ETH v ETC Round 2: Charles Hoskinson and an analysis of the AMA with Charles Hoskinson on Steemit
High Profile Champion
Ethereum Classic exists. For better or worse it is a viable network. It has found a new and high profile champion in Charles Hoskinson.
Charles is one of the original founders of the Ethereum project. He is a thought leader in the digital currency space, having contributed to a number of important and high profile projects.
As one of the original founders of Ethereum he was instrumental in the early stages of the project’s development and ultimate realisation. Articulate and engaging, he quickly became the voice of Ethereum in its early days. He would routinely reiterate the larger vision.
After being kicked off the project prior to the funding round, he went on to form IOHK. This is a Hong Kong based technology company focused on building cryptocurrencies and blockchains for academia, government and corporations.
Dismay at Ethereum’s decision to ‘bail-out’
Since the establishment of Ethereum Classic he has taken it upon himself to champion the project. Fiercely idealistic, Charles has been very vocal in his support for Ethereum Classic and his dismay at Ethereum’s decision to ‘bail-out’ a project at the application layer.
For Charles this was a betrayal of the original vision for Ethereum which he guarded so closely. He is of the belief that Ethereum, with its complete scripting language, is still a project with incredible promise.
However, he sees Ethereum Classic as a better way to achieve that promise. For him ETC is a truly decentralized, censorship-resistant, permissionless blockchain.
In his AMA conducted on Steemit this week many interesting points were addressed. It is important to be familiar with this AMA. It directly impacts the future direction of many important projects, including Ethereum Classic.
Hoskinson was quick to re-iterate what he had been paying for some time on social media, that he is “not the leader of nor do I desire to be a leader in the ETC community.”
Though his company IOHK will certainly be contributing real world resources to the project. They “are planning on hiring a community manager and an education director in addition to the devs.”
The plan then is “for these hires to be turned over to the governance structure of ETC once that has been established.”
Going into more detail, we learn that IOHK will be hiring three full-time developers just to work on Classic. They will be in a position to begin full time work as soon as the development roadmap is resolved, “in order to determine the business and technical requirements of the development team.”
Nevertheless, IOHK has “already internally started the hiring process and will post some ads on the ethereum classic reddit alongside other sources.” The first official hire can be expected in the first weeks of September.
On Hoskinson’s own financial stake in each project he points out that he “will never buy ETH.” As he does “not believe in the team behind it, the increasingly toxic community that’s developing and also the lack of philosophical commitment of the protocol.”
LISK Fiduciary Advisor
Hoskinson also spent a significant amount of time addressing the Lisk project, of which he is a non-fiduciary advisor. Lisk is an alternate smart contracting platform with its own token and blockchain.
This is one of a number of important projects in the space Hoskinson advises on. Though he is most well known for his early contributions to Ethereum, this alternate Smart Contracting platform also indirectly impact on Ethereum and Classic, as these platforms compete for market share and developer resources.
Hoskinson went on to note that he is “unhappy with the current progress of Lisk and this stems from the small size of the core tech., their limited resources and the poor execution by the legal consultants in getting a business structure setup.”
The Ethereum project has been criticized for its governance structure.
To the extent that any issues in progression stem from governance concerns, Charles sees Ethereum Classic as a chance to correct them. For him it “makes sense to invest time and resources into a governance structure that is in some way anchored with checks and balances.”
Primarily Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and Lisk are discussed. Charles Hoskinson clearly points out his position on many key issues in relation to these projects.
IOHK… contributing real resources and attention to Ethereum Classic
As his IOHK begins the process of contributing real resources and attention to Ethereum Classic, his position becomes increasingly important. Even if he does not want any formal acknowledgment on leadership.
It will be important for the market to monitor Charles and IOHK’s position going forward.
CIVIC is a personal data app to store encrypted ID information on a mobile device where only the user decides who this data is shared with.
The app is a live working product available for download that can function as a single sign on for websites and apps. It will also soon enable a personal data KYC (Know Your Customer) sharing functionality that always requires a user’s permission to access. The app data is secured by the bitcoin blockchain and they also have a secure native token built on the Ethereum blockchain. This token is a smart contract that will act as a currency within the data ecosystem and is also called CIVIC (CVC).
If CIVIC achieves its ultimate goal of being part of the underlying identification layer for the internet then it could inflict revolutionary change. Incentivising the use of a verified identity on the internet can solve so many of today’s existing problems including Spam, Fake Reviews, Trolling and information reliability. CIVIC also enables end users to control their own data, as opposed to it being centrally stored on a database. CIVIC’s future is creating a Know Your Customer marketplace that could save users time when signing up for new online services that require customers identification.
What problems can CIVIC solve?
