Tag Archives: Charles Hoskinson

Cardano (ADA): Fool’s Gold

Revised 7/4/2018

We need to watch these altcoins as they grow. Cardano is finally ejecting enough nonsense — that I’ve found — to better define it as a chunk of iron pyrite? What is in the minds of their creators?

The Avant-garde Bum

Every once in a while a “professional bum” comes along and stretches your imagination, until you realize your mistake. You realize that something doesn’t smell quite right. Or maybe it doesn’t look quite right. So you rethink something, then rethink it all over again. Then you wonder if Cardano (ADA) is the real McCoy or some clone coin, ready to go bust.

In my case, for some time, the chameleon-coin has been Cardano (ADA) and Charles Hoskinson. Yes, there are multiple pieces to this puzzle. Cardano is split into different parts but I’m not on about that. I’m after the core. Where do these coders, dreamers and non-bankers, hang their hats, philosophically? What does their game-face look like? Is it Communist, Socialist or Capitalist? Anarchist? Let’s keep it simple. Is it honest?

Hoskinson (arguably the soul of Cardano) tends to compress a lot of ideas in his blogs, especially a recent one but it’s important for anyone in this space, investor, developer or even thinker, to read. (The link is at the bottom.) If only to find the poison apples in his blogs. The hidden chunks of coal that might never become diamonds. Worse yet, not even coal.

The Real McCoy

Guys like Vitalik Buterin (of Ethereum fame) don’t seem to grasp the more human element or they come across that way. How do you communicate well in this environment? It’s not just about programming and competition, it’s more than that. It has many levels. How does one engender trust? Like Hoskinson questions — is decentralization efficient and secure or is it more akin to religious fervor? After all, what is the goal here? To be distracted by Apple not playing nice with Ethereum?

At the same time, we don’t want to throw the baby out. To state that centralization is more efficient, may be true for certain aspects of the Cardano system, except its weakest link: that center. I mean, can we compare, in certain ways, Cardano to XRP? That XRP’s are on a decentralized ledger is true, but there are few players – few ledger keepers. Ripple is separate. But does Cardano have that luxury? Are they separated in that manner?

This is a money system, after all. It’s important to keep it as robust as possible. Any part of a monetary system (fiat based or otherwise) that can be attacked, will be. Hackers will exploit it. They will socially engineer. If it has a center and a minder (coder) at any level of the system, that will be its Achilles’ heel.

Cardano will have, at some point (maybe) a type of sharded decentralized ledger, but a centralized (federated?) management? Read up on Cardano, if you like. Does its structure make you feel good?

I’m sure others will find fault with Hoskinson’s recent post, but it is realistic, and a call-on-the-carpet move, right? It’s both a challenge to others, such as Ethereum (ETH) and even a current assessment of Ethereum Classic (ETC). Both are platforms he and others worked on.

Now, of course, Hoskinson and many others are working on Cardano (ADA). Like Bitcoin and many cryptocurrencies (or crypto-assets) Cardano is an international effort minus government intrusion, to a point. But it’s really no better than a potential “manifesto.”

Where does Cardano stand, philosophically? That answer will allow us to judge the decisions made by the “team” as practical, based upon the terrain (governments), so long as the “constitution” and the underlying principles are solid. But are they?

A Lugubrious Libertarian

Interestingly, Hoskinson defines himself of the libertarian bent and I think that it is important for many of us. Of course, libertarian views are not clear. Their views are too broad and so we must then judge for ourselves, what Hoskinson means. There are far-right and far-left libertarians. Some libertarians believe in communal ownership of property. So, I’m always a bit curious when someone hides in the libertarian bailiwick. Does he mean more of an Objectivist (of the Ayn Rand flavor) or some other variant?

At any rate, Hoskinson appears to be a realist and that’s good, to a point. Why? Realists are often pragmatists. But Pragmatists can have a slippery nature. They often have range-of-the-moment solutions and brittle philosophical backbones.

What do I mean by that? Let me give an example.

DAO Thugs Welcome

Let’s go back to the DAO Incident. It has many slants. It’s a good example of pragmatic-slanted (as in immoral) thinking. The one Hoskinson seems to play is the “manifesto” slant.  In other words, Ethereum should not have changed the code “manifesto” to stop an alleged thief but allowed the alleged thief to steal because that’s the way the code “manifesto” was written. Huh? Is that any better than a fervent Bitcoin supporter decrying the latest fork, that Satoshi Nakamoto must be served?

That’s how pragmatists think. Sleep in your bed, you made it – even if the window is open and the rain is blowing in. That’s not smart. Buterin (Ethereum) did the right thing, period. The “manifesto” folks state that you close the window after you discover it’s raining. The moral folks turn their time machine on, go back in time, close the window and sleep soundly. Why wouldn’t they?

Years ago I was standing in line at the local convenience store. There was a lady in front of me and the cashier advised her that her child was stealing candy. The mother’s response?

“If you didn’t want kids to steal your candy, you shouldn’t put it on the bottom shelf so easy for them to reach.”

You can understand where the mother is coming from. At home, she probably doesn’t put the cookie jar on the floor, but she was not home. She was on private property and refusing to take responsibility for her son’s actions. She was growing up a future thug and claiming that her son was a victim of the shopkeeper.

I submit, Ethereum Classic (ETC) is that wayward mother. It was the fault of the shopkeeper that a child stole the DAO candy, sayeth ETC. Reminds me of Bytecoin. They tell you there was no premine. Then ETC proceeded to put cages and bars around the groceries and candy, after the theft, to show that they supported the “Thug Life.” Here, we’ll even make some free ETC’s for you to steal again, just to show our good faith. We stick by our manifestos. If we ever put our candy on the floor again, by God, you can steal it!

Now, since Ethereum did make that decision to do the right thing and not the pragmatic and expedient one, it has not failed. Ethereum Classic (ETC) has not yet failed, but it soon might. At least that’s the impression I’m left with reading Hoskinson’s latest blog. Unless it fixes itself. But how does an appeaser coin (ETC) do that? Maybe they know it’s dying. Maybe they should admit their mistakes.

This is what I mean by having a brittle backbone. Anyone choosing not to make the victims whole (DAO Incident) has sided with the criminal in the name of the blockchain. A computer code. Really? And these are some of the same people who bring us Cardano? I guess Cardano is their “religion.” Have faith, brothers, the indelible (immutable) blockchain is “amoral” and cares not. We know this. We know that machines cannot yet think and make the right decisions, hence humans must make it right — when that’s possible. The human might have to take the damned machine thing apart, add a new piece, rework a gear, upload more software, and put it back together. That’s why humans can and should fix broken blockchains, even if that means rolling them back, most especially if it can make victims whole again. It’s not about the manifesto. It’s about what’s right.

World Winds

Another point here, that Hoskinson indicated, was how to work with people. Sometimes it only takes a beer with a pal. There’s a negative aspect to that. No, not about the alcohol, but about appearances and by that, I mean “world traveler.”

Hoskinson sends out pics of him hamming it up all over and it “appears” that he is enjoying himself. Great. (Peter the Great?) That might work for many, but Americans (I’m one) don’t often like a guy sending his pics, eating well and visiting the socialist hotbeds on investor dimes. Yes, we know it’s good to try to bring the Neanderthals (socialists) into the fold, but sometimes you must let nature take its course. And yes, we can see the effort to show the human side, but the Cardano PR department needs to do their work.

This was one of the reasons I felt that Cardano (ADA) had some issues after watching these pleasant sojourns; and that it might influence “investor relations” in a negative way. Guys like me, who have no ADA’s left. Too much risk. Let other’s buy the beer.

Young Wise Man

Intelligence. Yes, we know that a lot of the guys in this space are sharp, but weasel words can get you into a pickle. It’s not that geniuses must communicate at a basic level for the general population (the hoi polloi) to understand. Using high-brow verbiage can earn you accolades from academia, but the tone of it comes across as bitter and aloof at times. Like the wise young-old man who should probably shave before he sits atop the mountain and dispenses political advice, free of charge. Stick to code.

Socialist Window Dressing

Perhaps most troubling, at least to me, is the admission that some of the employees in the Cardano (ADA) project (IOHK etc.) are hardcore socialists and conservatives. This admission seems to imply that this “diverse enclave of thought” is somehow a good thing. Like there is some pride here. And, in the end, if others believe this, it could be, so long as everyone is fooled.

But it seems defensive at the same moment. As if someone is attempting to whitewash the fact that socialists are against free and fair trade. That they are pragmatists born of a type of pure dictatorial democracy. They are usually against private ownership. And conservatives (in the US) are now partially socialistic. It is to me, an appeal, by Cardano, to the rotten systems of Europe and the lesser free world. (This is not to say the US is perfect, but it’s certainly less socialistic than England or Canada for example.)

Can you imagine, dear reader, allowing a thief into your Cardano safe? Think about it. You have socialists involved with a monetary-like system. Oh no, we watch them closely, sayeth the programmers. And no again. They have influence. Even socialist window dressing lets a little dark in. They could have their hands on the code (ADA’s) as we speak. But they have your best interests at heart. Don’t worry. Have a beer. There are so many successful socialist countries, after all. The former USSR, Venezuela, Cuba and the list goes on and on.  

Summing Up

Watch your wallet but make money off the fools. I still think Cardano has potential, but I sense that someone is under pressure to instill a clear vision, but he is using smeared and cracked and rose tinted goggles. Has been for some time now.

Cardano could outpace many other cryptocurrencies but the most influential minds in this project need to cement their philosophies (take a stand) at a core level and refuse the slippery backward world of the pragmatic socialist. It’s not what’s practical but what’s right. Remember that Vitalik had the balls to make it right. (It’s only a suggestion but I think it’s too late.)

Looking at it again, I would posit that the American Conservative would say, “Get them there commies out of the Cardano coding rooms.” …not quite understanding that they are on the way to Red Square anyway.

The Libertarians? Hell, they are all over the place. Who knows how’d they’d react. The fact that anyone (Hoskinson) would choose to wear that cloak today, without some bit of clarity…is so pragmatic.

The thing is, people will pile onto this, if it works. That is, until the socialists and those lacking any moral foundation, begin to loot it. They always do in the end.

But you be the judge, jury…and executioner.

It looks like Hoskinson’s latest post is already doing its damage anyway.

Thanks for stopping by to see it off.

Jack Shorebird

P.S. Here’s the blog I referenced. Educational, but slanted.



Are EOS and Telegram in the Bull Pen?

Now that we have witnessed the fall of cryptocurrency prices are we about to see a resurgence?  We are advised from the newest latecomers, Wall Street transplants, who have “seen the light,” that the recent ‘retail bubble’ (something they call the recent run up in prices) is only an emotional reaction. A temporary trip as part of the longer journey that will see far higher prices (and subsequent crashes) in the next three to nine months and beyond.

And I’m not on about Metronome’s advertisement that it is trying to build a 100-year system. Such bravado is hot air considering the speed of advancing computer technology. Surely, we won’t recognize the Dapps in ten years, much less in ten decades.

But the fact remains, ups and downs lay ahead. Gosh, we didn’t know that.

One guru (Michael Novogratz) implies here that certain cryptocurrencies will attain higher values – at some future point – that will make the recent run-ups pale [my words] by comparison. Currently the entire market capitalization for crypto’s is under three hundred billion dollars but that is enormous considering that last year at this time it was one-third of that. Think back a little farther. Say 2013, April. Then the entire crypto market cap was less than two billion.

If as suggested, the crypto market attains upwards of twelve trillion dollars in capitalization and if bitcoin’s dominance remains around 40% the hint that BTC’s could be valued at over $250,000 each seems acceptable to some. What would this mean for Ethereum (ETH)? $18,000? Ripple (XRP)? $20.00?

And yet, if we check the reviews we’re being advised by Ripple that Bitcoin is now run by the Chinese and maybe that’s not so bad as long as they don’t decide to change the game and they can do that if they are able to process more than 51% of the transactions or if their government decides to order them to do so. Arguably, that would destroy the value of the system but that might be the end game. Is Ripple now pointing out the faults of other crypto-assets as well as coddling up to the regulators and schmoozing the remittance marketers?

The use case debate is in full swing. That each “blockchain” with a good social footprint or one that can solve a problem, reduce costs or secure data efficiently, will rise in value. This seems to be the common sense answer in a crypto-sphere rife with frothy FOMO. In other words, maybe we should bet on the FOMO Coin. (Seriously?) When has this market ever been logical? Maybe the captains of the trade floor are honest. The FOMO machine is alive and well and it has always worked its magic.

So what’s next? What two big bulls could break out of the FOMO bull pen and impale the investor ‘clowns?’

EOS. EOS allegedly has the speed engine and is about ready to take on Ethereum and Ripple. Yet, there are reports of problems after four billion dollars was pumped into the project. Are these growing pains? Novogratz appears upbeat about EOS. Daniel Larimer (of EOS) has had some serious success with Bitshares and Steemit already. We have seen programmers spin-off from Ethereum to help create Ethereum Classic (ETC) and from there to Cardano (ADA). I’m talking about Charles Hoskinson here. He is also a co-founder of Bitshares. Ethereum Classic just jumped in value when Coinbase advised they would be listing it. Will Coinbase list Cardano next? They have not listed Ripple (XRP) and that silence speak volumes.

