Charles Hoskinson, the Founder of Cardano and the Co-Founder of Ethereum spoke about the inception of Ethereum and his role in the project, during a conversation with Mpho Dadaga.
Charles said that if the team had anticipated that Ethereum would become the second biggest cryptocurrency in the market, then the team would have planned things out. He said that they had realised that they had something very substantial towards the end of the Bitcoin conference in Miami.
“So, we got Vitalik… his presentation was really swarmed. Like a rock star… he kind of had a second tier speaking slot and he goes on and they only gave him 25 minutes. He says, let me introduce Ethereum. He put this thing on the slide, shows you how you can do master coin and 20 lines of code and then 13 lines of code or something like that”
Charles continued to say:
“And then he [Vitalik] says, any questions? everybody in the room raises their hands. And I felt so bad for the speaker that had to follow them because they had only time for like 3 minutes of questions. So when Vitalik left, everybody just left the room and the speaker comes up there and the room is empty.”
This eventually led to the creation of two groups in the Ethereum team, one being the business group and the other being the technical group. The business group members were Joseph Lubin and Anthony Di Lorio. The technical group members were Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood. Charles Hoskinson along with Mihai Alisie managed both the group of Ethereum.
Charles continued to say that in the beginning, they had two options on how to build the project. The first option was to do what Ripple did and have a profit company, venture capital, funding type hierarchy, very disciplined and focused, like a Silicon Valley startup. The second option was to create a non-profit company and issue a crowdfund and use the funds to build the protocol. The team called the options as crypto-Google and crypto-Mozilla.
According to him, the business group of Ethereum preferred the crypto-Google option which was opposed by the technical group because they thought it would compromise the integrity of the project.
However, Charles was concerned that if there was no proper structure then the whole project would probably burn through its capital soon and have a lot of problems. This resulted in a meet up held in the month of June 2014, where Vitalik decided to choose crypto-Mozilla, a non-profit company.
This was followed by Charles leaving the team after some time, after which few other members including Anthony went on their own paths. He said that this was the right decision to make at that time. According to Charles, Ethereum lost almost $9 million out of the $18 million they had raised because of the Bitcoin collapse, which went down from $600 to $250. Furthermore, the team spent the other $9 million in launching their project.