The Third Generation of Cryptocurrency [Charles Hoskinson]

What comes after Ethereum?

Watch Charles' full talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ja9D0kpksxw

Apologies for the bad sound, I moved house and lost my microphone for a while. I'll get it back.

Response from a listener (DaveJ on our Discord):

@swyx enjoyed the last mixtape about Cardano. You closed with the same thoughts that I had initially about academic peer review and how it could slow down progress and network building. I was looking at it through the lens of the usual startup advice "ship quickly and iterate to PMF". You might be coming from a different angle. Charles Hoskinson has talked about this before and here is a summary of his points that appealed to me.

1. Proof is in the pudding. Cardano's main competitors are Ethereum and Polkadot. Ethereum has been trying to do PoS a year longer than Cardano, Cardano shipped PoS first despite the fact that they did it through peer review. Polkadot copied Cardano's PoS protocol for their ecosystem. So Cardano's competitors either copied them or took longer to get to market despite the fact that they are following a startup-y "move fast and break things" mentality.

2. Code is law. Rigour is important in a way that you don't usually see in startup-land. Blockchain is immutable. Making unplanned changes is very difficult and recovering from mistakes is often not possible. For this reason, rigour is super important when designing protocols. Having hundreds/thousands of blockchain/math/CS academics read and peer review your paper provides some of that rigour. Also, because of the compositional nature of blockchain protocols, upfront investments tend to compound over time. I now think academic peer review is a net positive for Cardano (against my initial intuitions). Still though, Bitcoin and Eth were around first and have a head start in network building. Perhaps the inflection point has been hit and the winner(s) are already decided. It doesn't feel like that though. It feels like we're only getting started.

2021 Swyx