Blockchain thoughts

July 11, 2022

I dislike blockchain. Or I should say, I DID dislike blockchain.

I did because I didn’t get it. I mean, I understood the idea behind it, but it seemed very farfetched. In addition, I kept hearing about all those new ICOs popping up with no proper technology behind them, people getting hyped for no reason, I thought, so I was becoming more and more distant from the blockchain world.

Until last weekend, when I decided to give it a chance and try to understand it better. So I went through Web3 course on FrontendMasters, read some blogs and docs provided by Web3.Career, played with CryptoZombies, looked through a project on _buildspace, and went through Solana dApps tutorials.

I must say, I was impressed. The blockchain space that I knew back in 2018 when I was working for a blockchain startup, is A LOT different now. And the idea of decentralized finance does not seem that farfetched anymore, thanks to the efforts of blockchain advocates and enthusiasts. But there are two things that still bother me that are a concern and I think require a lot of attention from the Web3 community.

1 - Focus on non-technical users

If a non-technical user doesn’t understand how to use crypto in everyday life, if it takes a lot of mental and physical efforts to start using crypto, from opening a wallet to paying someone, - all of this isn’t going anywhere

We need to keep the learning curve flat. It should be as easy as opening a bank account and paying with a card.

Efforts in achieving this should include educational materials, like blog posts, videos, talks, quick how-tos, simplification of the "onboarding" process, i.e. improvements in UX, and everything in between.

2 - We shouldn’t need to convert crypto back to fiat to make use of it

Shops, restaurants, landlords, and everyone should accept crypto. We should be able to support ourselves with crypto without the need to convert to USD, GBP and Euros. Even for things like paying for a butter in the local farm shop.

Otherwise, it’s just not sustainable, it's a lot of effort, and quite unstable (meaning, people will never have confidence in it).

For this, we need to start getting blockchain outside of its space to where all the people are. That is WordPress, Shopify, SquareSpace, WIx and other tools that people are using every day for their businesses. Perhaps even integrating with already existing offline payment processing solutions like sumup and iZettle.

I already see efforts being made in that direction. For example, Stripe is integrating with Polygon, we can make an e-shop with Next.js and Solana Pay, and you can set up your Shopify shop to accept crypto with Crypto.com.

But all in all, I found the Web3 world a lot more interesting nowadays than it was before, and I think I'm going to study blockchain topic a little bit more from now on, play around with it, and see how I personally can contribute to any of those two issues.


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I also blog about my professional life in @british_frontend (на Русском).