Ethereum’s Advantage Over Bitcoin (w/ Charles Hoskinson)


ASH BENNINGTON: The future of
finance or forgettable fad? Digital assets like Bitcoin
are divisive, but some of them have made their founders
incredibly rich. This series gives
you a chance to hear from some of the most
influential people in the crypto world. And in this episode, you’ll
hear from Charles Hoskinson, one of the founders of Ethereum. He explains what the
process of creating one of the world’s most
important cryptocurrencies was actually like. CHARLES HOSKINSON: The
venture I’m usually most known for is Ethereum,
which I started shortly after setting up Invictus
innovations with Vitalik Buterin and several
other people. To understand
Ethereum, and you have to understand Bitcoin and
what problem Bitcoin solves. So Bitcoin is all about saying,
can I create a money system where Alice and Bob can
transact with each other in a trustless way and with
a decentralized database recording all
those transactions? So in other words, when
Alice sends that transaction, it gets recorded in some
magic ledger in the sky, like a giant spreadsheet in the
sky, that once it’s in there, can never go out. It’s tamper-resistant
and it’s immutable, and it’s time stamped
and auditable. So that’s a wonderful concept. And that alone, with the
notion of digital scarcity, allowed a currency to form. But the minute that
you have a currency, people immediately
start saying, well, what else can I do with it? Is it just the ability to move
value between Alice or Bob? What about the story
behind that value? The metadata, the context,
the contractual relationship. For example, what
if Alice says, I’ll mow your lawn if
you pay me $100? Well, that’s a contract. So what if Alice mows the
lawn and Bob doesn’t pay her? That can’t be reflected
in a system like Bitcoin. So what we wanted to do, is
add a programming language to a blockchain, so that these
bespoke custom transactions could be coded much the same way
someone would write JavaScript in a web browser, and that
in turn, would allow people to have any type of
financial relationship that they wanted to have. Very simple relationships
to arbitrarily complex relationships. So this was kind of the naive
notion that we had in 2013 for Ethereum is, can we
had a programming language to a blockchain so
that we can then allow people to facilitate
more complex commerce, known as smart contracts? The best projects are
projects of frustration. So most of the
people who started Ethereum, they
didn’t start and say, hey, we’re just going to go
build some magic new blockchain and it’s going to have all
these capabilities and they did this in a clean room
in a very academic way. They all started working
on other projects. For example, Jeff was
working on Mastercoin. Vitalik was working
on Colored Coins. I’d been working on BitShares. And each and every one of
us had the same scenario, where there was something
we wanted to do, but the nature of
blockchain technology or the nature of blockchains
that had already been deployed, made it very difficult
and time-consuming and expensive to do
these very simple things. So we had to say, there
must be a better way. So what occurred
was that Vitalik started aggregating really good
ideas, ideas that he learned from Sergio Lerner, ideas
that he learned while working on Colored Coins and
Mastercoin, and kind of stitched them all together
into an initial white paper. Then, all open source projects,
that attracts attention if it’s a good idea. And so we started
appearing out of the ether and discovering hey, this
is an interesting thing. I’d like to help
and collaborate. And then somewhere
along the way, we decided that it was a
good idea for everybody to meet each other. So really the turning
point between this is a discussion about
a cool thing we could do to something that
we actually wanted to devote time, money and effort
to, was in January of 2014. Most of the Ethereum
founders met up in a beach house in Miami for
the North American Bitcoin Conference. It was a wonderful trip. And we had an opportunity
to really seriously discuss not only the technology
and what it would require, but also the philosophy. What are we actually
trying to do? Now from that, we had
reached an internal consensus that this is something
we’d like to pursue. But you can’t just build
a product in isolation. You have to actually go show it
off and see if anybody cares. So we thought we were all crazy. We’d show the world
and they’d say, ah, we don’t care
about this stuff, and there’d be no interest
and we’d just all go home and go do something else. Maybe start a bakery
in Hawaii or something. So what we did, is we
went to the conference, we did some presentations. Vitalik presented
at the conference and I did a debate with Dan
Larimer and David Johnston. David represented
Mastercoin, Dan represented BitShares and
I represented Ethereum. And we got almost like a
Mick Jagger-esque rock star reception to our presentation. Vitalik, for example,
right after he presented, was mobbed by people. And it took nearly an
hour to pull him out of that circle of people
who had questions. So we realized that we had
something very, very special. The problem is then,
now we have momentum, we have something
special, we have a group of people that
are willing to do it, you very naturally go to
the next question, which is, how do you do it? Where do we do it? How do we execute? And that was the
hard part, the devil in the details behind Ethereum. ASH BENNINGTON: So,
Charles Hoskinson describes Ethereum as a
project of frustration. Looking to do more with
blockchain technology, a team headed by
Vitalik Buterin, created a coin that facilitated
so-called smart contracts. In other words,
what they created was a method for
tying transactions to real world outcomes. The creation is called Ethereum. And it has become one of the
most valuable cryptocurrencies. For Real Vision,
I’m Ash Bennington.

17 thoughts on “Ethereum’s Advantage Over Bitcoin (w/ Charles Hoskinson)”

  1. The contract part does not need to be censorship resistant and decentralized and is in fact worse for attempting to do so. Bitcoin is the killer app as only the money part needs to be censorship resistant and decentralized. Charles is a smart technologist, but doesn't understand what I've said above.

  2. Charles Hoskinson and nothing about his truly revolutionary current project, Cardano ADA? Come on. Half Ethereum genesis, sure, but look at what he's working on now!

  3. Is this representative for the quality of the rest of the shows on Real Vision? There is zero critical questioning here and basically it is just an ad. Why not ask hard questions about inherent weaknesses of oracles and how it conflicts with decentralization. The crypto space is filled with techno babble and one has to be well educated to even be able to be critical. Don’t just trust what they say at face value… verify! Real Vision could help with this education.

  4. Interesting, but very weak video, i was actually very excited to hear Charles talk about Cardano and what he's doing, why it's better, what it can do that competition can't etc etc, not how Ethereum got started. If all you have to say is i worked for X famous company/open source project it doesn't make me very confident in your current project.

  5. this video of Charles is a very old one. The title of this video mis leads into believing that this is a new interview.

  6. Dear Real Vision Finance, who cares about Ethereum? You interviewed Charles about what was essentially a stepping stone. What you want him to talk about is CARDANO, guys, that's where all the science is taking place, that's where the foundation is being laid for the future of the blockchain industry.

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