working with Allied Testing to automate the process
  • 1.3 will have massive improvement to network performance: people who are having trouble with connecting to network or trouble getting blocks quickly should see speed-ups
  • bottlenecks will no longer be on the wire protocol side but rather on the block processing side, which they are also working on correcting with heavy duty refactoring of the core and by changing to a library, service-orientated architecture
  • look for this update in August

Cardano 1.4

  • 1.4 is still on schedule and this will be the most significant update since 1.1 as there are lots of changes and infrastructure changes
  • the update process will be a little different though
  • with 1.3, you will get notified and click update or install manually
  • but with 1.4, with the new data layer, you may have to actually restore your wallet
  • note that restoration will work faster than it does now, but installation of 1.4 will be longer than installation of 1.3 (but longer in terms of 30 mins~1 hour depending on PC speed)
  • this only needs to be done once, and moving forward that data model will be there
  • there are 79 action items that need to be carefully thought of and pulled over into 1.4, 29 of which have been done
  • also, with 1.4, they are probably going to be using the entire 19 endpoints on v1 API, currently only consuming 1 and the hope is to cover all 19
  • remaining endpoints are still being called from v0


  • there have been a huge amount of requests for portable code
  • people asking to construct light client, mobile client, browser based wallet – unfortunately with Haskell its not the best language for portable, light-weight code
  • there are better languages for this like Rust
  • IOHK is funding a parallel development team to build up library functionalities that people can use for mobile wallets, light wallets, embeddable devices,
  • this collective aggregation of code is being called Project Prometheus
  • this project has been running now for 3 months internally
  • by September, they may have a full command line client working with Rust code that developers can take and embed within their devices
  • also testing on Android and its working well

Smart Contract

  • IOHK have hired a new person, Marc, who is an experienced project manager
  • they are getting closer to IELE testnet launch, and with that, there will be 2 smart contract testnets
  • at the moment, surface language they are using for test things is Solidity
  • this decision was on purpose as there are a large amount of Solidity code that can be ported over and there are good test factors, good libraries and a large group of smart contract developers that are well trained in Solidity
  • they would a better surface language, so they have discussed importing JavaScript to run on IELE
  • but this decision will become a trade off between diverting resources to build a compiler to target this other language to add when in a reasonable time frame, semantics based compilation will also be able to do that so this discussion is still to be had
  • for July and August, Solidity will be the language to test IELE and KEVM
  • Marc, as the project manager, will also be looking at how people and industries use smart contracts, what has materialized and developed in the space, and at other alternative models like Liquidity, Michelson, whats being proposed with Simplicity and a dozen others
  • in the next 6 months to a year, he will also manage the requirements and tasks at hand to build up a Cardano standard library that is developer-friendly and will have utility and use
  • there are also models outside of the cryptocurrency space to examine (for example: how Lua interfaces with C is an interesting model that game developers use)
  • Nico and Sebastien from Emurgo will also be involved to engage the developer community on this project


  • this team has grown significantly
  • notably, Michael, the son of Simon Peyton Jones - a major contributor to the design of Haskell, is a PL theorist and has been hired onto the project
  • the project itself has seen steady progress
  • they are getting to the point where they are going beyond the theory and going beyond extensively complex language design questions that are being made with rigour and experience, and onto having good conversation on what the language will look like
  • also a lot of progress with Chimeric Ledger / Asset ideology = this is the idea of an asset that can live in multiple accounting systems so you can move from UTxO to Accounts and a ledger that can support this
  • this ideology is necessary for the sidechains model, because if you are using sidechains, you will move your assets between systems like Ethereum (which is an accounts based model) and Cardano (a UTxO model)
  • and you must have the notion of value in both systems and must be able to move assets between systems while conserving that value
  • this has also exposed other research questions like could there exist other accounting systems that are nice to have for certain domains and certain experiences?
  • as well as looking at other transaction models (for example, Bitcoin and other crypto models is “Sender pays” system while credit cards are “receiver pays” for transaction fees)
  • there are all kinds of transaction models and it would be nice to have user programmability and more rigour and theory behind all the options and the consequences associated with those options
  • all of this is connected to Plutus as it will be the vehicle to launch a lot of these types of assets and give functionality to them
  • Cardano will also have its own ERC20 style standard
  • at the moment, ERC-20 can be supported through IELE and KEVM


  • enormous progress has been observed in this workstream
  • papers will come out soon from this research
  • proofs for these are quite touchy and one of “principles vs. pragmatism” trade offs
  • on the ‘principles’ side, you would like these things to be fully proven and to be peer reviewed
  • while on the ‘pragmatism’ side, once you get a certain degree of assurance that the protocol is right you want to implement the protocol
  • so you have to know when to cut and keep the project moving forward
  • at the end of August, a lot of their scientists and engineers will be meeting together
  • and the 2 main topics up for discussion will be the formalization of Ouroboros Genesis and everything that is required around this and for actually building a prototype, and the formalization of Sidechains
  • the hope is to start demonstrating sidechains by connecting some centralized chains to Cardano as a permissioned computation ledger
  • that model is something that IOHK thinks will be common with the notion of exchanges (like instead of sending transactions to exchanges as an open address on an open network, you will be able to issue a sidechain transaction and send to a permissioned ledger that the exchange controls)
  • Why do this? Because you are already trusting the exchange with your asset so you have the worst of both worlds: paying the price of decentralization and all the security risks but gain none of the benefits because someone else is in control because they posses the private key; while sending to sidechain can allow exchanges to protect itself from hacking and it would map nicely to how exchanges stores funds and recovers from disastrous events
  • Charles says here that he is excited to show that this model can exist and they are looking to have a demo before the end of the year

Ledger Support

  • there is a new address structures that is more concise and a new HD wallet scheme that will be rolling out soon
  • there will be 2 ledger updates: one specifically for Daedalus and the other on other functionalities such as cold staking
  • cold staking is when you leave spending keys on Ledger, but can create a proxy key into Daedalus and other wallets to use for delegation


  • can either be done pragmatically where you use a trusted server to create accounts with parties and it allows you to alert people that they have a signature that is pending – it does not broadcast into the network until the signatures are added
  • or there is the principle way, meaning without a trusted server
  • they are planning on having these functionalities built into Shelley
  • there are still discussions to be had with the community and partners, but there is a potential that a coordination/server solution will be released prior to launching the fully decentralized version

And that was all from Charles’ video update. To watch the video yourself, please click here.