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Cardano’s Hoskinson: This is Bitcoin’s worst enemy

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Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, has been the mainstay of the market for over a decade now. However, while it has continued to retain its popularity and dominance in the market over the said period, the last few months and years have also fueled more questions about BTC’s evolution, where it stands, and where it might be in the future.

In fact, these questions have become even more urgent of late owing to the emergence of 3rd generation cryptos that are focused on not only speed, scalability, and economy, but on governance too.

The same was one of the subjects touched upon by Cardano’s Charles Hoskinson during his appearance on the latest edition of Lex Fridman’s podcast.

According to the creator of Cardano, the ecosystem’s best projects and cryptos should, ideally, be self-evolving systems. Bitcoin, however, has been slow to do so, with the IOHK CEO adding,

“The problem with Bitcoin is it is so slow, like the mainframe programming of the past. And, the only reason why it is still around is because there is so much invested in keeping it around.”

Bitcoin, with its slow settlement times, low programmability, and no native way to issue assets, while an “incredible, first-generation thing,” needs a “damn upgrade,” Hoskinson went on to say. In saying so, the exec is now just the latest to underline the slow pace of Bitcoin’s development over the past few years, something that has become even more prominent on the back of the progress of other projects in the industry.

What is the solution though? Hoskinson, while he did not concede to the maximalist view of a ‘God protocol’ and a ‘winner takes all’ approach, believes that a few key changes at the protocol level, including enhancements to the network’s PoW, would make Bitcoin an “incredibly competitive system.”

On the contrary, what the exec believes is happening is that while Bitcoin’s base layer isn’t evolving at all, layer 2 stuff that is “usually highly fragile and centralized” is being worked on instead.

“It [Bitcoin] is its own worst enemy. It has the network effects, it has the brand name, it has the regulatory approval. But, there’s no way to change the prevailing system, even when they concern downsides.”

What’s more, Hoskinson also took a shot at the many who attended the hyped Miami Bitcoin conference recently, with the IOHK exec commenting that most in the community “don’t know what Bitcoin is for,” “lack commitment and focus,” and are only interested in saying “don’t worry, just buy and hold.”

Curiously, Cardano’s creator was quick to shoehorn Ethereum here in fairly complimentary terms. While Hoskinson has in the past had issues with the platform and Buterin, the former believes that Ethereum and its community do not have the same problem or resistance to evolution as many in the Bitcoin community.

In fact, Hoskinson also went as far as to claim,

“If I had to bet on just those two systems, Bitcoin or Ethereum, I would say 9 times out of 10, Ethereum would win the fight.”

That is an interesting take, especially when put in the context of what other people think about Ethereum. 1inch’s Mich Tomaino, for instance, was in the news recently after he claimed that ‘slow to evolve’ Ethereum could face a threat from Polkadot in the future.


Jibin Mathew George is Editor-in-Chief at AMBCrypto. A domain expert in International Relations (European Politics), he has always been a believer in the unlimited possibilities afforded by blockchain and by extension, cryptocurrencies. As someone who has been watching and writing about this space for over 5 years now, Jibin has closely tracked the emergence of cryptos and digital assets as a separate asset class in portfolios world over. A lawyer by training, he previously contributed to the News and Research desk of Diplomacy & Beyond Plus. Before his stint at D&B, he was Editor at ED Times. Jibin also takes a great interest in politics, especially the corresponding effect political decisions and fiscal policy have on the world of finance, with a special focus on cryptocurrencies.
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