Like Bitcoin’s (BTC) price remains climb higher and higherMore and more people are starting to teach themselves how to enter the cryptocurrency market. However, the realities of cryptocurrency ownership (long complicated addresses, passphrases, and security risks) all remain barriers to adoption by new users. Programmers and technologists generally assume a level of understanding and competence with technical innovations that the average person on the street just isn’t equipped with.
A survey conducted by our team, 75% of the respondents saw that 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 faced a man-in-the-middle attack. This complexity has real and harmful consequences, even among tech-savvy elites; a programmer I know lost tens of thousands of dollars because a QR code was damaged and his savings lost forever. Highly qualified engineers and developers have lost millions due to file misplacing, loss of passphrases, or simply miscopying a 34 character address.
For any financial system to function fully, users must have confidence in its fundamentals. It is no coincidence that the word ‘credit’ is derived from the Latin ‘credereWhat ‘believe’ means. The architects of any financial ecosystem, be it central bankers in Frankfurt or software developers in Silicon Valley, need to make sure people have confidence where they place their money. Only by creating a secure environment and the collective trust of a wider user base will blockchain technology be able to deliver on its fundamental promises.
Crypto addresses, for example, can become self-sovereign intangible tokens that work with any token and any blockchain. Requests, which are decentralized payment requests, are privately encrypted between the two parties involved and contain contextual metadata about the transaction, such as a memo or a link to an order or invoice.
The path for crypto
People often forget that college professors have been using the Internet to send emails to each other since the 1970s, but the systems and protocols were then too complicated for the average person to use. The World Wide Web as we know it today was not accessible until after HTTP was created. Blockchain technology today is in the same exciting place as the Internet before HTTP made it usable for the average person to build on. Today’s blockchain ecosystem must design easy to use protocols that can deliver what HTTP delivered for the Internet in the 1990s: a user experience through browsers and the World Wide Web that leads to mass adoption.
Developers should strive to make the experience of sending cryptocurrencies as easy as sending fiat with PayPal. It’s not hard to see why the average person on the street is struggling with cryptocurrency as current systems are very confusing, but only by bringing in more users will blockchain technology gain credibility.
Blockchain’s potential to transform the way people and businesses interact is clear, but the existing infrastructure and systems still have a long way to go. The past 25 years have shown how information and value can be shared and transferred in ways unimaginable a few decades ago; however, the dynamic flow of information and data can only fulfill its potential if someone can make use of it.
Current naming systems built on blockchains are just too complex for the average person to use. Few people know or care how Amazon and Netflix are integrated into the Internet, but they do know that it works – that’s the direction this industry should take.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the sole ones of the author and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Luke Stokes is the Managing Director of the Foundation for Interwallet Operability. Passionate about voluntary governance systems, he has been involved with Bitcoin since early 2013, has been a consensus witness for the Hive (formerly Steem) blockchain since early 2018 and a custodian for eosDAC, an EOSIO Block Producer and DAC Enabler that is community owned. since the beginning. He has a degree in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania.