Ethereum Classic For Investors #11 – 2017 Q1 Update With Former Ethereum Co-Founder, Charles Hoskinson

Tai Zen and I had an opportunity to speak to former Ethereum Co-Founder, Charles Hoskinson about Ethereum Classic (ETC) off the record last Friday. Much of it was encouraging and makes us feel confident about holding our ETC position because there is a real community and development behind it.

Whether a coin or other project is a “scam” or not, ultimately depends on the people that are behind it. ETC is definitely not a scam, despite what its critics say, but success is not guaranteed either.

We believe ETC is now led by Charles Hoskinson and his company IOHK the same way Vitalik Buterin and the Ethereum Foundation lead the development of Ethereum (ETH).

Charles will vehemently deny this and argue he is simply part of the larger ETC community collectively making decisions together.

While this may one day be true when ETC grows large enough, and would survive even if Charles goes away (as Bitcoin did when it’s inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto left), that is not true this year, nor perhaps next year.

Consider that IOHK has:

  • Hired community managers
  • Is leading the discussion of developing a roadmap
  • Creating new governance structures to avoid problems of Ethereum Foundation
  • Funding development of a brand new, built from scratch, full node client written in Scala by hiring 7 software engineers to rebuild Ethereum Classic (https://iohk.io/blog/ethereum-classic/introducing-the-grothendieck-team/)

All of this and more is documented in a recent blog post (https://iohk.io/blog/ethereum-classic-an-update/).

All of this is being funded by Charles and IOHK.

Although there are other volunteer members of the ETC community as with any open source project, both the financial and thought leadership behind ETC is Charles.

As far as we know, other high profile supporters of ETC such as Barry Silbert and Chandler Guo are merely investors. They’re no different than us except they have a lot more money. They’ve taken large positions in ETC, but haven’t directly contributed to its technical development or roadmap to my knowledge.

All of this is good news for ETC investors.

It means there’s organized leadership and a professional organization behind ETC in the form of Charles and IOHK, the same way there is for ETH in Vitalik and the Ethereum Foundation. The governance structure will be different and the Ethereum Classic community hopes to have a more decentralized model than Ethereum has with Vitalik and the Ethereum Foundation.

For investors, the significance is that funding is no longer an issue as IOHK has sufficient resources (I will speculate similar amount of resources as the Ethereum Foundation) to drive Ethereum Classic development forward.

Several months ago when I interviewed members of the ETC community, my concern was that nearly all the resources for Ethereum were contained in the Ethereum Foundation.  ETC would be starved for funds.

Sure, there were volunteers that could help with development, but no one can work for free forever.

Even Bitcoin Core eventually needed financial backing in the form of Blockstream and MIT.

That is no longer the case as Charles and IOHK have committed to driving ETC (as its principles) forward and have enough financial and intellectual capital for it to succeed.

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