Charles Hoskinson - A few thoughts - 01/04/2020

Charles Hoskinson - A few thoughts - 01/04/2020

(Written by @Eric_Czuleger)

On April 1st 2020 Charles Hoskinson sat down for an update where he clarified his thoughts on the roadmap through the end of 2020. He also discussed the implications of establishing CCCI.

Brief Summary:

  • The product managers gave their first live update. This will happen every month with community participation.

  • IOHK will fulfill the scope of its responsibility to Cardano throughout 2020, it will also specify “Commercially Critical Cardano Infrastructure (CCCI).

  • CCCI should be built in a decentralized way rather than through a single vendor.

  • Shelley could have been released with the ITN in December but our dedication to evidence based software meant that we had to follow through the incentivized testnet to create a best in class cryptocurrency.

  • To empower leaders in the Cardano community to maintain the initial vision of the ecosystem.

Product management presentation

This is an important moment for IOHK. This was the first time that we performed a live product update. If you would like to see the recording of that, click here. Included on the product update were the product management team and Tim Harrison, the head of communications. We had an audience of between 700 and 800 with great questions and an important discussion.

Charles Hoskinson was not present at this meeting because this moment is for the product team to showcase what they are doing. They covered the Byron reboot which is launching on March 31st. Related material will continue to be released this week. This includes the commandline client and Daedalus Flight. Daedalus Flight will be updated weekly along with the ITN updates. The product management update was about an hour in length and it will happen every month with direct participation by Cardano supporters.

New communications

Any questions asked on the live cast will be remembered. They will be answered in either AMAs, blog posts, or future events. It is important to us that the community is kept informed on all activities related to the development of Cardano. We’d like to remind the community that these are scheduled events, so we encourage everyone to prepare questions and comments ahead of time.

In the previous update we dealt with some expectation management around the scope of Cardano originally agreed to in 2020. When the agreement was signed there were many unknowns. We did not know what the network stack would look like, we didn’t know what accounting model we would use, or even if it would be proof-of-work or proof-of-stake. In short we said that it would be a two phase project. It would be a broad scientific exploration of what it meant to build a best-in-class cryptocurrency followed by an execution of this using principles.

Looking to the future

It is crucial to know that we will fulfill the original scope and we will define that which is “Commercially Critical Cardano Infrastructure (CCCI)”. The CCCI is an endless stream as new business requirements emerge in the future. The most important thing to remember is that it is a single vendor (IOHK) to get a foundation followed by a thousand individual actors chasing value in CCCI.

This is akin to Apple. Apple, a single vendor created the iPhone platform. The AppStore allowed for the development of individual businesses predicated on the platform. This is what we will see with Cardano in the future. It is important to develop both sides around an ecosystem in order to resist monoculture which we see as an ossified ecosystem which no longer innovates, improves lives, and changes the world.

Building an engine

In short, the CCCI is separate from what will be delivered in terms of Cardano. In terms of IOHK we will deliver the best in class cryptocurrency in the market. We will have the best programming languages, wallet experience, and smart contracts to name a few of our advantages. The update launching this month is the first reflection of what the final form will look like.

The Byron reboot forms around 80 percent of the codebase Shelley has. It is built with evidence based software techniques. This is a foundation we are proud of, that will be around for a long time, and that people can build on top of. From here, the science is all done, the protocols have been de-risked, and it is ready for iteration.

Closing the year

At the end of the year, we will write a large closing document to show what we built. The important thing to remember is that IOHK has every intention of working on the Cardano protocol. But it is vital that there is funding in place to allow us to continue this role. There is an economic reality that exists which allows us to stay long term. However, this requires the consent of the ada holders.

At the end of the year as we close out Shelley, Goguen, Basho and Voltaire, and complete documentation we will deliver a final report looking at five years of IOHK development. We will then present where we believe that we can go in the next three to five years. The community will then be able to decide if they want IOHK developing Cardano. We believe that we have accelerated to a professionalized company that is uniquely suited to build more in the next five years than we did in the first. This will be plainly visible in the report released in 2020. Ultimately, the community is in the driver’s seat. We need community consent to work on a decentralized system.

IOHK and Cardano

We believe that post-2020 IOHK will still be here. The only way this will not occur is if the community is offered a better deal by an actor more capable than IOHK. Ultimately, the decision is in the hands of the stakeholders. We believe that this is how all cryptocurrencies should function from a governance point of view. These are not cults of personality. A truly decentralized system must give the people building them a democratic mandate to do that. Of course there must be checks and balances.

The community must be able to vet things and prevent a demagogue from overtaking the platform. This is why evidence based software is important. It allows people to work together by virtue of understanding the common good. They must believe that Cardano should grow to millions and billions of users.

Open source

Our relationship with the University of Wyoming set up an opportunity to accept ada to build a lab. This allows anyone to work on a research stream without centralized authority. The reason CCCI is important is that it sets up a class of infrastructure developers for Cardano with a diversity of approaches. This will open the community up to a plurality of ideas. This diversity is crucially important because debate and conversation makes the ecosystem better.

One unfortunate reality of our space is that it has economic incentives for people to behave in counterproductive ways. There is a great deal of FUD underpinned by unrealistic expectations. We have built multiple companies, a global community, and written millions of lines of code in 5 years. This is a remarkable achievement. However, at times we are speaking different languages. Often, the loudest group is motivated only by money. Given the fact that we are reinventing money, we believe their motivation should not be accumulating more fiat currency but rather bolster the current ecosystem.

A better democracy

The problem with democracy is that you cannot allow this minority of self interested individuals to corrupt the system for everyone. There is a minority of individuals asking us to ship Shelley right away. That is possible due to the fact that the ITN is essentially the launch of Shelley. It is by all intents and purposes a stable cryptocurrency. This is not a plaything testnet. The reason that it was not launched as Shelley is that we stated we would take an evidence based software approach. The ITN was necessary in this approach to bring us to Shelley mainnet.

