Charles Hoskinson Surprise AMA 3-1-2020


written by @Eric_Czuleger

On January 3rd 2020, Charles Hoskinson sat down for the first surprise AMA of 2020. There he looked forward to the emerging technologies of the next decade and the role cryptocurrencies will play in their development. He also confirmed his dedication to positioning Cardano as a global financial and social operating system.


  • The next decade will see a dramatic proliferation of technology and cryptocurrencies will be an important part of that development.
  • We believe that the 2020s will be the decade of Cardano and we are aiming to grow into a global social and financial operating system.
  • Incentives, commercialization, and technology are all key components to master in order to become the industry leading crypto project.
  • 2020 is the year of the recursive snark and IOHK is currently exploring the technology internally and externally.
  • IOHK is aligning with the Cardano Foundation and Emurgo to develop an international commercialization and marketing strategy.

Exciting decade

It is a new decade for cryptocurrency. It is also the 11th anniversary of the bitcoin launch. This is a good moment to remember that bitcoin introduced many to the world of global digital finance. It has gone on to generate a worldwide movement. Thousands of papers have been written and people all over the globe have been influenced by virtual assets. Major governmental bodies and international banks have taken notice. They have begun to regulate and embrace cryptocurrencies. We see this as the beginning of the revolution that bitcoin started.

We are looking forward to the next decade. Advances in the next ten years will include computers linked to the human mind, private space travel, and mainstream virtual reality. It will include developments in physics, transportation, quantum commuting, and wireless telecommunications. The consequences of all of these advances will move governments and the rest of the world. Virtual assets will come to form an important part of all of these ventures.

Times of change

We also believe that the global economy will see a collapse. Meanwhile, one or more African nations will likely join global governing bodies and enter the economic ranks of industrialized nations. We will also see revolutionary advances in the movement of people which could include self sovereign identity. This decade could include a reframing of how data is treated. We believe that it will soon be treated as it currently is, a commodity. Within all of these sectors, Cryptocurrencies have a role to play in laying the groundwork for a new financial and social modality.

The last decade may be the end of traditional media as we know it. Independent creators will rise to the forefront and digital curators will likely be funded by cryptocurrencies. We believe this will spur on an emerging age of longform storytelling. The continual adoption of open source technology means that ideas can flow more freely around the world. This is good for the consumer and for the globe.

Decade of Cardano

This is the decade of Cardano. We hope that in the 2020s Cardano will dominate the cryptocurrency space as a true social operating system. We would like to see thousands of meta tokens living on the platform alongside securities, commodities and other digital representations of value. Ultimately, this comes down to finding the right incentive set and commercial utilization. We believe that we have the right paradigm to achieve this through our peer reviewed process. It has allowed us to master everything from incentive protocols to understanding how to build a sustainable global ecosystem.

This year we will hit the commercialization hard. Our strategy is Cardano first. Cardano will be used for any and all commercial utilizations before looking to our other frameworks. We are looking at our projects in Ethiopia and The Republic of Georgia to begin leveraging the Cardano platform in a commercial way. This is especially important as Shelley and Goguen turn on. We will push this mentality with our partners the Cardano Foundation and Emurgo as well.

Pushing forward

We are looking at incentive schemes as first class citizens in the development of Cardano. Bitcoin was successful because it gave a monetary reward to mine and to bolster the system. Throughout our short time working with the Incentivized Testnet we have learned a great deal about the user experience as well as the incentive models needed to run a network of stakepools. The better we get at learning from and iterating our processes, the faster we can grow to a billion customers. Commercialization, technology, and incentives are all necessary to claim the number one position in 2020 ahead of Bitcoin.

However, we must remember that we came from bitcoin as well. There are many exciting things that we can learn from its ecosystem. Bitcoin also created liquidity for all other cryptocurrencies. It is, in essence, the gateway for many into the industry. Even though we want Cardano to lead the next decade of crypto we must also remember that we would not be here without the original virtual asset.

The industry as a whole is doing well after the crypto winter. Bad actors and easy money are leaving the ecosystem and we are now looking towards collaboration with other cryptocurrency projects. These could include projects like Hyperledger and Horizon. Our community, in the next decade will benefit greatly through partnerships rather than pure competition. IOHK wants to lead the way in this.

Internet of Blockchains

IOHK sees an internet of blockchains in the future. This month we will see many releases related to making that happen in the short term and long term. Coming up, we will connect Adrestia, the Haskell wallet backend and the Byron reboot node. The OBFT fork will likely be out in January, if not February. The Haskell Shelley testnet is also coming soon alongside the Shelley mainnet. We will announce official dates shortly. Afterwards, we will have to focus on Goguen.

We’re working with the Plutus team to ensure that Dapps can be written in Plutus and deployed easily from the mockchain to Cardano mainnet. Smart contracts are a high priority for our system. We believe that Marlowe, Plutus and our chosen model is superior to the EVM model. However, we do have an Ethereum interoperability strategy planned. This will be announced at a later date, but we see it happening this year.

