Interview - Cardano SPO #105: Aspen Pool [ASPEN]

Original Placement:

Today’s guest on the Cardano SPO column is a stake pool operated by a software developer based out of Warm, Sunny, Colorado, who’s also a Full-Stack dev at Aspen Pool [ASPEN].

The previous guest was a stake pool operated by Brian and his wife Lisa from Alberta, Canada, who are nature lovers and developing a card game.

This column is where I invite Stake Pool Operators (SPO) to share their stories and vision as a way to connect with and learn about the Cardano Community.

Hi, thanks for your time. Tell us something about yourself/your team, where are you based and what are your backgrounds?

Hello! I’m a software developer based out of Warm, Sunny, Colorado :sunrise_over_mountains:

I was in web development for about 7 years, and have transitioned into Cardano blockchain development over the past 2 years.

I started the ASPEN Stake Pool about 6 months after mainnet went live, in December of 2021, and we’ve been making blocks ever since!

What’s the path that led you to Cardano and to become a Stake Pool Operator (SPO)?

I first got into crypto via Bitcoin (like most people) and heard about Cardano when I started learning about other projects and blockchains. I learned more about Cardano from channels like Cardano with Paul, and when the Shelley era and staking came around, I learned about stake pool operations from Damjan’s Eden Garden Pool channel.

I wanted to get more actively involved in the ecosystem, so I started the ASPEN Stake Pool, and shortly after, the Woodland Pools educational channel. The purpose of the channel is to help folks get up and running in blockchain, learn the fundamentals that they need to get started, and then stay educated moving forward on all the latest news and project info.

We all share information back and forth, and I love to see everyone growing together.

You’re a Full-Stack dev at For those that don’t know, what is this project about? And what has been your experience developing on Cardano? What pros and cons?

If you buy a book on Amazon or Apple, you don’t actually own the book, you just have a perpetual rental to view it. is a marketplace where for the first time, readers can truly own their digital assets. You can buy a book, and it lives in your wallet, just like any other cryptographic asset. You can read it, send it to a friend, sell it; all the things you expect you can do with a physical book, but for the first time you can also do with a digital book.

Developing on Cardano has been rapidly changing, which is very exciting. When I first got into smart contract development, the only option was PlutusTx (based on Haskell). Now we have great options like Aiken, and I actually wrote all of our ITO on-chain validators in Aiken. It’s quick to learn, very easy to write, has fantastic debugging tools, and the CLI is excellent. Really great project that I think will lift the tide for all boats in the ecosystem.

What are you most looking forward to in the Cardano ecosystem? What do you think we need to reach mass adoption?

I think we need two main things:

  1. Infrastructure projects like TxPipe, NMKR, Aiken and others, need to keep doing the great work they’re doing, and other projects like them need to emerge to continue making the developer ecosystem more dev-friendly. Once it’s easier to build things on Cardano, more things will get built, and then more people can come enjoy those great products.
  2. More projects bringing true utility. I joined because it stuck out to me as “the best example of what blockchain can do” with true utility. World Mobile is another great example. We need more of these “well, that’s an obvious win” use cases to bring in people who don’t care about web3, but just care about getting their needs met.

Great contribution. Any closing comments? Where can people stay in touch?

We’re all on this blockchain journey together, and we’re all learning as we go. My goal is to help as many people learn more about blockchain and Cardano as possible, and help everyone become more confident in their journey.

If you want to learn more about blockchain and Cardano, check out the Woodland Pools education channel. If you ever have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @woodlandpools.

And as you become more comfortable and learn more, make sure you share those learnings with others! Let’s keep growing together.

Disclaimer: The opinions and views of the people interviewed are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Cardano Foundation or IOG. Moreover, this content is for educational purposes, it doesn’t constitute financial advice.

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