Blockchain pay won’t work until it’s as easy as email
Just like any other emerging disruptive technology, blockchain is naturally inclined to go head over heels in creating projects that focus on its very own unique niche strengths. All of this sounds great and the hype seems warranted at first, but the problem for nearly every participant in the space, no matter what grand vision they are working on, is that very few are actually creating products that people want.
Blockchain is still in its infancy, making it very complex, bulky, expensive, slow and absolutely terrible to use for almost everyone who’s not an active participant in building the internet of tomorrow.
Crypto’s notoriously steep learning curve (more like a straight up brick wall) is a major blunder that is driving many retail investors away and sets the entire space back further and further away from crypto’s Holy Grail: the universal adoption that is paramount to realize its vast potential.
Let’s draw a parallel between blockchain and another disruptive technology, email, to further illustrate this point.
While making your first steps into crypto, it is essential to know about address syntax, types of keys, block producing, DLT, confirmations, fees, types of wallets, exchanges, a million new technical jargon entries and a million other things you should and shouldn’t do because you might lose your money in the process.
Now ask yourself this: What do you need to know about TCP/IP to be able to send an email?
Nothing. And that’s the beauty of it — you just type your message click send and the rest sorts itself out.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with blockchain technology by itself. Quite the contrary: It is an amazing piece of work that offers great potential. But until significant steps are taken toward creating a seamless and intuitive experience, blockchain will fall short of its goals, as it is unable to communicate its value, thanks to that brick (communication) wall.
You can’t compete with internet giants, such as Facebook, PayPal and Twitter when your user experience is the equivalent of solving mathematical equations with a potato. Not only does it need to be on par, it needs to be better, much, much better, to persuade people to make the conscious effort of switching platforms.
Nevertheless, there is a silver lining to all this. People who like to keep their fingers on the pulse of the industry have likely noticed the significant advances from many diverse business cases within the industry.
When it comes to wallet UX, you have projects like Lumi, Atomic and Trust wallets that offer access via mnemonic seed phrases, skipping the need to remember complex private keys. Bonus points for Lumi and Atomic’s integrated exchanges and Trust’s built-in dApp browser, which serves the same purpose but expands on the idea.
Then looking at user-friendly payments, you have Bitcoin Cash’s Badger and Bitcoin SV’s Money buttons, which allow near-instant and free contributions from visitors on your website.
All these are marvelous features that facilitate the entire process without compromising security and the basic tenets of blockchain technology. One small step for a project, one giant leap for crypto adoption.
Such developments are vital to achieving crypto’s vision of being a peer-to-peer electronic cash system — if crypto wants to be cash, it has to be as easy and convenient as cash. Anything short of that and it’s going to stay a niche speculative asset, or a boring store of value, when it can be passing through the digital hands of every person in this world.
Don’t settle for less. Make crypto convenient and help shape the economy of tomorrow.