Cardano (ADA) CEO Charles Hoskinson Hosts a Surprise AMA
In a recent surprise Ask Me Anything (AMA) session, the CEO of IOHK, the company behind Cardano (ADA), cleared a lot of doubts about the future of the cryptocurrency as well as about his own self.
A question asked in the AMA was “What are Charles’ credentials?” to which Charles replied:
“There’s been some back and forth about my credentials. This is always a fun topic—Jackson Palmer, the Dogecoin founder mentioned it and people scoured my LinkedIn page, which, by the way, is incomplete. So while I did graduate, I did not finish a Ph.D. When I retire, I probably will go back—although I’ll study different things. At that time, I was interested in a field of number theory called Additive Number Theory and I was really interested in why integers change under addition. So it was all kinds of interesting things like sieve theory and so forth that give you great algorithms to study these things and understand these things both from an applied to theoretical standpoint. That type of research has almost nothing to do with the cryptocurrency space or software engineering or protocol development. So I’m willfully unqualified to do those things—which is why we have a very talented Chief Scientist, Professor Aggelos Kiayias. And we have people like Phil Wadler and Duncan Coutts and others on the team who do that work because they’ve devoted near lifetimes, in the case of Wadler, and decades, in the case of Duncan, towards those ends. The reality about research is that no matter what your credentials happen to be, you need to have three characteristics to be successful.”
He then went ahead and talked about what those three characteristics are
“First, you have to fail, you have to repeatedly fail. If you’re very young and you get successful early on, that’s a horrible thing because you start believing you can’t fail or that there’s something special about you. The reality is that no matter who you are, where you come from, or how smart you are, you’re going to make mistakes. And it’s not about whether you’re going to avoid mistakes or not, it’s about what you do when you make them, and what you learn from them, and how you grow from them. Second, you have to be able to work in a team environment. Research is a team sport. There’s 10 people working on Ouroboros—they come from different universities, different wakes of life, some are more mathematically oriented, some are more workhorses, some are idea people who don’t like writing things down but come up with profoundly amazing ideas. But you need that team and you need that team to actually work together. And third, you need to be able to shamelessly borrow from your competitors because they come up with brilliant ideas too and in some cases, much better ones than you. So that’s credential free and you don’t really need credentials to get there and to do that.”
The community had asked him to elaborate on the ADA token too, and so he did that as well:
“ADA as a token serves many different features. So, it has the traditional legacy cryptocurrency features that Bitcoin encumbers, which is, it’s a stored value and you can use it as a means of exchange and it’s easy to teleport around the world so that’s a baseload thing and as you gain more population and more utility around it as a payment system like, for example, if gaming and gambling came in or other such things came in, that in itself would justify a very large capitalization and a large user base. But as a proof of stake system and one that intents on having governance and Treasury put in, ADA also represents other dimensions as well as being a computation token. So, in terms of the other dimensions, proof of stake requires some notion of who should be in charge to make the next block. So, there’s many ways to hold these elections but the consensus with most proof of stick architects is this idea of saying your chance of winning is somehow connected to the amount of tokens you have. Ouroboros is no different. We follow a protocol called Follow the Satoshi for the original Ouroboros and we have some slight variations of that for other versions. But the basic concept is if you have 25% of the supply, 25% of the time, you ought to be elected or have the right to delegate that to someone else to make the next block. And ideally, you would care about making that block because you own money in the system and if you don’t, system’s value goes down.”