Charles Hoskinson, CEO of IOHK, a “technology company committed to using peer-to-peer innovations to provide financial services to the three billion people who don’t have them,” gave a talk at the Ethereum Classic Summit in Hong Kong that just concluded on Tuesday. In the talk, Hoskinson outlined some of his hopes for the platform, as well as some suggestions for how to continue its development.
The first portion of his talk was dedicated to some of the philosophy behind ETC and what makes it unique, and in his opinion, better than Ethereum. In his words, ETC is a better flavor of digital gold.
He spent some time talking about the infamous DAO hack that caused Ethereum to split, as well as the recent parity “hack” that has so far frozen millions of dollars in funds.
Hoskinson describes these events as needing to “eat your vegetables.” His intent behind this phrase is that all technologies are going to have growing pains, and we cannot simply hard fork every time something bad happens. Hoskinson gave the example of Mt. Gox and Bitcoin, saying that the community didn’t hard fork in order to undo the losses incurred in the Mt. Gox hack and insolvency. He went further to say that a strong cryptocurrency must be based on a solid foundation, and cannot continuously fork to chase constantly changing ideals.
One theme of this section was “code is law” and “the world computer,” the second of which Hoskinson stated was always the preferred ideology of Vitalik Buterin. Since ETC and ETH split, “code is law” has been the philosophy and ideology of Ethereum Classic.
The second part of his talk was about the Ethereum Classic community. In his own words, Ethereum Classic is “moving faster than bitcoin.” He did admit, however, that this was also partly due to the advantage of hindsight that other cryptocurrencies lacked.
The final part of his speech focused on the technology behind Ethereum Classic, and some suggestions that Hoskinson has for the future of ETC. He briefly discussed the Mantis client, and how it is much lighter and more efficiently coded than the latest bitcoin core.
Hoskinson then posed the question, “Where do we go?” As for whether or not ETC should follow Ethereum in its transition into a proof-of-stake model, Hoskinson suggested that ETC should stay as a proof of work currency. He noted that while it may become necessary in the coming years to prepare for quantum computing, which he mentions could happen in as little as ten years from now, that ETC should generally stay the course in terms of utilizing proof of work. Specifically, he suggested that various code changes could be made in order to provide adequate and ever evolving protection from quantum computing.
Hoskinson did concede that not everyone involved with ETC agrees with his proposal to stay with proof of work. He instead suggested that a big public discussion was the best way to decide how to guide the technology over time.
Hoskinson concluded his speech with a discussion about how to fund development of ETC. He mentioned how many cryptocurrencies employ ICOs in order to raise operating capital, but that an ICO was not a viable choice for ETC. Instead, he mentioned a concept that he called a “treasury.”
In a treasury model, according to Hoskinson, each time a block is mined, a small portion of the block reward would be reserved and sent to an ETC treasury. These funds collected in the treasury could then be used to fund development, marketing, or other efforts to grow ETC. He noted that it’s possible such a treasury model could potentially generate tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in capital each year.
This idea is very similar to that of how Dash currently funds its own development, and Hoskinson makes note of this similarity. While this idea has yet to be formally adopted by the ETC community, it’s safe to say that such a suggestion would provide a large boost to interest in supporting the platform.
What do you think about the future of Ethereum Classic? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Images via IOHK//YouTube, Ethereum Classic