Much of the spam and unnecessary noise on the internet is the result of it’s anonymity. This is fine and helps nurture innovation, but if you could opt-in to receive information or messages from ‘verified’ individuals then a considerable amount of time could be saved. This is because you could choose who to filter and trust in public forums. If CIVIC was part of this solution on the internet then it would achieve enormous success. We could also see another level of innovation being enabled. It could help personal, business or even pre programmed (e.g. AI) economic decisions being made quicker and in real time for the benefit of society as a whole. Too much time on the internet is spent manually filtering through spam and CIVIC could help reduce this wastage. Any useful technology that saves time and cost will always be adopted and gain widespread appeal. This is even true if the useful technology only saves a few seconds from a certain task.
Fake Accounts / Reviews / Tickets
Fake accounts are a big problem on the internet and it’s something that seems to be proliferating with the explosion in social media. It is clear that fake accounts are used in social media to steer a particular narrative or political agenda. Fake accounts on Twitter are becoming a big issue, especially in the Bitcoin and Crypto space. Filtering out fake accounts of faceless anonymous trolls could significantly improve the overall user experience and even deter bad actors from creating fake accounts. Although an identity system will never solve every problem, it could deter this kind of foul play.
Another big problem with fake accounts is review sites like Tripadvisor, where rival hotels or businesses will fabricate reviews to bad mouth their competition. This means that the reviews on Tripadvisor can be difficult to rely on. Indeed the top rated services in a certain category are not always the best experience. Again, if it was possible to filter out unverified or certain reviews then you could save a considerable amount of time and potentially have more accurate information. This is an area outside of Crypto where CIVIC could provide some serious value. An additional idea is if CIVIC could capture people’s tastes and income bracket, which could really improve filtering out less relevant reviews for users and add perspective. After all, an expensive restaurant is less likely to get a good review from someone with less disposable income.
CIVIC could also help with live events when organisers issue and allow re-sale of tickets. There are indeed a number of other crypto projects looking at event ticketing on the blockchain ( e.g. Aventus). Such projects would be best advised to look into CIVIC as a potential identity layer as opposed to building out any proprietary KYC solution.
CIVC user data is not held on a centralised database and is instead secured cryptographically on the users device only. The end user then has to give permission for that data to be shared with any data requestor. This avoids centralised data issues that all companies face. This has been the cause of some serious data breaches in recent years (e.g. Equifax and Uber). Most companies store users personal information on insecure centralised databases that are a honeypot with an economic incentive to hack. This is a massive use case for CIVIC to help resolve. The more hacking that happens, the sooner consumers will start switching to services that adopt decentralised data applications such as CIVIC.
CVC Token for KYC Marketplace
The CIVIC token will be the payment currency for their decentralised KYC data marketplace. So when you perform identity confirmation with one service provider requiring KYC ID (e.g. a crypto exchange or bank) this data could then be securely shared to another company service provider (always with the users permission). This could save considerable time and cost for users and service providers. It also means that KYC Identification service companies can monetise their KYC efforts. KYC is costly and time consuming for businesses and is a big increasing burden for financial institutions. Therefore if CIVIC can execute effectively on this KYC Marketplace and achieve widespread adoption it would become a truly unique service adding real value to the CIVIC (CVC) tokens. These CIVIC ‘Smart Contract’ tokens would become a useful currency that is part of a thriving identity ecosystem. These tokens could even be programmed to do more in future such as profit sharing, governance or enable community participation.
Team and Development
CIVIC is backed by Vinny Lingham, a proven winner in business and also well known in the Crypto space. His business record stands for itself and he heads a growing development team working towards realising CIVIC’s full potential. Vinny has openly admitted that CIVIC receives more partnership enquiries per day than they can handle. The CIVIC team appear to have first mover advantage in the crypto identity space, which is an enormous opportunity. However because of this there is inevitably some competition hot on their heels.
The closest competition appears to be Air Sphere and Airbitz (Now Edge Secure) who are partnering on ID services with the Airbitz single sign on ‘Edge Secure’ product. Although Edge Secure is a well developed sign sign on product, it’s unclear on the real progress over at Air Sphere. It’s clear they are not as high profile and developed as CIVIC. The more serious competition comes from Blockstack, which is essentially trying to recreate the entire internet with identity services at its core. Blockstack’s launch appears to be at least a year away so CIVIC’s product will likely be released and have some adoption by then. Blockstack will be playing catch up but will provide healthy competition by the time of their launch.
If CIVIC achieves its ultimate goals it can truly become groundbreaking and inflict revolutionary change. CIVIC (CVC) is a limited supply token that should gain considerable value if the whole platform is an enormous success. This means that CIVIC (CVC) has a very good chance of being a great long term investment. Identity is one of the biggest opportunities on the internet right now and CIVIC’s competition is playing catch up.
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