UX Shortcomings Are A Feature Of Bitcoin Design
There is no substitute for total control over the money you have. System vulnerabilities aside – yes, if the internet goes, Bitcoin and everything else you rely on will go with it – Bitcoin is the first form of money that allows you to have full control over your assets.
This comes with a huge responsibility; security is 100% your responsibility. This creates a UX issue that is basically a feature of Bitcoin design.
This UX issue hampers the kind of adoption that maximalists would like to see.
Bitcoin Design is Way Better Now
Nowadays, more user-friendly interfaces, payment systems, devices like hardware wallets and prefabricated Bitcoin nodes, have dealt with a significant part of the UX problem that Bitcoin has.
The way the system is designed forced people from within the space to make the adjustments necessary that enabled others to design devices and platforms that are more user-friendly.
But beneath the surface, this revolutionary asset is still too arcane to encourage the kind of mass adoption that could make it more than just a niche alternative to fiat.
The only way to overcome those Bitcoin design quirks is to show anyone who is interested, how this cryptocurrency works at the most basic functional level.
By Design: Obstacles to Bitcoin Adoption
The kind of information that people need when it comes to Bitcoin, doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with why it is superior money.
Most people just use fiat without understanding the intricacies behind the system – which is a factor that should be concerning but will not be solved any time soon.
Therefore, we need to start from the beginning:
- How to secure their funds properly – which is tantamount to what most people learned about keeping their cash and then their credit cards safe
- The need to double check who they are sending the funds to because, by design, there is no one who can return their funds if they make a mistake – although some community members have the ethical fiber to return a payment they get by mistake
- The importance of holding their own private keys
- Reinforce the notion that Bitcoin is not a tool that was designed for criminals
- Show users that there is an increasing pool of vendors that accept Bitcoin
This can be done easily through informative tutorials, guiding people who are interested through transactions, and showing them how to set up and properly use all those wonderful devices that were designed to make Bitcoin more user-friendly.
Advanced Bitcoin Design
After we have emphasized those key issues, we can get into more advanced Bitcoin design features, which have to do with those arcane mechanisms that run behind the scenes:
- Money supply
- Censorship resistance
- The value in getting rid of intermediaries to transact with our peers
- How Bitcoin runs in the opposite direction of fiat currency and what are the advantages in the system
Bitcoin was not Designed with the Average Joe in Mind and that Will Not Change
Even then, after we make sure that we have a more receptive audience because we helped people understand how to transact, keep and safeguard their coins, and we explained the benefits of holding and using Bitcoin, we will hit an adoption ceiling.
Many people out there are simply not interested, or they genuinely believe that fiat is better. Others will still find it weird or will be too used to fiat to try Bitcoin out.
Bitcoin was not designed for the average Joe. Even after the introduction of new UX features on wallets and other advances that have made it easier for everyone to use, making a Bitcoin payment is not as easy as making a fiat payment.
Price is volatile and users need to deal with decimals, which is something a lot of people are reluctant to do.
Embrace Bitcoin Design
As a medium of exchange, Bitcoin design can only go so far to make it user-friendly.
That is one of the main reasons why it doesn’t have the ability to replace fiat. But if we can embrace Bitcoin design, make sure that whomever wants to use it can understand its most basic functional level, and we can leave the philosophical or technical conversations aside until the time is right when we are engaging “nocoiners”, we might get closer to its adoption ceiling.