The battle between Ethereum and Cardano intensifies as Ethereum’s co-creator Vitalik Buterin appeared in the Lex Fridman podcast, commenting on Cardano. Although he acknowledged that Cardano offers interesting ideas, he made it clear that the two take fundamentally different philosophical approaches.
Interestingly, Cardano’s Charles Hoskinson had a hand in Ethereum’s early days and some say that Cardano’s design and philosophy are actually an improvement on specific weaknesses in the Ethereum network that Hoskinson identified when working on the project. Main points of crit
Buterin countered the critics and said that ‘his’ Ethereum focuses on speed over academic proofs and that it is not all that it’s cracked to be:
“I’m actually the sort of person who thinks deep academic rigor is overrated.”
Buterin then made the comparison with Cardano saying:
“They really emphasize having these big academic proofs for everything. Whereas Ethereum tends to be more okay with heuristic arguments, in part because it’s trying to do more faster. But there’s definitely interesting things that come out of IOHK.”
A heuristic approach to problem solving makes use of a shortcut to get solutions that may not be optimal but “will do” considering a limited time frame.
When pressed on the role of academic research in cryptocurrency, Buterin called this overrated. According to him this comes down to believing that protocol failures outside the model are more influential than failures within the model.
He further pointed to the the limitations of formal language, as they relate to technology, and said academic proofs are not as infallible as they are made out to be:
“Ultimately, what you’re trying to achieve can never be fully described in formal language. This is the big discovery of the AI safety people, right?”
It was Charles Hoskinson who then took to Buterin on YouTube by acknowledging the different philosophical approaches of Cardano and Ethereum. He then pointed to a shared commonality with both projects wanting to better humanity by the use of technology.
Nonetheless, Hoskinson made it clear that, in contrast to Ethereum. Cardano’s scientific approach is the most mature and responsible way to offset system failure. He considers this critical to preventing the loss of user’s money and privacy.
“I just happen to believe the way we do things is a bit more mature and responsible because the way that we do things results in a better assurance that the systems we build won’t fail.”
Addressing criticism of being slow with updates. Hoskinson said they are not into rushing things but to get things right the first time around. A good example hereof is the roll out of their Alonzo upgrade which for many in the community has taken quite some time. In a roadmap, Cardano announced the roll-out will be in multiple phases taking a few months before the Alonzo mainnet will be live in September.
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