Charles Hoskinson is best known today as a co-founder of both Ethereum and IOHK, where he leads the research, design and development of Cardano. But before these projects, there was Bitcoin. Back in 2013, he was the founding chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation’s education committee and established the Cryptocurrency Research Group.
In an interview with Bitcoin Magazine during the recent StartEngine Summit, Hoskinson began by saying that he views Bitcoin as a series of experiments to try and realize two key concepts:
“Can we achieve a decentralized form of value transfer or some sort of proto-money, and, instead of having a central entity issuing a token and securing it, can we release something decentralized with a secure ledger? And, if that happens, will it achieve real value in the marketplace?”
In the early days, said Hoskinson, it wasn’t clear if this thing was going to survive or not. “It actually took several years for that to turn into the bitcoin we know and love,” he said. “It had huge volatility in price. The volume would be $1,000 a day, the hashrate would go way up and way down. Some people would say, ‘Eh, I don’t wanna mine anymore.’ They’d turn their computer off, and the network would lose 30 percent of its hashrate.”
But the sea of change for Bitcoin took place in 2013. “As the market cap hit one billion, people started taking it really seriously. Many people entered the space, and, at that point, it became clear bitcoin was here to stay.”
The experiment was succeeding.Lessons to Learn
“At that point, there were open questions that should have been rigorously analyzed,” he said. “We should have said, “Great, this concept is good, but now let’s re-iterate upon it and do it properly. What was really disappointing to me over the last five years I've professionally been in the space is that nobody took the time to rigorously solve these problems.”
Hoskinson evoked UTXO wallets, which Satoshi w...