The people asking us to launch Shelley immediately are hoping that in doing so it will make the value of their ada spike dramatically. This is a short term gain. We remind everyone that Stellar once destroyed tokens in a burn. This created a price spike. That value was then removed by speculators. Essentially, what they did was rob themselves of years of development for a short term price spike. Launching Shelley immediately would rob us of years of roadmap work.

Leading with the community

As we move toward Voltaire there must be an effort of leaders in the community to stop the antagonistic faction from co opting this project. The reality is that if we build something on a global scale ada will be a trillion dollar cryptocurrency. If you build something with billions of users each user has a great deal of value. This value is all contributed to the system as whole.

We are constructing an engine to overtake a great deal of industries including RegTech, FinTech, and supply chain. It will be the bedrock, reliable choice for a decentralized system. In spite of its decentralization it will be reliable. People in the market for supply chain, voting, municipal bonds or any number of use cases will soon find themselves looking towards Cardano for solutions. When an organization or business is working with billions of users its worth rises considerably through network effect.

Making the future

One example of this is the recent bail out of the United States. The government in Washington DC essentially created trillions of dollars out of thin air. Yet, everyone will still accept the US dollar. This is more money than was spent in the history of the US. Long term, maybe the world will stop accepting this ability on behalf of the US. Not today. Power does not lie with money. It lies with people and their acceptance to things.

Cardano, if built right and in a sticky way then it will gain users. More so, it will grow into the world financial operating system. Government technology, social finance, and decentralized applications will all run on our platform. We are only growing one direction and as long as we are growing it will accelerate. The hardest part has been done. It has been started.

Keeping the soul of Cardano

We began in the academy and we have worked to maintain that connection. Everything from here on is iterative.It is about building a strong community. We need to develop an immune system which can allow us to push the ineffective elements out of our ecosystem. This is the job of the leaders in the Cardano space.

We have already seen this beginning. We have seen an awakening during the self-node testnet and the ITN that the foundations of Cardano are so strong that people will invest their time, money and effort into it. This is a new world for all of us. We are making up the rules as we go along. It is clear that the technology of government is not ready for global governance. This can be seen in credentials on a global scale, medical records, or generating collective actions. These problems require coordination of the entire world.

Moving past legacy

The legacy system does not allow the problems to be solved. The blockchain space does. There will be skepticism and criticism. But this is the same way that the world worked during the industrial revolution. This was how it worked before major religious and political reformations. Now is the time for thousands of ideas.

We believe that the ideas that win will be those that focus on the fundamentals and principles. This will always inspire people to commit, build, and invest. Bitcoin will never go away because it was true to its principles long enough so that it cannot go against itself.

True to itself

What excites us about Cardano is that it is still true to its source. It is born of the academy. It was built for inclusion rather than aggregating to a small elite group of holders. Cardano is built on science and engineering principles which form trusted foundations. This took us five years. We believe this means that we will be around for a long time.

The reboot shows us that our ship has been righted. We created a best in class cryptocurrency. We are in a great position to launch Shelley, Goguen, and to include governance. We are also in a position to avoid cults of personality and maintain process over people. We will not have a clash over hard forks like the Bitcoin Cash conflict.

Moving towards Shelley

Throughout the first half of April we will have to get 100,000+ people to upgrade to the Byron reboot. We will then move on to talking about the Haskell Shelley testnet. This is mainly focused on the stake pool operators. We have recently collected over 300 suggestions from the community in the ITN which we will work in to Shelley. Soon we will have to roll over rewards from the ITN into Shelley. Once that is done Shelley will ship.

At this point we believe that our critics will deny that we have shipped Shelley. They will be incorrect. They may claim that Shelley had problems that are unsolvable or that we have too much of a roadmap to complete. Eventually they will realize that they were wrong and we will get back to the work of building. We have been looking forward to this for 5 years.

Building consensus

The most meaningful moment coming up will be the launch of Voltaire. This will allow thousands of people to begin debating how this decentralized system will grow. It will pave the way for us to continue building this platform for the entire world. We can do it without a predatory business model. We can do it in an open source fashion. We can do it without a patent. This year, those foundations will be laid. When we succeed others will try to emulate this.

We are not saying to be altruistic. We are saying that greed will be aligned with human progress. This is what we are chasing. We want to create incentives, momentum, and feedback loops where the most profit is made by decentralization. At this point it is game over for the old guard of legacy systems.

Individual control

In essence we want to put the individual in control of everything. Their data, their identity, their vote, and their money should be under the control of the individual. We want to live in a world where principles and rights are protected. We need to trust the code to preserve these rights for everyone.

We believe that April will be our most productive month as a company. We are writing software at a blinding pace while showing our supporters the full power of IOHK. We will soon be talking about the hard fork combinator and some work we’ve done for Microsoft in Haskell. Our critics will eventually be silenced as well. We are here to win and we are looking forward to Shelley.

Long road ahead

We are currently looking for a platform which can accept between 50 and 100 thousand people for the online Shelley launch. We are proud of every member of our community as well as everyone working with IOHK. We have done something special here and this is only the beginning. The work is clear and it has been done. 2020 is our year to ascend. 2021 is our year to fight to push power to the edges. This is a fight worth having.

Wealth and power are ephemera. The social structure matters. We would like to ensure that the fruits of individual labor belong to individuals. We want to sustain ourselves in a way that does not destroy the world. It took us a long time to get to this place in history and we are now in a place to take full advantage of everything we have learned. There is a long road ahead.


Is there a plan to keep mass injection (federal reserve) of fiat currency out of crypto currency?