One of the main distinguishing points of Cardano’s development approach is its emphasis on research-first.
Genius founder will not always be around
Though there have recently been a new crop of what Hoskinson calls “science coins” — such as Algorand (ALGO), AVA, and StarkWare — when Cardano was starting out, this approach was radically unorthodox. To this day, the approach often attracts criticism for being too academically pedantic and slow. However, Hoskinson believes that it will allow Cardano to shine in the future:
“So my whole argument for academic rigour is it's not just about today, it's about tomorrow in two different respects. It's about tomorrow from the respect that we can get protocols that can scale to billions of users. And there are no protocols in the world that right now allow us to do that. So they have to be designed. And then two, who will come up with the protocols five years from now, 10 years from 15 years from now? Are we always going to have the genius founder around? No.”
Scaling to billion users
In order to make sure that the project can function and grow even without its “genius” founder, a project needs to create “a decentralized brain” that will enable perpetual innovation:
“So when quantum computers come alive, we have defenses against that. When we start doing these things on satellites, we have protocols for that. Well, we want these things to work on a cell phone with the same user experience and use recursive snarks. <...> And it doesn't have to be built by one company or one party. It can come out of the academic world in a very decentralized way. <...> So I think this is the long term superior approach and it's the only approach that will actually get us to the protocol of a billion people.”
Getting to trillion dollar cap
Hoskinson believes it is just a matter of time before the crypto industry will grow from billions to trillions. One key driver of this growth is demographics:
“First key point here is that everybody under the age of 35. If you take a cross-section of them, statistically speaking from McKinsey and these other people are more likely to own a cryptocurrency than own a bond, a stock or gold. So investor interest in this asset class is biased towards [the] young. And as the young get older, they get richer.”
Furthermore, Hoskinson expects governments to start adopting blockchain technology and at the same time, provide clearer regulation:
“Eventually, states will run their voting systems. Eventually states where their property registration, all these things. So the fact that those systems exist and they're doing all these things creates more inflow of value. And third, the regulations are getting set that institutional investors can finally put money into our industry, which brings billions of dollars of new investment.”
And when all of these factors align, Hoskinson believes that Cardano will be positioned to benefit the most:
“And I think we are best positioned to capture the largest chunk long term. Now, whether that happens in five years, 10 years, 15 years, a whole bunch of things could occur to accelerate or put the brakes on our entire movement.”
Many in the crypto community agree that the crypto industry could eventually grow to the trillion dollar range, but only time will tell whether Cardano will be the main beneficiary of such a spurt.