Cardano for the masses, by John Greene, reviewed

We look at this comprehensive book by Dubliner John Greene. You can see more about his book here.

Cardano for the masses, by John Greene, reviewed

This book is long, coming in at almost 500 pages. The premise is a good one, to write a ground up, user friendly book about Cardano. Why it was created, the problems it solved, and also why it’s co-founder Charles Hoskinson, chose to start again to some. degree after his relatively brief time with the Ethereum project. In the same way that Ethereum aimed to fix the limits of Bitcoin, so too does Cardano aim to go one step further in addressing the constraints of Ether too.

Greene’s writing style is accessible and coherent. We liked large amounts of this book, especially the first few hundred pages. If you know nothing about Cardano this is as  good a book as any, and as there are few other comparable books, Greene has served a useful purpose with this offering. He accepts that he may not be able to cover all of the deep dive questions and concerns, but this will take you a long way beyond zero.

The one element that, while working initially, began to be less effective going on, was his excerpts from interviews and online postings by Charles Hoskinson. These are initially quite interesting and informative, but, after awhile, it felt like there was too much copy and paste of his utterances, and too little analysis and potential interpretation of these musings by Greene. Up to this point Greene has been a good enough and informed narrator that we would have preferred to get his take and interpretations on these 3rd party texts. This felt like a slightly missed opportunity and began to create some text-bloat, without a matching increased in knowledge or insights.

Overall this is a useful and informative book. We would be happy to recommend it to people looking to learn more about Cardano. It is an interesting space and it will be compelling viewing to see how things play out.

More about the author and the book

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.

More about John Greene

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 AWSoeasyin 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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