Charles Hoskinson's Important Shelley Announcements and Surprise AMA Recap

Charles Hoskinson’s Important Shelley Announcements and Surprise AMA Recap

Recap by @Eric_Czuleger Content Writer from IOHK

On Friday, Charles dropped a surprise AMA from our new offices in Longmont, Colorado, beating by a day his earlier commitment to announce some dates before the end of August. Amid the pantheon of Charles’ many AMAs since the project kicked off, it will probably go down as one of the most important. Within it, you’ll hear definitive information on the rollout of the network Shelley Rust testnet, as well as the news that real staking will be introduced in Q4 – effectively marking the beginning of the Shelley era. You’ll also hear a powerful appraisal of the Cardano project, dismantling critics with the achievements of the past several years.

For those of you who haven’t had a chance to sit down and watch the full talk we wanted to give you a brief rundown of what was discussed. We also distilled down answers to important questions raised in the conversation. If you’d like to watch the full talk, you can check it out right here:

Quick Video Breakdown

-The network testnet will launch in the middle of September. (Earliest Sept 15)

-The announcement of the launch of the incentivized testnet will happen on Sept 28.

-Ouroboros Hydra will be complete in September, finalizing Ouroboros research.

-There is an upcoming hackathon at the University of Wyoming on September 20th.

-The next update to Plutus will also happen in September.

-Cardano set out to solve the problems of crypto through first principles thinking.

-We’d like staking to be possible on the Yoroi wallet.

-We hope to see hosting on a small device like a raspberry pi.

-The biggest challenge of the last four years has been believing that doing the impossible was possible.

Updates on Cardano

(2:00) The rust client testnet and the networking testnet are stable after being released to the community and fixing hundreds of bugs. With the launch of Shelley we will be moving to a distributed and incentivized testnet. This will let us start to build up a community of stake pool operators and allow people to make real money through real world rewards. The network testnet will be shipping next month. At the earliest, September 15th.

(4:01) Furthermore, Charles will be traveling to Bulgaria on the 28th to celebrate the second anniversary of the launch of Byron. From there he will announce the launch of the incentivized testnet, which is essentially the roll out of Shelley.

(7:25) The big month of September

In September we are also expecting that Ouroboros Hydra will be complete. This is the final advancement in the research of the Ouroboros protocol. This is important because it is the realization of all previous research around creating a workable proof-of-stake platform. It also allows sharding as well as global scaling. The completion of Ouroboros stands to be a major step forward in solving the proof-of-stake problem in computer science.

On September 20th there will be a major hackathon at the University of Wyoming, it will be attended by 500 developers along with the governor of Wyoming. There, we will unveil the next update to Plutus. This will allow developers to build applications and smart contracts that will work on the Cardano network. The recently released Plutus book and Udemy course will help achieve parity with the Ethereum ecosystem by educating the community on building with Cardano.

Questions and Answers:

(16:03) What do you think about Algorand?

We believe that they’re a good team with great people. Charles previously tweeted that he sees more competition in the space as a positive. Algorand will be around within the next five to ten years just like IOHK. However, we believe that IOHK is at least two years ahead of Algorand due to starting sooner and having a more holistic view of what the crypto space requires. This includes everything from interoperability, to a treasury, and voting system. We look forward to learning from them as much as they learn from IOHK.

(19:15 to 26:37) as one YT commenter puts it, this section is “probably one of the greatest speeches I have ever heard.” You can make up your own mind about that. But if you don’t have time to watch the whole video, don’t miss this section where Charles outlines all the project’s achievements, as he expertly dismantles ‘scam’ criticism. Inspiring stuff and a true mic drop moment.

(26:59) How long will the test run before moving onto the main net?

That announcement will be made on the 28th.

(27:17) Is Phil Wadler still working at IOHK?

Absolutely, he is currently training up some graduate students and writing papers.

(27:50) Comment: You could do a better job at expectation management.

We can confirm that managing expectations within the crypto space is difficult. The problem lies in the fact that no one in the industry starts from first principles. There is a big difference between what a technology can do and what it will actually be used for. While many actors in the space simply copied the work of Satoshi Nakamoto, they never considered ensuring the system could scale to billions of people. This is not a business problem, but a computer science problem.

The industry is getting to the point where scaling to the global level is possible. Now that we understand that the scalability is on its way, it’s important to start thinking about the business model that will allow this to happen. The best way to find out how to do this is to experiment.

As long as the goal is to change the world, then projects stand a chance of doing exactly that, but it’s crucial to start from first principles.

(32:18) How far apart are Cardano and Ethereum? I keep hearing that Cardano is two years behind.

Ethereum is actually two years behind Cardano given the fact that they have to invent many of the protocols which Cardano has already developed. They then have to implement the protocols into a large system which is already running. Imagine changing tires on a moving car. It’s even harder to change the tires on a moving big rig. Updating Ethereum’s capabilities is like that. Cardano has a superior smart contract system which is a superset of their model, it supports two accounting systems including extended UTXO and Ethereum style accounts. Furthermore, Ethereum has abandoned the idea of on-chain governance.

(34:24) Charles do you pay close attention to what your competitors are doing in order to orient and respond accordingly or are you locked in your own strategy?

We pay close attention to all competitors, which is one of the reasons that Charles travels and talks with so many people. Given that the majority of the other projects are open source many competing platforms are transparent and available for scrutiny. Eyes are kept on all aspects of each project from an academic, business, and technological angle. Adaptations are made accordingly.

(36:36) Charles why not use time locking rewards and penalties for staking?

Incentives shouldn’t be used to solve fundamental problems with your protocol. A protocol should work without incentives.

(39:20) Is anyone going to sell small staking devices displayed at the summit?

The goal is to have a reference and to see if we can get third party merchants to carry it on a hardware device. It would be very cool to see Cardano running on a raspberry Pi.

(41:33) Tezos is running fully working POS, why not Cardano?

Tezos has a different approach and they are solving different problems. Specifically, they focused first and foremost on solving the issue of governance. IOHK has been working more holistically and attempting to solve interconnected challenges through research.

(42:10) After Hydra what else is there to release?

After Hydra will come revisions of all the papers.

(42:53) Interoperability is one of the key pillars of Cardano are there any blockchain projects you simply will not engage with?

No. Cardano will engage with everyone including EOS and Ethereum. Its valuable to work with all people across various ecosystems. People are people.

(43:50) How’s Atala coming along?

It’s coming along quite well, a contract will be signed with Ethiopia fairly soon. All three countries (Georgia, Ethiopia, and Mongolia) working with Atala are looking good.

(44:20) Can we stake with Yoroi?

This is a core desire for the team and it is within their roadmap.

(45:28) What has been the hardest hurdle in the last four years?

The hardest part of the last four years was keeping the belief that it was going to work. Solving the problems of scalability, interoperability, and sustainability required developing a baseline set of innovations in order to architect a system which would work across the board. This meant writing a lot of papers and developing implementations from scratch. Basically doing things that had never been done before. It’s entirely possible to spend ten years getting nowhere, but IOHK had to set out on a path that would eventually bear fruit.

(51:59) If you did another Ted Talk, what topic would you choose?

Charles stated that he would do the same talk but he would discuss what he had learned. He went on to say that he would love to do a 10 year retrospective on what IOHK had accomplished.

(53:30) How does IOHK hand Cardano to the community once the governance system is

Cardano will deal with governance in stages. Systems will only be useful if there is high participation. The first step is building the infrastructure to generate participation. This is done through everything from meetup groups to improvement proposal processes and rallying people to care. Then a democratic mechanism is created which is the voting system itself this could be anything from casting tiered votes, or spending one total unit of voting.

Ultimately though, people have to want to participate in the voting. This means ensuring that choices presented to voters are good. Cardano is seeding an ambassador program, encouraging meetups, and developing a voting protocol. It will then work to encourage participation. Over time, eventually, this system will become more decentralized and IOHK will eventually be a small voice in a very big ocean. Which is the way it should be.

Let us know if you like these kind of recaps in the comments below! Your feedback is always appreciated! :+1:


Great recap - always worthwhile. thanks,


51:16 DeMarcus … Haha

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Buen resumen, muchas gracias :grin: Come on #cardano :muscle: #ada

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Great AMA. Hope Eugene learnt something :grin:


Great summary , although I watch usually the whole videos of Cardano

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Sorry to crash the party, but the rust network testnet (phase 2) has not shipped yet. So phase 1, self-node is stable yes - the network is yet to be delivered and tested. Likely end of September as stated in the AMA.
Just to be precise and avoid a backlash later on :slight_smile:


I was to harsh indeed. But yes, as also Charles says there is little commercial value at the moment. Anyway I didn’t sold any ADA and I will continue to hodle and believe in Cardano project.


Thanks for chiming in, and your support, Eugen. Welcome to the Cardano forum! :slight_smile:

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I just want to say that, people who are intersting in crypto project should understand how hard is to code new project from sratch, I am not suprise why Shelly was not launched in the 2Q, because you cant anticipate every single steps. I am working as programmer (not cardano) but I understand how projects are developing. Price always will be as manipulation, but the key is how climate in a cardano business? My first wish for christmas this year is Shelley release.


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Hi @sendit,

Thanks for your feedback and your first post on our forums, it is always appreciated. Please familiarize yourself with our Community Code of Conduct as to what is appropriate feedback (language) and what isn’t. :slight_smile: