Ethereum Co-Founder on ICOs and the Future of Investing

Published on
December 11th, 2017
32 minutes

Ethereum Co-Founder on ICOs and the Future of Investing

The Expert View ·
Featuring Charles Hoskinson

Published on: December 11th, 2017 • Duration: 32 minutes

Charles Hoskinson, the entrepreneur and mathematician who co-founded ethereum, takes a close look at initial coin offerings, their potential and the attendant risks. Charles also peels back the curtain on creating ethereum, which has risen above $40 billion in market capitalization. Filmed November 29th, 2017 in New York.


  • CT
    Crispim T.
    14 October 2019 @ 11:01
    Charles Hoskinson is a serial scammer. This video shouldn't even be here.
    • LP
      Lauri P.
      13 June 2020 @ 15:48
      No he isn't, he's the CEO of a one of the most legit blockchain companies (IOHK), they have done more fundamental research than any other entity on the field. The codebase and commits for Cardano are publicly available, and one can easily verify they are one of the most active projects in cryptos phere.
    • JW
      Jay W.
      24 August 2020 @ 10:18
      Idiotic comment
  • JS
    John S.
    27 January 2018 @ 03:32
    I request Roger Ver to talk about bitcoin cash.
    • CT
      Crispim T.
      14 October 2019 @ 11:02
      That's a second big scammer. Charles, Roger... might as well invite the king of them all too - Craig Wright.
  • SE
    Shaun E.
    1 December 2018 @ 01:56
    best video on real vision, bring him back
  • EL
    Eugene L.
    16 February 2018 @ 00:06
    I subscribed to RV because I saw this conversation on youtube
  • JP
    Janusz P.
    11 December 2017 @ 23:02
    Great presentation that is full of BS. Don't get me wrong, I loved that video as it finally showed why some people out are so excited about cryptos and such, that are willing to drive it to insane levels. Must be a real pleaser to the crypto crowd. From someone that worked so much in this field I would expect nothing else but excitement and great far reaching vision, that's the way these ought to be. The problem that I see however, is that if you start with the wrong assumptions in the first place, the entire argument you make later is null and void. I could make a contra argument to everyone he made, but I would base mine on facts, not wishful thinking. Some key issues, In no particular order: 1. Cryptos as best invention in 500-1000 years? really? not medical, physics or dozen other fields? 2. Why don't you start by evaluating why would anyone truly need bitcoins and such. Even illegal trade can be made with current forms of established payment systems with little effort. What EVERYDAY REAL LIFE problems does crypto solve that you can't easily solve with currently available ways? 3. When he talks about implementing "contracts" into the crypto, how is that superior to the standard contracts we have now? Depending on which end one is, one side worries about getting paid while the other about receiving exactly what was promised? 4. Touching on bitcoin, the moment you find out that there is a way for a fork split, you should know that there could be infinite number of coins so it is worthless. 5. The technology is great but by itself has no value, just like the internet. Anyone can come up with idea of another coin, just like you can come up with internet store name etc. You have to provide some useful service be it internet infrastructure or computation power for the ledgers... 6. The sovereign governments/CBs issue and control the only "legal tender" on their territory for a reason. They accept (through legal exchange mechanisms) legal tenders of other sovereigns for many reasons. But they will not hesitate for a second to ban the cryptos if they want to if they see the dangers or inconveniences at any moment. 7. The moment the tax base would start eroding due to crypto, rest assured they will be outlawed. 8. Prohibition (guns, drugs, alcohol) doesn't stop anything but it is a failed argument. These products were arguably solving someone's problems. ICO's, bitcoin etc don't solve anything that can not be solved by other currently available means. 9. ICOs to solve resource problems of local governments... Are you kidding me? Someone slept through politics and economics classes.... The solution to this problem has been out there for hundreds of years and it is called privatization and market economy. There is a reason why some governments don't privatize some aspects of their economy or local resources. It's because they are either awesome local income producer for the benefit of all (locals) OR so anyone currently in political power can reap benefits (trough briberies of course) and locals get nothing. If someone is not willing to privatize, why would they ICO local production, resources and such. 10. In the end, it all comes down whether you are providing anything (product, service, your time) of value to the rest of the society so you "earn a living" be it that you are paid in USD, EUR, Gold, beer or whatever "currency" you like. What difference does bitcoin make here? If you earn in USD, why buying crypto currency like bitcoin, only to spend while other would exchange it back to USD... it makes no sense at all. Finally, it really seems that everyone is "trading" the same dot-com buble premise that internet will change the world and anything-internet must be of value. Guess what, internet did change a lot of things but by itself it has no value. And 99% of all you bet on are worthless, and those that are of value are not because they are but because they provide the service/products other want. Like coin-miners and such, that will provide computation power for any project or idea you may require, but the idea must serve others (or it is worthless) and will have to compete with any other idea/product/service currently in the market. My $0.02
    • SR
      Steve R.
      11 December 2017 @ 23:29
      I actually agree with many, if not all, of your points Greg. Taking your point 7 for example; "How will states/governments collection tax revenues from all these anonymous crypto P2P transactions?" Perhaps someone could answer this question, as I've asked many people in the crypto field this exact question, and none of them have an answer that's even remotely plausible.
    • CA
      Craig A.
      12 December 2017 @ 05:25
      Greg how old are you? Just curious as this would explain alot of your traditional/conservative views.
    • TW
      Thomas W.
      12 December 2017 @ 09:41
      I agree with the sentiment. I really wanted to embrace bitcoin a few years ago and still play around with Ethereum, but the security and fees and easy of transaction are not very impressive. If you see what traditional money can do in societies like Sweden or Singapore, there is really no need to re-invent the wheel. That governments cannot be trusted is another matter, but right now the constant feuds, forks and hacks do not inspire too much confidence. As a punt, it may work - especially as a spread trade vs BTC. But is is by no means in the top ten of human achievements of the last century, probably not even decade.
    • JP
      Janusz P.
      12 December 2017 @ 11:23
      @Craig A. Just turned 40 recently but I'm actually pro innovation. However, as Thomas W. pointed, they are trying to reinvent the wheel for something that actually works fine. And it's not that you can improve the way it works, as if you start messing with it a lot of other issues pop out. I really liked the video as it was a one coherent presentation with broad discussion of different key aspects. It just happens that most, if not all, assumptions he makes (for the need of crypto currency), I find are pointless. Sometime ago I heard the talk that crypto is great for anonymity of transactions, whatever the reason (illegal activity or not). I find it hilarious. 99.9% transactions daily in the world are for legal purposes and parties have no reason for anonymity. And when it comes to "illegal activity" there are many issues involved that crypto won't solve. One still need to come up with income to be able to pay for such illegal goods/services, and they need to take "delivery" (in broad sense) of such goods/services. "Anonymity" can be solved in many ways: use old school briefcase full of cash, send someone paypal "gift" money, or use any "money laundering" company. Sure the latter two involve fees, but so will use of crypto currency as someone will have to provide computation power for the ledger. And speaking of illegal activities, there is a reason it is called illegal, it's is banned by law whether you like it or not. There are still ways to trace that "demand" and "supply" side, regardless how you pay for it. Consider the following: That pot that you're craving for and that is illegal, that bitcoin won't solve your issues here (income, order placement, delivery, use etc). Now add to this: local government decides to legalize (as some do) the use for whatever reason, be a medical or ... (attention!) extend their tax base (!!!), just like Vegas legalized gambling or prostitution. Doesn't that tell you anything? How about another, simpler fact: Why does it have to be bitcoin? Why can't it be Shitcoin next year? And something different the next? If some other name pops up that people like, they will start using that and all those providing "mining" will move on to offer their service to the new coin name, same crowd. Just like "why Uber" when anybody can make similar competitive company at any moment... Why would anyone "stick" to bitcoin (or other) when there are no technological barriers for anyone to come up with their own thing? That's why currencies issued by sovereign countries are the only legal tender so no one else is allowed to come up with alternative and population will not abandon (as crypto fans think) the regular currencies. The whole premised is failed and so will bitcoin. Sure the authorities are to be partially blamed. They are always late to "new ideas" but in this particular case they should have acted quickly and decisively by making clear to everyone that "alternative currencies" will not be allowed. When they finally wake up, they will have to outlaw bitcoin (or whatever iteration will be popular at that time) sending the dreams (and invested $$$) of many down the drain. Kind of reminds me of Bernanke when, just before the Bubble burst, he assured there is no problem. Those people that were buying Tulips back in the time, that you laugh at, they too have their valid (so they thought) reasons back then. There was scarcity of land in Holland, there is abundance of new money locally (made through trade as Holland was/is important import/export hub) looking to be invested, it was partially like an "art", to name a few that lead to that ridiculous bubble. Yet those tulip bulbs were no solving any real problems or needs. Sure they were worth something, but no more than similar flowers offered. To put it in yet another term: how much is your paypal or bank account worth? As much as the funds deposited there, expressed in valid (not virtual) currency. There is no value in paypal address or bank account number by itself. You can change it at any time to a different one. Should there be a (real) need for crypto currencies (which I think is a wrong assumption that will not work out) why wouldn't someone to change the "crypto currency" to another one later? If you go that route you can easily imagine thousands of crypto currencies available in the future. Can't you see how ridiculous it is? All that "value" out of thin air? I don't expect crypto fans to agree with me but at least do yourself a favor and critically consider all the facts. DON'T CONFUSE blockchain with cryptocurrencies. I'm sure there will be use for peer-to-peer ledger transaction log in the future, but that is NOT what you are paying for. Buying crypto you don't own blockchain as it cannot be owned as the internet. It will be offered as a service by anyone willing to offer it and that's when and what you will be paying for. Those people that "invented internet" didn't get rich and don't own it. There is no value you can put on the internet itself. Right now that bitcoin or ethereum you are paying for is like paying for a piece of internet without anything to show for it. You want to "own" piece of crypto world then start offering services i.e. computer power needed for it to function, exchange, applications. Then you will be able to offer your service (and make money) to anyone needing that or any blockchain technology whatever it will be called. All I see is the enthusiasm for something new that "might change the world" while I think it's a wishful thinking. I'm sorry but when I heard that it might be the biggest invention in 500-1000 years, that actually proves how delusional this crypto crowd is. You're trying to cater to less than 1% of the population with ideas that neither solve anything nor can't be done with currently available tools. And just to be clear: don't confuse the reasonable (I hope) facts I provide with negativity. I'm open to be proven wrong, but please respond to at least majority of the issues I countered with, or provide (if you can) information what else crypto currencies may solve that other means can't. Best to all of RV subscribers.
    • RM
      Rodolfo M.
      13 December 2017 @ 04:03
      Greg. I agree with most of your points and I like your analysis. There is one issue that I don´t fully agree with, which is that bitcoin, could potentially, be used simply as a store of value. Gold, rather than fiat money, is used by an important fraction of financial players not by is usefulness in day to day transactions but as a store of value. Why is this the case? It is purely a social construct that exists for historical reasons. The network effect – the fact that enough people “believe” that people will value gold in the future- is what makes it valuable. I do agree with you that Bitcoin does not have future as a “typical” currency. However, there is a point to be made for it as a store of value –imperfect because of its incredibly volatility-. There are at least 2 characteristics in which Bitcoin is better than gold: easy portability and perfect (and cheap) divisibility. Gold has centuries of network effects –again, mostly based on beliefs about beliefs not on “fundamentals”- and an industrial use as advantages compared to Bitcoin. Following your logic: Why Uber?... Why gold? I am not saying that Bitcoin will replace gold. I am simply saying that there are prices that depend purely –or mostly- on collective beliefs and that is the case with gold and other alternative metals used as a storage of value. It is possible that Bitcoin keeps existing as a store of value, it is also possible that its value goes to zero. The answer is not clear at this point.
    • SP
      Simon P.
      13 December 2017 @ 15:31
      Greg o, Whilst the viewing of Charles semi "monologue" is must viewing, I'm pretty sure I found equal value in the above response for the simple fact its the first piece of balanced clarity in the "valuation' discussion I've come across (not looking too hard) since first crypto purchase in 2015. Hope its not a "bot' copy n paste. Nice work.
    • TH
      Timo H.
      14 December 2017 @ 12:24
      Agree with this 100% . People have fallen in love with a great invention, that unfortunately is not commercially valuable as such. Cryptocurrency is just an uber-cool demo about what is possible. To get to the real value, you need to innovate a couple of steps further. Those steps are currently being made. The crypto-based distributed ledgers have huge business cases e.g. in trade finance and identity management (Facebook, Google etc., here comes your killer...) , but NONE of them requires cryptocurrencies and most of them are not using blockchain. (I'm 50 with 20 years of background in distributed data management and currently super-excited about some truly valuable blockchain/DLT business cases.)
    • DP
      Daniel P.
      29 December 2017 @ 22:36
      Greg. Great posts. Are you long any crypto as a hedge?
  • CS
    C S.
    12 December 2017 @ 02:39
    Am I the only person here that isnt the slightest bit interested in cryptos? If you wanted to have a flutter in BTC you shouldve done it at least than $10, or around $200. I think you need your head examined if you want to chase this space now. Just my 2c. Cheers.
    • ek
      eric k.
      12 December 2017 @ 06:22
      ICOs are replacing equities so you should be interested.
    • TW
      Thomas W.
      12 December 2017 @ 09:28
      I think whether it is $10 or $1000 is a bit irrelevant if there is potential. Where I agree with you is that as we reached 50 billion dollars market cap today, the potential for further explosive growth is somewhat limited by the money in the world available to buy something that does not have any use or intrinsic value. :-)
    • DP
      Daniel P.
      29 December 2017 @ 22:31
      Hi Hot M My feeling is this. Care or not care, I ask myself this..... do I want to be the guy around the dinner table in 50 years time who has to answer the question 'Grandpa, why didn't you buy any crypto when you were young?' We are witnessing undeniable change to the financial system, and after 9 years in existence, I think we can all say it is here to stay. Perhaps, just perhaps, in 20 years time there will be 2 kinds of people on the planet. Those who bought crypto and those who didn't. Like it or not, we are saddled with the burden of choosing a team right now. Food for thought, and have a great 2018 to all RV fans. Peace. Dan.
  • EC
    Edward C.
    23 December 2017 @ 14:14
    Regardless of ones's views, extremely insightful. Most enjoyable.
  • TH
    Timo H.
    14 December 2017 @ 11:35
    The "2030 vision" may be reality much earlier. The "bad news" is that it does not require cryptocurrencies. A simple interface to existing banking systems is enough to take care of the settlement phase of the value-bearing transactions.
    • Dt
      David t.
      16 December 2017 @ 21:23
      fianancial settlemets is not what most crypto's are about. It's an entire new decentralised ecosystem
  • SS
    Sam S.
    16 December 2017 @ 12:31
    Additionally, Bitcoin transaction fees are that of a foreign exchange broker, which buying something with bitcoins is time consuming and very expensive in fees. Those fees and product or service costs are transacted in USD. Cash fees at bank or ATM are far less expensive. Blockchain has amazing characteristics such as "chain of title" for real estate transactions. Won't need to pay title insurance fees on the same property, over and over especially when flippers do deals on same property in same year. So, lots of great uses for blockchain that eliminate repetitive costs and false inflation not related to productivity and value added. My take is the vertical price moment today is everyone trying to get in the action and profit in dollar terms, NOT because they believe so heavily in the cryptocurrency world.
  • PN
    Paul N.
    12 December 2017 @ 22:50
    I'm not sure how many of you guys get this but Charles quit Ethereum ages ago in protest. He was against the DAO bailout and ended up supporting Ethereum Classic. Just recently he has spoken out against the proposed Parity Hack bailout in the following tweet: "Hey look another Ethereum improvement (bailout) to help adoption (prevent lawsuits) and grow the ecosystem (save Gavin)" Any price move of Ethereum has little to do with Charles.
    • TS
      Thomas S.
      16 December 2017 @ 04:13
      True. ETH has become a total scam
  • CD
    Cesar D.
    14 December 2017 @ 05:14
    Wow, very well articulated and insightful. Few people appear to be as well rounded and knowledgable.
  • SS
    Sam S.
    13 December 2017 @ 20:18
    Bitcoin, Ethereum and others are really just "collectibles" like Gold, Silver, Art, etc. All of these translate into US Dollars at the moment of purchase and point of sale, profit or no profit. The price of at any given moment in time is the price less the costs to transact. Only matters if you're a buyer or a seller. When holding these collectibles they are what they are. Maybe the real business is being involved in the transaction process for all these future use ideas. My two bits worth. Happy Holidays everyone!
  • AH
    Amer H.
    13 December 2017 @ 20:01
    thank you again!! Always impressive speakers!
  • FM
    Fraser M.
    13 December 2017 @ 07:37
    Almost more impressive than the presentation is the 17 people who gave this a thumbs down.
    • PD
      Paul D.
      13 December 2017 @ 16:05
      Sorry - you were asking for that :-)
  • BB
    Brian B.
    13 December 2017 @ 04:25
    Been following crypto for the last 2 years and this is certainly one of the best discussions i have heard on Ethereum and the ICO market. Great stuff RV!
  • DM
    Daniel M.
    12 December 2017 @ 17:34
    Good stuff RV!
  • RA
    Robert A.
    11 December 2017 @ 20:40
    Wow! This “master class” is an example of why I’ve been with RV TV almost since inception. The ability to have Milton curate for me the best minds on the most current topics is almost invaluable. Through RV I’ve learned to ask Questions that never before occurred to me—leading to research and investigation that I never would have done. Learning through RV has been thoroughly enjoyable—and yes boys and girls...sometimes very profitable. RV has literally, gradually and over time, changed my life and my investment portfolio.
    • DC
      D C.
      11 December 2017 @ 21:59
      How much did they pay you to say that?
    • PS
      Patrick S.
      12 December 2017 @ 15:53
      You should buy CCJ. Tangible assets. What are you buying when you buy a bitcoin.... an increasingly long ledger of transactions that have happened over the last 8 years of its existence LOL
    • PS
      Patrick S.
      12 December 2017 @ 15:55
      I can sell you a napkin that says I gave you this napkin on so and so date, now why don't you give that napkin to someone else and write down the date that you gave it on there and we've just invented another decentralized "currency". how much will you pay for my napkin i'm open to reasonable offers.
  • BD
    Bruce D.
    12 December 2017 @ 13:36
    Fabulous explanation! I can finally begin to wrap my brain around it's power.....thank you.
  • CJ
    Craig J.
    12 December 2017 @ 13:12
    Seen this pattern a few times... Almost 2 days since RV published this video and ETH is breaking higher. There's definitely a whale here in the RV audience!
  • AA
    ALI A.
    12 December 2017 @ 12:44
    One of the best, most lucid visions of the future I've seen. Great speaker, very articulate...
  • MB
    Matthias B.
    12 December 2017 @ 09:54
    this may help to gauge which ones may be the winners? tks!
  • MB
    Matthias B.
    12 December 2017 @ 09:52
    i did the mistake to read the comments first, thought it was v. educational for a non crypto person; would it be possible to have someone explaining the differences among the various ones, this may he
  • SD
    Stephen D. | Contributor
    12 December 2017 @ 05:12
    Charles is a very smart guy and is obviously highly educated. However, when he talks about being in Ukraine, Greece, Switzeland and the UK ( 2 minutes from the end) but not 'caring' about currency because he has a card that translates it all to dollars; I was thinking 'has he seen the fx rates he's getting?' Those bank and credit card fx rates would make a pirate blush. But maybe that's exactly why we need universal crypto currency.
    • JP
      Janusz P.
      12 December 2017 @ 07:40
      The FX spread you pay your bank is the service fee, just like there is a fee for transactions with crypto currencies. Also it is one of the many failed arguments he makes. The very fact that you can go anywhere in the world and use current financial instruments to do everything you may need actually negates the need for crypto to do the same thing. It's like saying "this town has a food market on every street, but we "really" need to come up with yet a new type of food market". Why?
  • EB
    Eric B.
    11 December 2017 @ 23:48
    Sounds down right utopian, I hope his view is right. But I have a hard time believing that once ownership is expressed in tokens instead of shares all of a sudden human behavior is going to change that drastically. If crypto takes over completely will people really stop trying to take advantage of each other financially?
  • SP
    Steve P.
    11 December 2017 @ 23:35
    Great background to the crypto world BUT also a wonderful insight into why I don't think we will see a globally accepted crypto currency in the immediate future. There will be far too many vested interests erecting barriers to crypto acceptance as an international median of exchange. With no intermediation or central control, while that can be one of crypto's main attractions, other considerations tend to overshadow that. Fraud and taxation become central issues. The tax issue alone means governments generally won't accept it in its' current form. How crypto becomes a generally accepted and viable median of exchange is still an immense challenge that precedes most of the touted pros of the crypto idea. The idea of 'tokenising' commodities, foreign aid, etc etc is basically just substituting for the $US's current role. The dollars role will not disappear anytime soon. Crypto currency is a great initial phrase concept but is obviously in for a long gestation period. People basically shy away from radical change so we are maybe witnessing generations of edge tinkering to get to an acceptable form of currency that is accepted globally by both governments and their constituents
  • RJ
    Rusty J.
    11 December 2017 @ 21:38
    Great interview. Can we get more within the crypto space?
  • gs
    grant s.
    11 December 2017 @ 21:06
    Charles is one of the top guys in crypto that is why keeping an eye on him/IOHK and Cardano (ADA) is a good idea. IOHK is developing Cardano.
  • PD
    Paul D.
    11 December 2017 @ 14:30
    Fascinating discussion. I do wonder about the future of taxation if we were to move to the world Charles describes by 2030, and also one's monetary security in a world where quantum computing is a reality.
    • TD
      Tom D.
      11 December 2017 @ 16:00
      Even more reason to abolish the IRS and the income tax. The blockchain would further enhance the viability and efficacy of the value added tax.
    • RA
      Robert A.
      11 December 2017 @ 20:45
      As much as I hate to envision the VAT tax under current conditions....the Value Added Tax being a Consumption Tax might work well should the tracing of income in a Crypto World become problematic.
    • IO
      Igor O.
      11 December 2017 @ 20:55 He mentions it will be quantum resistant in 2018
  • IO
    Igor O.
    11 December 2017 @ 19:49
    I am so ready for this kind of future. Now, big question is what platform for Universal Wallet going to be? Looking forward to see Charles on RV again.
  • rr
    rlw r.
    11 December 2017 @ 18:11
    Yep, Charles can easily be RV's best go to guy wrt Crypto. All the adjectives in other comments descibe him well. Hoping we see him regularily.
  • RM
    Richard M.
    11 December 2017 @ 14:21
    Wow, fascinating discussion. Charles seems like an incredibly brilliant guy and extremely well spoken (very clear presentation of his ideas in easy to understand language for the novice in the crypto world). Really enjoyed this educational experience. Great work RVTV.
  • MG
    Mohamed G.
    11 December 2017 @ 12:50
    Excellent discussion one of the most valuable of 2017 thank you for publishing.
  • PU
    Peter U.
    11 December 2017 @ 10:54
    huge implications on the survivability of fiat currency and the makeup of the current Central Bank/Big Money Center Bank hegemony
  • PU
    Peter U.
    11 December 2017 @ 10:27