Here are five things you might not know about this entrepreneur and mathematician.
1. Early Interest in Cryptocurrency: Hoskinson quit a consulting job in 2013 to focus on cryptocurrency projects, going "all-in." This career move came from a belief that the limited supply of Bitcoin BTC/USD made it a form of digital gold and opened up a world of potential use cases for cryptocurrency.
Hoskinson was the founding chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation’s education committee and also established the Cryptocurrency Research Group in 2013.
2. Helped Lead Two Top 10 Cryptocurrencies: Hoskinson met Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin while at the Bitcoin Education Project. The duo along with several others created Ethereum, where Hoskinson briefly served as the CEO of the project.
Hoskinson helped design the ICO for Ethereum and also made the decision to register the foundation in Switzerland.
Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) was founded by Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood in 2015 as a blockchain infrastructure research and engineering company. Today, IOHK builds blockchain infrastructure solutions for public companies, private companies and government clients.
Cardano was launched in 2017 as a third-generation cryptocurrency and smart contract platform.
Today, Ethereum and Cardano are the second- and eighth-largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization valued at $307.1 billion and $28.3 billion, respectively.
3. Falling Out With Buterin: Hoskinson and Buterin disagreed over the long-term vision of Ethereum, which led to a falling out. Hoskinson left Ethereum in June 2014 and went on to form IOHK with Wood.
It is rumored that Buterin removed Hoskinson from Ethereum over a dispute of whether the project should be commercial (Hoskinson’s side) or a nonprofit (Buterin’s side).
Some say Hoskinson quit the project and others stand by the belief that he was personally fired by Buterin.
4. Philanthropic Efforts: In September 2021, Hoskinson donated $20 million to Carnegie Mellon University to establish the Hoskinson Center for Formal Mathematics. The center has a goal to improve global access to mathematics and increase collaboration among educations, researchers and learners.
“By enabling a new way of doing math and creating collaborative digital libraries for mathematical tools, we can accelerate discoveries in a broad range of disciplines,” CMU President Farnam Jahanian said at the time.
Hoskinson said the donation could help bring together the “best minds in mathematics, computer sciences and machine learning.”
IOHK also donated $500,000 in Cardano cryptocurrency to the University of Wyoming in 2020. The donation was part of a partnership with IOHK to establish Wyoming as a leader in blockchain technology. Hoskinson said his hope was the donation would help bring talented team members to the university.
“We think it is an obligation that if you hire people you try to keep them at home,” Hoskinson said.
5. Worked on Ron Paul Presidential Campaign: Hoskinson was a member of the presidential campaign for Republican candidate Ron Paul in 2008. Paul argued that a monetary system based on fiat money was unstable, which drew Hoskinson in.
“When Bitcoin came out, it was like the spiritual successor to what Ron Paul was talking about,” Hoskinson said of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin whitepaper.
Paul lost the Republican party nominee for the 2008 Presidential Election and finished fourth among candidates. John McCain won the nominee with 1,378 delegates, while Paul had 14.
“I worked with Ron Paul. I knocked on doors until my hands bled for Ron Paul,” Hoskinson tweeted.
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