Charles Hoskinson is a mathematician, the former CEO of Ethereum, and the founder and current CEO of blockchain company Input Output (IOHK). Additionally, Hoskinson is the co-founder of blockchain projects Cardano and BitShares.
Hoskinson entered the crypto space in 2013 through Invictus Innovations, a company he founded with developer Dan Larimer to launch the BitShares network. Bitshares is a crypto platform organized as a decentralized autonomous corporation — a term Hoskinson claims as his own. In a DAC (similar to a DAO), the company is managed by its shareholders and the protocol rather than a hierarchical tree of managers.
Later in 2013, Hoskinson started the Bitcoin Education Project, an online school where he met fellow Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. This led to Hoskinson becoming one of the eight original co-founders of Ethereum. While still in the early stages of the project, Hoskinson and the group proposed clashing visions for the structure of Ethereum. Hoskinson argued the platform should be a for-profit entity with a formal governance structure while Buterin sought to make it a nonprofit organization that was open-source and decentralized in governance. Hoskinson characterized the dispute as a “boardroom brawl,” and departed from the project in June 2014.
Later in 2014, Hoskinson collaborated with former Ethereum employee Jeremy Wood to create IOHK. IOHK’s aim was to be a third-party development company that would assist companies, government entities and academic institutions in building cryptocurrencies and blockchains.
Ethereum split into two following a controversial upgrade in 2016, leading to the creation of Ethereum Classic. Hoskinson became one of the leading supporters of the platform, using resources and developers from IOHK to build up the cryptocurrency. Today, IOHK is primarily involved in its own smart-contract cryptocurrency Cardano (ADA)., which aims to compete with Ethereum.
By Matthew Kimmel and Alyssa Hertig