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'ADA Is Extremely Centralized': Justin Bons Slams Cardano, Community Strikes Back

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Tue, 21/05/2024 - 10:12
'ADA Is Extremely Centralized': Justin Bons Slams Cardano, Community Strikes Back
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Justin Bons, a well-known cryptocurrency analyst, recently ignited controversy by claiming that Cardano (ADA) is extremely centralized. In a detailed critique, Bons argued that the control mechanisms within Cardano's protocol grant Input Output Global (IOG) excessive power. 

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According to Bons, the "genesis keys" in Cardano allow IOG to unilaterally alter protocol rules without requiring a hard fork, a process that could potentially halt the chain or modify key parameters without broad consensus.

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Bons highlighted that IOG controls five out of the seven genesis keys, a situation he believes undermines Cardano's decentralization. He further criticized the decision made during the Shelley update in 2020, which consolidated this control, describing it as an unprecedented level of centralization for such a blockchain.

The Cardano community quickly responded to Bons's assertions. The Chief Technology Officer of Sundae Labs, a prominent Cardano-based decentralized exchange, refuted Bons's claims. He explained that the genesis keys cannot change protocol rules arbitrarily; rather, they can only signal when node operators should adopt new rules. He emphasized that any significant protocol change still requires the participation and agreement of the stake pool operators, who are independent entities running Cardano nodes.

Charles Hoskinson, Cardano's founder, further amplified the community's defense by reposting the CTO’s detailed insight. 

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Another response clarified that genesis keys are designed to facilitate smooth upgrades and cannot be used to censor transactions or misappropriate funds. It also highlighted that these keys are set to be replaced by a more decentralized governance model as part of the Voltaire upgrade.

Despite the heated exchange, Bons acknowledged the community’s efforts toward decentralization and expressed optimism about Cardano's future governance improvements. However, he maintained his stance that the current mechanism remains too centralized and needs urgent reform.

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