It is fantastic, transformative, full of potential, the new internet! But have you spoken to anyone outside of crypto? Barely one out of five people claim to know what it is (who knows if they actually do). And if you have spoken to your family, friends, or made the horrible mistake of delving into social media conversations, blockchain is mistaken for Bitcoin (or some other cryptocurrency), and more often than not believed to be scam. Don’t get me wrong – we live and breathe blockchain and, because we see the potential in its success, are convinced we need new ways to approach its deployment.
Nobody Cares How Airplanes Fly
Or how computers work, or how cellphones give you all of the world’s knowledge plus the ability to call people instantly across the world while leaving a mean comment on Instagram; but we all use them anyway. The future of blockchain lies on how well we manage to integrate it to users’ lives. For grandma to open the computer or phone and use a decentralized app (DApp) to connect to a blockchain network for financial transactions or to store her family pictures she needs to understand this technology just as much as she needs to get a grasp on Bernoulli’s principle to fly on an airplane: that is, not at all. What grandma and all of us need is a way to seamlessly benefit from using this technology, much like we do from operating systems that let us use computers and smartphones or from navigators and websites that let connect us to the internet and the ideas, products and services we share or market.
The Gate to User Adoption is Still Hard to Open
Arguably DApps are the best way to bring blockchain applications to the broader public. Unfortunately, like we found researching for this piece, much of the discussion about DApps is still quite technical. What is more, there are already over 2,000 DApps out there, which takes DApps down the same path of its cumbersome predecessor, the “regular” app. Just imagine navigating across your multiple traditional and decentralized app stores to find what you’re looking for, trying to figure out which are compatible with which, and having a more populated desktop or phone screen.
The Key Will be in Ease of Use
The average user is not wondering which programming language is behind each application they use or how these applications interact with one another. Fortunately for us we found a startup that has thought about this much more than we have and are seeking to do more than provide average users with seamless access to DApps and blockchains. Cardstack is building a platform for what they call the “experience layer”, through which users can experience the apps – local, cloud-based, and decentralized – in a single place. What is more, they are providing a way to harmonize the use of multiple tokens, rewarding developers based on the use features they design.
For us, this could be the way in which grandma understands that her grandkids’ pictures are safe and private on a blockchain, shared on the cloud, and for her to keep on her tablet, while the developers that build her apps get rewarded when she uses them. As such, it will provide a much clearer path for people to board the metaphorical blockchain plane than convincing them that neither Bernoulli’s principle is a myth nor blockchain equals a scam.