Focus on snarks

In terms of Basho and Hydra, simulations are underway and we are excited to continue our work with them. This is also the year of the recursive snark, which will change the playing field. Snarks allow us to achieve inclusive accountability without maintaining the whole blockchain. We thank the Electric Coin company for their work on Halo which is bringing recursive snarks to the forefront. They touch on everything from outsourceable computation to privacy.

This will lead to a revolution in every cryptocurrency project that wants to maintain a competitive position as snarks develop.

To this end we have a dedicated team that is working diligently to implement Sonic. This is a snark we created in 2018. We will be having a summit in Edinburgh at the end of this month to upgrade what we have already done, examine existing snarks, and pull something like Halo into Cardano. This will ensure that we have the best in class implementation of snarks possible so that we can lead the pack.

We’re also looking at private computation. We introduced this in a paper called Kachina. This is only the beginning of many papers we will release on the topic. We believe that private smart contracts will be important in many industries from medical records to government credentials. We will be releasing a product based on this in the future.

Additionally we are interested in interoperability. We’ve made great progress in optimization and proof-of-stake sidechains. This also includes recursive snark sidechains. We wrote an internal paper internally called Lattice, in collaboration with the Horizon project. We’ll make an announcement about this in the future. The most important thing is that there is a conversation between blockchains which interact with one another. We’re excited to see where this goes because it allows us to grow into the world financial and social operating system.

Commercial focus

It is humbling to see the massive amount of participation from our community in the Incentivized Testnet. This is a testimony to the loyalty and pride of our supporters. We believe that we can start a revolution with what we have. An enormous amount of growth can happen very quickly with only a small community. We’re glad that we have seen a diverse group of supporters from high school students to retirees. Unifying that many people with a single message is both humbling and exciting. This year is about focus, commercialization, and disciplined development.

This is the year we come into our own. Thank you to everyone, we look forward to working together with you and building with you. This month or next month, our product managers will begin giving regular updates on each of the products within the ecosystem. This is done for both accountability and as a demonstration of responsible leadership. We’ve gone through some amazing progress regarding Cardano in the last several months and our messaging has not fully penetrated the space. The burden is on us to be better at marketing.

This month we should also see the first brand proposals for the refresh of Cardano from McCann. We will work with them and our key stakeholders to build a brand which works for everyone. IOHK has also sent a formal request to Cardano Foundation’s board to have a clear, concise Africa and Japan strategy. The Japanese strategy will be based on gaining liquidity and the African strategy will be based around representation in all 52 countries of Africa. We need both boots on the ground and projects in development for this to work. This is why it is necessary to have Emurgo, IOHK, and The Cardano Foundation aligned on the continent.

We’re looking forward to a decade in which Cardano leads the way.


Will we have nodes, pools, and passive wallets using the Haskell on testnet? Will there be another snapshot?

Are you aware of the Enigma Project of secret contracts? Will Cardano include something like this?

When Coinbase or never?

You mentioned before that IOHK is working on a project bigger than Cardano, can you talk about this?

Any updates from the New Balance pilot project?

When instant sell?

Can you by BBQ with Cardano?

Any discussion about the ITN instability right now?

Where does the ADA we’re getting rewarded come from?

Can you tell us about the Ethiopian government Cardano project?

When Hydra?

Do you think the roadmap needs to be rescheduled?

Does the Haskell node use poldercast as the pubsub networking layer?

Ethereum copying Cardano?

McCann marketing refresh soon?

What do you think about private prisons?

How do I get involved in Ethiopia?

Have you been following the debate with Erik Voorhees and Nick Szabo?

Any plans to make capping possible in stake pools?

Whats going on with Bitfinex?

Do you think that media coverage like Ethereum’s feature on VICE will smother the technical advantages of Cardano?

Did you see the new Star Wars movie?

When are you increasing the K factor?

Do you take Lion’s Mane or any other supplements?

Any bad effects of Lion’s Mane?

What is your roadmap for losing weight and staying in shape?

Have you done skydiving in Brazil?

Any chance for an internship?

Why is Cardano price not increasing?

Do you have any evidence to support the claim that other projects are afraid of Cardano?

What do you think about Vitalik meeting Putin?

Did you expand your farm with any new animals?

Is Haskell a good first programming language to learn?

Do you have any insight into the BAT project?

Would you accept an invitation to a North Korean crypto conference?

What do you think about the theory that China has thousands of tons of gold?


Incredible breakdown :pray:

Thank you very much!

Heard the AMA a few times it’s so good, and it’s amazing to see this broken down like this :+1::+1::grin:

Cardano will rule 2020 and beyond!


Very good AMA, thank you.

I wish Cardano to be on time or even before the others crypto in order to gain traction.

Happy 2020 Cardano & IOHK & Emurgo