Cardano for the M₳sses

A financial operating system for people that don't have one


I discovered Cardano while researching a college project in 2018. Ever since I asked a question of Cardano co-founder Charles Hoskinson in one of his AMAs[i] I had intended to write a book of some sort. I tried different ideas, gave up, and returned several times. On hearing that the much-anticipated Mastering Cardano book would be delayed, I felt there might be a space for a ‘can opener’ in the meantime.

Writing about cryptocurrencies is challenging. Most of the best-selling crypto books have ‘Flesch reading ease scores’ in the 50s. I wanted this book to be more inclusive.

With so much jargon in the blockchain space, I decided to arm the reader with explainers throughout. However, I didn’t want to obstruct the flow either. As Kindle automatically converts footnotes to a popup format, explainers are accessible by clicking on superscripts in the text. The explainers also form a glossary at the end of the book.

I added excerpts from Charles Hoskinson’s various updates to interweave his perspective throughout the book. I felt they add context to many technology decisions while painting a vision for the overall project and industry.

I made every effort to be accurate, however, Cardano is evolving rapidly. There has probably been a change, or update of some sort, as you read this. I intend to update the book regularly, improving readability with each edition.

This first edition is formatted for Kindle e-readers. Graphics are best viewed in ‘landscape’ mode.

Intended audience

This book is mainly for Cardano newcomers. It does not go deep into the weeds of the technical research papers, or explore concepts in great detail. The goal is to give a broad overview of Cardano. Each chapter can be read on its own, however, it’s best to read from start to finish if you are new to Cardano. OGs can browse and read sections independently.

Chapter 1 is a high-level overview of blockchain and how Cardano started. Chapter 2 goes through foundational concepts and Chapter 3 addresses proof of stake and Cardano’s differentiators. The remaining chapters walk through different aspects of the Cardano roadmap ( The appendix gives a high-level overview of Cardano’s architecture.

[i] Sunday AMA 05/17/2020,

John Greene has a background in cloud infrastructure and security with an MSc in Digital Currencies from the University of Nicosia. This is his ‘difficult second book’ after AWSoeasy in 2015 (outdated now). He lives in Dublin and enjoys Cardano for the mind, mountain running for the body, and playing the bodhrán for the soul.
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