As the price of Bitcoin (BTC) continues to rise, more and more people are starting to educate themselves about how to enter the cryptocurrency market. However, the reality of owning cryptocurrencies (long complicated addresses, passphrases and security risks) remains an obstacle to the introduction of new users. Programmers and technologists generally require a level of understanding and skill for technical innovation that the average person on the street simply does not have.
A survey conducted by our team found that 75% of respondents said they found cryptocurrency transactions stressful and unnecessarily complicated. A majority (55%) said they had had problems sending cryptocurrency transactions in the past, 18% had lost money, and 6% had suffered a man-in-the-middle attack. This complexity has real and harmful consequences even among tech-savvy elites. One programmer I know lost tens of thousands of dollars because a QR code was corrupted and their savings were forever lost. Highly skilled engineers and developers have lost millions because they misplaced files, lost passphrases, or simply copied a 34-digit address incorrectly.
For a financial system to be fully functional, users must have confidence in its fundamentals. It is no coincidence that the word “credit” is derived from the Latin word “credit”, which means “to believe”. The architects of a financial ecosystem, whether central bankers in Frankfurt or software developers in Silicon Valley, have to ensure that people trust where they put their money. Only by creating a secure environment and the collective trust of a broader user base can blockchain technology deliver on its founding promises.
For example, crypto addresses could become self-sovereign, non-verifiable tokens that work with any token and any blockchain. Requests that are decentralized payment requests are privately encrypted between the two parties involved and contain contextual metadata about the transaction, e.g. B. a memo or a link to an order or invoice.
The way for crypto
People often forget that university professors have been using the internet to send each other emails since the 1970s, but the systems and protocols were too complicated for the average person back then. The World Wide Web as we know it today was only accessible with the creation of HTTP. Blockchain technology is in the same exciting place as the internet today, before HTTP made it usable for the average person to build on. The blockchain ecosystem today needs to develop easy-to-use protocols that can deliver what HTTP provided for the Internet in the 1990s: a user experience across browsers and the World Wide Web that leads to mass adoption.
Developers should aim to make sending cryptocurrencies as easy as sending Fiat with PayPal. It’s not hard to see why the average person struggles with cryptocurrency on the street as the current systems are very confusing, but only by engaging more users will blockchain technology become more credible.
The potential of blockchain to change the way people and businesses interact is clear, but the infrastructure and systems in place still have a long way to go. The past 25 years have shown how information and values can be shared and transmitted in ways that were unimaginable just a few decades ago. However, the dynamic flow of information and data can only develop its potential if a person can use it.
Current naming systems based on blockchains are just too complex for the average person. Few people know or care about how Amazon and Netflix are integrated with the internet, but they know it works – that’s the direction this industry needs to head in.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are the sole rights of the author and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Luke Stokes is Managing Director of the Foundation for Interwallet Operability. He is passionate about voluntary systems of governance and has been involved in Bitcoin since early 2013. Since the beginning of 2018 he has been the consensus witness for the Hive blockchain (previously Steem) and custodian for eosDAC, a jointly owned EOSIO block producer and DAC enabler. since its inception. He holds a degree in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania.