Jeremy Wood is one of the most mysterious figures in the Cardano (ADA) pantheon. Despite being credited as the blockchain’s co-founder, Wood lives in the shadow of Cardano’s legendary frontman, Charles Hoskinson.
There’s a good reason for this. While Charles Hoskinson is an outspoken public figure, Jeremy Wood shies away from the limelight. Charles is credited with some of Cardano’s most innovative developments, but Wood’s contributions are completely unknown.
Who is Jeremy Wood? What is the enigmatic Cardano founder’s background, and what has he brought to the table?
Who is Jeremy Wood?
Jeremy Wood co-founded Input Output Global (IOHK/IOG) and the Cardano protocol. Alongside Charles Hoskinson, Wood helped bring Cardano’s vision to life and provide a scalable, decentralized network optimized for the masses.
His professional blockchain resume is certainly impressive. Despite having no tech background or education, Jeremy found himself at the center of two of crypto’s most successful projects, Cardano and Ethereum (ETH).
How did this unsung hero’s path lead him to rub shoulders with blockchain visionaries like Vitalik Buterin?
Jeremy Wood’s academic pursuits began and ended at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. Over a five-year stint from 2002, Wood graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2007.
I know what you’re thinking. A Bachelor of Arts? Surely, a blockchain founder must have a profound understanding and education in computer science and programming to enter the cryptocurrency world, right?
Yet Wood’s background in the arts meant he was well-equipped for responsibilities that tech gurus of the space often overlook, like communication and collaboration. While Jeremy Wood may not have been a savvy engineer, his studies helped him connect and manage teams at a high level.
After graduating, Wood packed his bags and set off. For reasons unknown, he was drawn east and made a beeline for Asia with his new degree.
Jeremy Wood’s professional career began far from the cookie-cutter offices of Indiana. Instead, the future Cardano founder would find himself in Osaka, Japan. Like much of his public image, Jeremy Wood’s time in Japan is mysterious.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Wood worked in the education sector. He spent the next six years, from 2008-2014, providing English training and curriculum development as a self-employed consultant, no doubt drawing on his tertiary background in the arts.
During his time in Japan, Jeremy Wood discovered Bitcoin and blockchain technology. Fascinated by the potential of this emerging industry, he set out to network with other Bitcoin (BTC) enthusiasts. He founded the Kansai Bitcoin Meet-up group, where crypto-heads could come together and meet fellow champions of a decentralized future.
A sign of what was to come, the Kansai Bitcoin Meet-up put Wood’s head deeper into the crypto world, leading to much larger and grander projects.
Jeremy Wood in Crypto
During his time in Japan, Jeremy Wood discovered Bitcoin and blockchain technology. Fascinated by the potential of this emerging industry, he set out to network with other Bitcoin enthusiasts. He founded the Kansai Bitcoin Meet-up group, where crypto-heads could come together and meet fellow champions of a decentralized future.
A sign of what was to come, the Kansai Bitcoin Meet-up drove Wood deeper into the crypto world, leading to much larger and grander projects.
Jeremy Wood at Ethereum
The Kansai Bitcoin Meet-up was just the beginning. Through this network and his experience in this small, niche pocket of the internet, Jeremy Wood found himself with the capacity and connections to land him a key position at the heart of Ethereum.
Joining Ethereum as an Executive Assistant towards the end of 2013, Wood took on the mantle of managing operations. This logistical position found Jeremy Wood in the thick of the action, liaising between different parts of the team and ensuring that everything ran smoothly.
It is widely believed that Jeremy formed a good working relationship with Charles Hoskinson. Charles and Jeremy’s values aligned when the Ethereum founders inevitably split over contrasting viewpoints on the platform’s future. This would lead to the formation of IOHK and the birth of Cardano.
The Birth of Cardano
Separating from the Ethereum team, Wood and Hoskinson put their minds together and built a new software engineering company. They founded Input Output Hong Kong in 2015 to build a next-generation blockchain platform that would provide a scalable and energy-efficient alternative to Ethereum.
Wood and Hoskinson pulled a team together using some of the brightest cryptographers in the industry. They applied a research-driven, peer-reviewed approach to blockchain development and employed a novel consensus mechanism, Ouroboros, that would ensure an unmatched level of network security and sustainability.
After two years of development, Cardano was ready. The blockchain went live in 2017 and has enjoyed 100% uptime since it launched, despite several hard forks that upgraded the network’s capabilities and efficiency. The Cardano blockchain embodied Wood’s and Hoskinson’s shared belief that a blockchain system should be equitable and accessible to all.
While Hoskinson handled most of the technical development and served as the face of IOHK (now called IOG), Wood took the reins as the company’s Chief Strategy Officer. Alongside its technical brilliance, Wood’s experience as a communicator and collaborator helped put Cardano on the map and established the network as a fierce competitor in the Layer One race.
What’s Next for Jeremy Wood?
As you probably expect, Jeremy Wood’s future is known only to him. The mysterious Cardano co-founder stood down from his role as the Chief Strategy Officer at IOHK in 2020 and hasn’t resurfaced in the crypto space since.
Wood’s abrupt departure was so stealthy that Cardano fans are still scratching their heads three years later. Even now, Cardano supporters across 𝕏 are looking for answers they may never find.
As an early-stage ETH team member and Cardano co-founder, Jeremy Wood is likely sitting on a handsome pile of team tokens. After stepping down from Cardano, it would appear that Wood has retired and is enjoying the fruits of his labors.
On the Flipside
- Jeremy Wood’s influence on his projects is largely unknown. His responsibilities at Ethereum are listed as simple tasks like planning/scheduling meetings and taking notes, which are hardly the tasks you’d expect from an executive.
- Even his impact and influence within IOHK and Cardano are unclear. Perhaps Charles Hoskinson was the one in the spotlight because Wood didn’t contribute much significance to Cardano’s growth. Was the entrepreneur just in the right place at the right time?
Why This Matters
Despite the mystery surrounding his persona, Jeremy Wood remains a key figure in Cardano’s history.
Jeremy Wood stepped down from his role as IOHK’s co-founder and Chief of Strategy in 2020.
In 2013, Jeremy Wood joined the Ethereum team as an Executive Assistant.
Jeremy Wood graduated from Indiana University-Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in 2007.