In order for cryptocurrencies to gain widespread public acceptance as something other than a pure investment vehicle, the process for making payments or transfers must be convenient, straightforward, and easy to do. Trust and confidence can only come from this triad of sorts, and the Foundation for Interwallet Operability (FIO), a concerned group within the crypto community, understands this issue fully and has as its mission to improve upon the usability of cryptos. Up to now, even those users that have been around the crypto space for some time have considered usability to be far from perfect.
David Gold is the founder of the group, and in a recent interview, he offered up a few insights gained in his latest survey on crypto usability. Over two hundred individuals were surveyed, broken into two groups – people who have held positions in cryptos for a minimum of three years, and those that have not. Mr. Gold’s conclusion:
There are a lot of usability issues that have to be dramatically improved if crypto ever is going to achieve its potential of enabling the seamless movement of decentralized value and doing for the movement of value what the world wide web has done for the movement of information.
A few of the survey results:
- Almost three-quarters of respondents (73%) sent a few payment or transfer transactions during 2018.
- Most crypto users “feel their hearts skip a beat when they press send on that Bitcoin payment.”
- Most crypto users described their experience as “cautiously optimistic” after sending a payment, but only one-quarter of the group felt “very comfortable.”
- 60% of newer users failed to answer “very comfortable” after sending a crypto payment.
- Most crypto users said, “They experienced problems when sending Bitcoin or another asset to someone else.”
- 20% of users actually had a problem severe enough to prevent the successful completion of the transaction.
- As for general usage, only 11% of those polled claimed to have averaged at least one transaction a week. The majority of users, however, rarely used crypto at all.
The overriding current concern is that crypto addresses are overly confusing. As Gold points out, for crypto to work, it must be easier that other payment methods. PayPal, for example, requires a simple email address to be successful, as opposed to complicated bank routing and transit information.
FIO has worked with wallet manufactures to develop a protocol that relies upon solving the address problem at a wallet level: “Users can generate payment requests, based on the wallet software instead of the blockchain itself, so the sender is confident that the funds are properly routed.” Wallet firms like Binance’s Trust Wallet, Coinomi, and Edge Wallet are FIO members.
The issue can only get worse over time, unless a workable solution that applies equally well to all blockchains is developed. Gold’s closing remarks:
If these things don’t get changed, people are not going to be buying coffee with crypto. It’s got to be actually better than sending fiat. It’s got to be easier, safer, and more comfortable than sending fiat. Because these are immutable transactions, right?