Cardano's Charles Hoskinson Sparks Awkward Twitter Row

Cardano's Charles Hoskinson Sparks Awkward Twitter Row

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10 months ago

Hoskinson had said that a new book by crypto journalist Laura Shin was a work of fiction, but she replied by questioning whether he had actually dropped out of his PhD.

Cardano's Charles Hoskinson Sparks Awkward Twitter Row


An awkward row has broken out between Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson and crypto journalist Laura Shin.

Shin has just released a new book that tells "the story of the idealists, technologists and opportunists fighting to bring cryptocurrency to the masses" — and documents Hoskinson's involvement.

Responding to a Twitter user who said they were finding the book interesting, Hoskinson wrote:

"Great work of fiction. Tough market to beat George R.R. Martin and Tolkien, but we wish her well."

Shin clearly took issue with the suggestion that she was making things up for The Cryptopians: Idealism, Greed, Lies, and the Making of the First Big Cryptocurrency Craze — and went for the jugular. She replied by saying:

"Hi Charles, speaking of fiction, do you want to address the discrepancies between your claims of dropping out of a PhD program and the schools' assertions that you were enrolled as an undergrad?"

She shared screenshots that showed old tweets where Hoskinson said he had graduated but did not complete a PhD. But then, she showed an excerpt from her book that revealed he had in fact studied as a part-time math major at Metropolitan State University of Denver and the University of Colorado, but "had never earned a degree from either."

Shin subsequently shared a recording of an interview she had performed with Hoskinson for the book, where he said he was a "grad student" when he first heard about Bitcoin. When asked whether he was trying to get his masters or PhD, Hoskinson replied:

"I was trying to get a PhD. And I ended up dropping out and never finished."

Some have accused Shin of putting words into Hoskinson's mouth — and point out that "trying" to get a PhD is different from dropping out.

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Why Does This Matter?

Although this may seem like a bout of minor squabbling between a crypto entrepreneur and a journalist, the debate centers on whether Hoskinson has been honest about his background with Cardano followers.

The book also documents how Hoskinson told seemingly "unbelievable" stories about his past, including:

"Charles claimed to have met a female spy when falling from an Apache attack helicopter and falling in love with her after going from building to building and bumping into her gun to gun."

Shin's book has separately hit the headlines after apparently unmasking the person who was responsible for hacking The DAO in 2016 — an attack that led to 3.64 million ETH being stolen, and the Ethereum blockchain splitting into two.

The hack was apparently executed by Toby Hoenisch, a programmer who is known for creating TenX — a crypto debit card project that raised $80 million in an initial coin offering in 2017. Her reporting notes that the value of this project's tokens ballooned to $535 million before crashing to $11 million at the time of writing.

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