If you shift gears over to Andreas M. Antonopoulos, for a moment, try to screw your head on straight? you can listen to his not so practical and lightly philosophical defense of decentralized blockchain systems and the consensus mechanism and how governments cannot be trusted to become caretakers of the code, so to speak. In truth, as Antonopoulos advises here, these blockchains (bitcoin) are voluntary and yet the idea that minorities are essentially booted off the network by a super-majority does not seem to bother him. They (the minority) can take their basketball and play elsewhere, he implies. In short, the consensus mechanism to him seems to be a ‘dictatorship by the majority.’ There is no constitutional protection here. No congress. No court. No review. Just a few guys with questionable political backgrounds and loyalties, managing the code you can ‘voluntarily’ use. Is that really ‘digital gold’ or programmed obsolescence?

Does it make a difference if something is centralized, as long as it is trusted? And who does the centralizing? Governments or companies? Programmers or consensus mechanisms? How can we put the cat back in?

Once people make their choice, perhaps as Novogratz suggests, as part of a social mechanism such as Telegram, the FOMO psychology takes over, at least until the retail bubble pops and the dust settles. This innate humanity (FOMO), at least until the regulators step in and allegedly protect those who choose to freely invest, will serve as feeding troughs for the wealthy. But if we know how they profit, we can short the FOMO too.

And that is the other bull in the pen, as I understand it. Telegram (TON).

Finally, we are informed that institutional money is ready to flow in, but custodial issues still concern the big players. Once they figure that part out and one or two step into the fray, trillions of dollars will begin to inflate the largest crypto bubble of all.

What will the repercussions be when the next ‘real’ crypto bubble pops? And for those of us who wish to retain value beyond the reach of governments, how do we balance our crypto-folios in the coming months…and years?

Thanks for stopping by.


Cardano (ADA) Drifting Lower

Dear Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts,

It appears that Cardano (ADA) may be drifting lower.

This began shortly after 8:00 a.m. Universal Time and it has continued.

The high on Binance was .00003090 Bitcoin (BTC). That’s about 60 cents, American. And that was an enormous surge.

Less than five hours later there was a drop to approximately 41 cents.

The price range of ADA is about 46 cents, currently.

This kind of pull back is normal and should be expected. Even a crash to penny value is not out of the question — and that goes for any altcoin. But I think it doubtful.

There has been a great deal of speculation, to include Charlie Lee (of Litecoin) chiming in here, just as he previously rang some bells about IOTA (MIOTA).

From Charlie Lee’s Twitter:

I just noticed Cardano (ADA) is #6 on CoinMarketCap. How did it become a $10B coin when it’s only 3 months old and the only major exchanges trading it is Bittrex and Binance and without even any fiat trading pairs?

Either the market is crazy or Cardano will end world hunger.

Lately, Charlie’s opinions have been a bit curious. One wonders why he has chosen to highlight Cardano (ADA) now.

Litecoin is doing well. Currently, they trade at over $300 each. The altcoin appears to be growing in popularity, but investors are apparently looking for alternatives. This new crypto-environment might irritate others.

The fact that Litecoin has lived up to its idea of being the “silver” to bitcoin’s “gold” should placate some. The ratio is about right.

But enter Cardano (ADA). Slowly at first, then a sudden spike…

Charles Hoskinson replied with a poem:

Coarse the rush-mat roof

Sheltering the harvest-hut

Of the autumn rice-field;

And my sleeves are growing wet

With the moisture dripping through.

If you read through the replies to Charlie Lee, Charles Hoskinson explained what he meant by the poem, and it is interesting. He essentially means that he (and the team) will work in the “rain” or the drought. It does not matter. Good or bad.

It was a good response and Charlie Lee seemed satisfied with it.

It is also important to note the Charlie Lee did not appear to be negative about Cardano, but conciliatory. He stated on Twitter that he was sure it was great product and that he was only pointing out the recent valuations.

This seems to imply that Charlie Lee does not know much about Cardano (ADA), but anyone in this sphere should question when newer coins take off in this manner. It raises too many questions.

Certainly, Cardano (ADA) is young and the fact that she has risen so quickly, in the face of criticism and accusations, must concern the old guard. But let us not throw them completely under the bus. After all, they created and nurtured this space. They also have a right to call them as they see them — as anyone does.

But Charlie Lee “carries a big stick.” When he talks, unless he says something completely nuts, we ought to lend him an ear.

I wish ADA all the luck and hope she surpasses Litecoin (LTC) and challenges Ethereum (ETH) in short order. If she does, then the Litecoins and perhaps the bitcoins of the world, will need to step aside. For now, however, the game is afoot.

And we have to remember, although ADA is young, she was created by people who have learned in the ditches of crypto.

And an acorn needs “rain.”

A final note…the above poem is curious. It has layered meanings, that I am still reviewing. Why is this important? What one chooses to say or cite, can define one. I will explain more in another post, if Cardano (ADA) continues to impress.