Tuesday, October 19, 2021

IOHK’s Charles Hoskinson Declares ‘Proof of Stake Is Solved’

IOHK’s Charles Hoskinson Declares ‘Proof of Stake Is Solved’

A co-creator of Ethereum, Charles Hoskinson has since gone on to serve as CEO of IOHK, the blockchain development team behind Cardano (ADA) and the Ouroboros proof-of-stake consensus algorithm. Now, hailing what he dubs as the “most significant” research paper IOHK’s ever published, Hoskinson’s declared accordingly that the standing problem of PoS is a standing problem no more. 

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PoS ‘Solved,’ Says Hoskinson

In an April 26th tweet, cryptocurrency thought leader Charles Hoskinson pointed to a newly published paper titled “Composable Proof-of-Stake Blockchains with Dynamic Availability.”

With three of the paper’s five co-authors being IOHK Chief Scientist Aggelos Kiayias and IOHK Research Fellows Peter Gaži and Vassilis Zikas, Hoskinson declared the work to be the “most significant” of “all the papers IOHK Research has written,” arguing that the Ouroboros Genesis PoS implementation can actualize “nearly identical properties to PoW”:

The advancement would indeed be a significant one, since one of the long-standing critiques against PoS-based consensus algorithms is that they’re unproven compared to Proof-of-Work-based algorithms.

Tweet Posted to r/Ethereum, Buterin Responds

Going into the belly of the beast, as it were, Hoskinson posted his announcement tweet in r/Ethereum, entitling the thread “Proof of Stake is Solved.”

Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin responded in short order, setting off a brief and restrained back-and-forth in which Hoskinson and Buterin lobbed technical points at each other:


Buterin listed out a series of queries, including what Hoskinson’s team meant by “‘composable’ proof of stake blockchains.”

In kind, Hoskinson briefly explained that the “composable” in “composable PoS blockchains” refers to “Universal Composability: https://eprint.iacr.org/2000/067. Tl;dr PoS without checkpoints,” writing:


The exchange between Buterin and Hoskinson ended in the thread after these initial remarks.

Getting Some Ribbing In

All being mild, of course, but the Cardano thought leader definitely didn’t resist pointing to the competitive tensions that were at play.

Later, the IOHK CEO also tweeted out his incredulity over Buterin’s previous suggestion on Reddit that Ouroboros Genesis assumes an honest majority:

To this last point, Ethereum researcher Vlad Zamfir chimed in, asserting “two significant deviations” from the honest majority assumption Charles was referring to:

It’ll certainly be interesting to watch, then, as the rivalry between backers of Ouroboros and Casper continues on in the months ahead. It seems neither side will be seeing eye-to-eye on key technical points any time soon.

Hoskinson Joins CoinDesk Boycott

Buterin and Hoskinson may not see eye-to-eye on everything, but of note is that the latter will be joining the former’s boycott of CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018 conference:

What’s your take? Do you think Ouroboros or Casper will end up winning the day? Or both or neither? Let us know what you think in the comments below. 

Images via Reddit, Freepngimg

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