Crypto User Experience Must Improve as 5% of World May Own Digital Assets Soon, Industry Exec Says

Ari Paul, CIO of BlockTower Capital, a company focused on bringing professional trading and portfolio management to cryptocurrency, predicts that we might have 5% of the world owning crypto-assets by the end of this bull run (ahead of Internet adoption back in 2000).

However, Paul points out that there are many “basics” that still require building. For instance, the crypto and blockchain space needs “real privacy” along with secure and easy funds transfer capabilities. The industry needs prime brokerage as well (for starters), Paul noted.

As present, Bitcoin is only as “private” and censorship-resistant as the Internet itself (not very), Paul claims, while adding that TOR still needs “a lot of work, and we need default consumer friendly ways to encrypt crypto traffic so aggressive ISPs/states can’t censor.”

Paul also thinks we need much easier ways to use “methods of communication on crypto networks.” He adds that “ISPs, satellite, radio, the more the better, and we need these globally accessible and consumer-friendly.”

Paul also mentioned that sending a crypto transaction is “still insanely intimidating.” He pointed out that people are “supposed to trust an arcane string of alphanumeric characters as a counter party’s address.” He further noted that “we don’t currently have standard ways of verifying a counterparty’s address.” He added that “deep fakes are coming.”

Paul also pointed out that “what if people could easily borrow against their crypto without risking flash liquidations, bugs/exploits, or serious counterparty risk?” According to his assessment, we should “get trustworthy prime brokerage in centralized form soon, decentralized eventually.”

Paul added that “most of these problems aren’t purely engineering in nature.” However, a technical solution that “no one uses because of terrible UX isn’t good enough,” he argues.

As reported recently, digital asset exchange Gemini says that offering an excellent customer or user experience (UX) remains a key priority for the company. Gemini recently launched Cryptopedia, a free crypto education platform.

As covered, the biggest security problem Bitcoin (BTC) has is its UX, according to Casa CEO Nic Neuman.

Neuman had noted in a blog post from last year that October 2020 marked the 12th anniversary of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin whitepaper. During this relatively short period of time, Bitcoin has fundamentally transformed “the way we think about money, but it’s still a long way from mass adoption,” Neuman claimed.

According to Neuman, who’s the Co-Founder and CEO at Casa, there’s “no question” that UX has “always been the biggest single obstacle to Bitcoin adoption.” However, “not in the way you might think,” Neuman revealed.

He added:

“UX is a slippery term: it means different things to different people in different contexts. With Bitcoin, for example, UX extends far beyond the intuitiveness of individual exchanges or wallets. Since we’re talking about people’s investment, security is a — the — crucial consideration in any discussion about UX.”

Neuman believes that Bitcoin suffers from a “usability” problem that can’t be fixed by creating a new user interface (UI). He explains that this isn’t really a technical error or mistake, but rather a human one. That’s because we’ve made the assumption that it’s “safer” to store coins or digital currencies with a centralized exchange platform instead of keeping (self) custody of our own assets. He argues that this can’t be “fixed” with a new UI. It requires “a revolution in the way we think about Bitcoin security,” Neuman argued.

In an interview with CI last year, Zilliqa Co-founder Amrit Kumar had noted:

“A user interface that is unintuitive and inaccessible to all users is a significant roadblock to mass-utility. For decentralized finance (DeFi) to grow, it needs to equally address these issues alongside the wider blockchain industry as a whole. This applies to infrastructure, such as Web 3.0 wallets that can easily integrate with your browser of choice as well as using far more accessible language on applications and user resources.”

Kumar also recommended:

“For one, eliminating jargon can go a long way in generating a more encouraging, welcoming environment for newcomers who may not necessarily be the most financially literate or knowledgeable about blockchain.”

He continued:

“If you think about many of the technologies that we rely upon today, the ideal scenario is that they’re almost invisible—you don’t have to think about when you’re using it or what you’re doing as you do so. DeFi application developers should remember that users care more about the value of the technology and what it can offer them, rather than the technology itself.”


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