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Cardano’s Hoskinson Highlights Growth But Community Seems Unsatisfied

Last Updated November 2, 2023 5:35 PM
James Morales
Last Updated November 2, 2023 5:35 PM

Key Takeaways

  • Charles Hoskinson founded Cardano after splitting from Ethereum.
  • In the project’s early years, Hoskinson’s company IOG maintained a firm grip on the network’s governance.
  • With Cardano moving toward greater decentralization, building community support has been challenging.

One of Etherteum’s cofounders, Charles Hoskinson was ousted from the project after losing out to Vitalik Buterin in the battle for Ethereum’s soul. Hoskinson wanted to accept venture capital investments and create a for-profit entity to govern the platform.

Buterin, on the other hand, was committed to decentralized governance and loathed the prospect of letting a private company control Ethereum.

After parting ways with Buterin, in 2015, Hoskinson and fellow Ethereum alumni Jeremy Wood founded IOHK, an engineering company most famous for creating the Cardano blockchain. Yet IOHK (since rebranded as IOG) insists that it doesn’t own Cardano, and these days, Hoskinson appears to have become a vocal advocate for decentralized governance. But some critics aren’t convinced.

CIP-1694 and Cardano Governance

According to Hoskinson’s vision for decentralization, CIP-1694 aims to usher in Cardano’s “Voltaire” era: the final phase of a staggered transition from private to public control of the network. 

In the Volatire era, any ADA owner will be able to submit a Cardano Improvement Proposal (CIP), while stake pool operators and delegate committees will be able to vote on any proposed changes, much like the current Ethereum governance model.

CIP-1694 Cardano governance
Under CIP-1694, different types of governance actions have different endorsement requirements

As part of the new governance reforms, in April, Cardano implemented its first-ever community vote , giving stake pool operators a say in the future of ADA staking rewards.

Community Skeptical of NAMI Acquisition

Although CIP-1694 promises to loosen IOG’s grip on Cardano, the community is still concerned about centralization. One big sticking point that appears to have irked users recently is IOG’s acquisition of the Cardano browser wallet NAMI.

As one X user warned, the NAMI acquisition “rings monopoly bells,” and threatens to give the wallet an unfair advantage over alternatives.

What’s more, IOG’s move to purchase NAMI isn’t the Cardano the developers only controversial enterprise. 

Privacy Diehards Suspicious of Cardano Sidechain

First announced in November 2022, Midnight is a privacy-focused Cardano sidechain with smart contract functionality.

However, after a widely cited interview with Hoskinson appeared to imply that Midnight would have some kind of back door for authorities, privacy advocates became suspicious of the project. Notably, Monero supporters have been quick to criticize perceived weaknesses in the proposed design of Midnight’s native token Dusk.

Hoskinson Lashes Out at Cardano Critics

In response to recent criticism, on Wednesday, November 1, Hoskinson called out the “actively hostile” reception of Cardano products and services.

Calling for the support of the Cardano community, he said: “If we are going for number 1, then we need to stop being drama queens and focus on building, partnering, and welcome new positive developments.”

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