Charles Hoskinson under fire for… not dropping out of a PhD program?

  • March 9, 2022

“The schools say he didn’t graduate from undergrad. Also, he has said multiple times, including in our interview, that he dropped out from a PhD program,” claimed crypto-journalist Laura Shin.

A debate has surfaced online following claims that Cardano founder and Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson may have fudged the specifics of his educational background.

While the issue is a hardly a major scandal, it concerns conflicting reports around whether Hoskinson dropped out of a Number Theory focused PhD program – as he suggested – or if he embellished the story. Crypto journalist and Unchained Podcast host Laura Shin suggested in her new book and on social media that he never finished an undergraduate degree or enrolled for a PhD.

The dispute started on March 6 after a Twitter user stated they were reading Shin’s book “The Cryptopians” to get a rundown of the early days of Hoskinson and Cardano as reported in the book.

Hoskinson responded to the post by stating:

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

Shin promptly fired back at the Cardano founder, as she questioned “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?”

The journalist’s book was launched on Feb. 22, and in it she stated that she contacted both the Metropolitan State University of Denver “which doesn’t have a graduate math program” and the University of Colorado where Hoskinson previously studied. According to Shin, both institutions stated that the Cardano founder studied as an undergraduate, but didn’t earn a degree from either.

“The schools say he didn’t graduate from undergrad. Also, he has said multiple times, including in our interview, that he dropped out from a PhD program.”

Shin also noted that she gave Hoskinson and his team “ample opportunity” to talk with her and provide their perspective, but they all ghosted her. Commenting on the thread, BitTorrent founder Bram Choen chimed in jokingly that she could also let everyone know that he “dropped out of undergrad” too.

The community debated whether Hoskinson’s wording about not completing a PHD could be technically true,  but a little misleading, however Shin also pointed to an interview with him where he explicitly said he dropped out of a PhD program.

During the interview, Shin asked Hoskinson whether he was getting a masters or a PhD when he first heard about Bitcoin. The founder stated that:

“Yeah, I was a grad student. I was trying to get a PhD and I ended up dropping out and never finished.”

Related: Journalist alleges Mimo Capital co-founder was behind 2016 exploit of The DAO: Report

Much like the rest of the crypto market, the performance of Cardanao’s native asset ADA has seen strong downward momentum of late. At the time of writing, ADA is currently down 26.9% of the past 30 days to sit at $0.83. However, over the past 24 hours the price is up 3.5% with many other top assets seeing a significant bump in this timeframe.