Learn: Tipping Scale for Crypto Adoption: Usability vs. Accessibility
Only about 300 million people out of the global population are crypto regulars. Accessibility and usability are two crucial factors in driving crypto adoption globally.
One of the biggest problems associated with the crypto ecosystem is low adoption. Despite quite a tremendous growth rate since its inception, just about 300 million people out of a global population of over 7 billion are crypto regulars.
And, hence comes the all-important question. Which of the two main driving forces, Usability or accessibility, will speed up crypto adoption? By understanding each better, their strengths and weaknesses can be properly established. Only then can a better crypto adoption drive plan be drafted and implemented, quite possibly leaning more on one over the other.
Usability refers to how easy it is to use a particular project or service. In essence, it explains how easy it is to onboard, use, and log out of the project. Usability is what brings convenience and efficiency to a project. It is quite different from use cases, which focus more on application. When talking about usability, the following subjects come to mind.
Creating an understandable onboarding process is probably the first step to ensuring many people join your project. If blockchain networks have complex onboarding systems, the usage will be low.
Unfortunately, the situation with the blockchain ecosystem currently makes the onboarding processes quite hard. Many projects have lengthy onboarding processes filled with heavy crypto jargon. However, to ensure even the most illiterate persons have freedom using crypto, developers must make creating accounts seamless, simple, and fast for anyone.
Platforms must have user-friendly interfaces which make purchasing, selling, and exchanging crypto assets easy. The industry needs to make it so easy that people across different economic systems like fiat get incentivized to join the industry.
Streamlining everyday transactions comes in second as one of the features to discuss under usability. Blockchain projects should ensure they design their systems to perfection, so investors find them easy to use.
Simplifying the UI is a vital part of streamlining everyday transactions. The Exodus wallet developers are a good case point, creating an interface that is very navigable, more so for beginners.
Cryptocurrencies are stored in tools popularly known as crypto wallets. The wallets are designed to enable streamlined interaction between exchanges and blockchains. They serve the crucial purpose of providing a secure way to store one's crypt assets via robust encryption algorithms.
Many projects have focused on designing asset-specific wallets; these are wallets intended only to hold a particular crypto asset. However, in the recent past, there has been actual development in wallets that can hold a wide array of assets. Metamask, Ledger, Exodus, Trezor, and many other wallets support more than one crypto asset. The availability of such tools in the industry bolsters the usability and convenience associated with the crypto landscape.
Many investors still store their cryptos on exchanges where security issues are more prone. Developers ought to create storage mechanisms that have more offline features, a good hedge against cybercrime. While hardware wallets do offer such features, their financial management tools tend to be less accessible, the other key barrier to adoption.
Accessibility is the other crucial factor in driving crypto adoption globally. More accessible crypto simply implies fewer barriers in place that hinder using the crypto project. It could also refer to the daily requirements for joining the crypto space.
Many experts say that accessibility is the most significant barrier to crypto adoption. The main obstacles to crypto accessibility are:
- Overuse of crypto jargon
- Heavy computing requirements
- No interoperability between traditional finance and crypto
Ever read a crypto blog post and left with almost nothing? Most crypto projects tend to fill their websites with heavy crypto jargon, which is hard for most to grasp. Technical terms describing how blockchains operate can be more of a hindrance to adoption. Marketers must ensure they reduce the technical words in content such as blog posts and use simple terms everyone can understand.
Internet and computing requirements are also vital factors to consider when discussing accessibility. The crypto space is wholly based on the Internet. One should have a good computer and the Internet to use crypto. However, some platforms have such a high set of computing requirements that mobile phone users find it hard to access the services. Such high computing and internet requirements make projects inaccessible to many who prefer browsing via smartphones. Fewer requirements equal more accessibility.
Finally, the lack of proper interoperability between financial and crypto has been a significant source of blockchain inaccessibility. The traditional finance world has been here for ages hence garnering user trust. However, the crypto space still suffers from investor confidence and trust problems being a very young industry.
The crypto landscape can take advantage of the traditional world to increase literacy levels about blockchain. Blockchain projects should focus on improving crypto and traditional finance interoperability. If the two worlds can interoperate, crypto will be more accessible to everyone, and financial literacy will increase.
Shannon Wu, a Forbes council member in the Forbes Technology Council has quite sound advice regarding the subject matter. In his article entitled 'Bridging the Gap Between Traditional and Decentralized Finance', he had this to say: "Despite their potential, decentralized platforms have struggled to bring unsecured lending products to users…" He then adds that "By leveraging existing credit data as the basis for a decentralized credential that demonstrates creditworthiness, and making this feature available to DeFi marketplaces, platforms can move beyond overcollateralized loans."
It must be established that both crypto usability and accessibility are essential to driving adoption rates. The two work hand in hand and could together usher in the next financial revolution.
Looking at each separately, some form of priority focus can be drawn. Usability cases for cryptos are always revamping and reinventing themselves. It can be said that for every usability issue discovered, there is some new blockchain project designed to address it. Accessibility, on the other hand, is seemingly always beyond arm's reach for the majority of would-be users. It's arguably the direst hindrance to a universal adoption rate.
While it's a problem that has to be solved, it serves as a call to action for both analysts and project developers. The analysts are best placed to find out the most impactful and urgent accessibility areas when solved in terms of adoption rates. However, developers could convert the findings into profitable ventures that help blockchain fulfil its potential.