In a recent interview with Lex Fridman, Charles Hoskinson, the founder of Cardano and co-founder of Ethereum, gave his views on Bitcoin. The 33 year old was less than polite, called it “slow” and badly needed an upgrade. Hoskinson also looked at the recent Bitcoin conference in Miami and compared the whole thing to a ridiculous religious movement.
“I have not been able to understand all my life, what the hell is the point of Bitcoin?” asked Hoskinson.
But while Bitcoin has proven itself to be an adaptable blockchain with a decade-long history, many within the crypto industry have significant questions about the “point” of Hoskinson’s own Cardano project.
A week before this interview was broadcast, Vitalik Buterin sat down with Fridman for a lively discussion. The Russian-Canadian programmer was asked about Cardano and whether or not he thought Hoskinson’s project was a future. Buterin criticized Cardano’s confidence in the peer review system. Instead of focusing on academic evidence, Buterin prefers a heuristic approach. That was a clever dig, a super geek microphone case.
Related: Bitcoin is “its own worst enemy” and will lose to Ethereum: Charles Hoskinson
For those unfamiliar with Cardano, the idea of Peer review is a leitmotif of the burgeoning proof-of-stake blockchain platform. We are told that this has excited investors. And so it should be in an ideal world. Peer review is the most important metric against which scientific legitimacy is measured. The assessment process is invaluable for progress.
At Cardano, it has been suggested that the term “peer review” is little more than a clever marketing ploy, an ingenious way of adding a touch of superiority to the proof-of-stake blockchain platform. However, Hoskinson is a staunch advocate of peer review and fiercely defends any criticism that comes his way. He seems to be fully invested in academic evidence. But is that a wise investment?
If one actually examines the state of today’s peer review system, the answer seems to be no. After all, we are told that the peer review system is downright “toxic”.
Last year, David Rosentahl, a well-respected British-American scientist, wrote an article entitled Breaking: Peer Review is broken. As Rosentahl argues, Peer Review has been in a ruinous state for “well over a decade” with cases of fraud occurring regularly.
How science The magazine warned in 2018: “The number of articles withdrawn from magazines has increased tenfold in the last 10 years”, with fraud accounting for “around 60% of these withdrawals”. Three years later it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. If anything, they keep getting worse.
In everything from math to social science, the peer review system continues to be plagued by prejudice and tribalism.
John Baumgardner, Ph.D. asks, “Are there circumstances in which the scientific method should work, but for which the method works? Not Delivering “an accurate representation of the world” – that is, a correct description of the way things really are? ”Unfortunately, Baurngardner concluded:“ The answer is yes ”. To paraphrase Masonic Dyson, science is more mystery than truth.
What the hell is the point of Cardano?
If Bitcoin is nothing more than an overzealous religious movement, then what is Cardano? Fridman put this question to Hoskinson, who then spoke for nine minutes and explained how Cardano gives “digital identities” to people in developing countries.
Others, however, see the idea of Hoskinon as something far less noble. According to Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital, Cardano is a “cult” and a “strange” one at that. This would make Hoskinson a cult leader by default.
Whatever the pros and cons of the technology underlying the Cardano blockchain, and whatever Hoskinson’s devotees may see worth investing in, the concern is that the cult of science is very real – and that over-reliance on the peer review process could prove highly problematic.
The irony of Hoskinson’s argument is that while Satoshi Nakamoto did not jump through the peer-reviewed tires to publish his whitepaper, the market itself has already judged Bitcoin. If peer review “tThe evaluation of the work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work“Then Bitcoin has been positively rated by some of the world’s most talented developers for a decade.
It certainly has its critics. It certainly has its shortcomings. But contact with the real world has forged Bitcoin’s resilience. And whether Cardano will survive in the heat of real use is still controversial – as technology historians like to remind us, Betamax technology was also superior to VHS.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
John Mac Ghlionn is a researcher and cultural commentator. His work was done by people like. released Bitcoin Magazine, New York Post, Sydney Morning Herald, and National review. Follow him on Twitter @ghlionn