Op-Ed: Crypto needs easy-to-use non-financial products
There is a massive knowledge gap in crypto. And it's growing daily. Here’s how to help narrow that gap.
The online community is not always the most welcoming of ‘no-coiners’ (people who, for various reasons, don’t own cryptocurrency). Many people who don’t have access to technology or associate it with negative implications stay away from developing a more in-depth understanding.
While some may say “have fun staying poor,” those that are interested should be able to learn about these tools and their applications without being overwhelmed by all the jargon or criticism out there on this topic.
We know that it’s easier for people from first-world countries to understand modern financial technology. That is because they grew up with a cultural understanding of how things work, unlike those who didn’t grow up in such environments. If our crypto startups and products focused more on ease-of-use, then we would be able to bridge this gap between developed nations versus developing ones!
Simply put: Crypto startups need better UI/UX (User Interface Design). This way there will not only be less confusion among users but also help us alleviate any divides based on country status or location.
On the other hand, developing countries really only know how to pay bills and that you need cash for some things and credit cards for other things.
When crypto enthusiasts discuss these products, we often don’t consider the fact there are clear language barriers in many underdeveloped countries. When it comes to more complicated topics like new crypto technology and DeFi, there are many obstacles and overwhelming feelings newcomers typically face.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve tried explaining crypto to friends and family from outside of the industry, only to have them become completely lost, or frustrated because they can’t even begin to understand what I am saying. We live in a world where Google Translate is becoming more common than Rosetta Stone.
Crypto startups are realizing that there is a non-technical demographic, and some of them have started to develop products for those who don’t know the ins and outs of crypto.
These companies often fly under the radar because they aren’t marketed or presented well in general with regard to other projects within this niche industry. It’s clear from these findings that cryptocurrency will continue thriving as more people enter it without any knowledge about technical aspects such as wallets, private keys, etc., so long as businesses keep developing creative ways for everyone to use their products easily.
First World Crypto Users Do It Best
Now I know what you’re thinking. “If crypto developers only focus on first-world countries, then how will crypto grow? Isn’t it all about obtaining financial freedom and helping the unbanked?” We need a world that supports crypto users wherever they are.
Crypto startups can’t just work with existing users, they need to focus on newcomers from third-world countries as well. They should be developing products for users in underdeveloped countries because doing so indirectly helps the crypto industry grow and maintain adoption.
This doesn’t mean crypto startups should ignore the potential to help people without access to financial services. It just means that we need a model for how that will work and include those who already have access (and want crypto).
There have been many attempts at creating an exchange that targets people without bank accounts or credit cards, but none have yet to reach any stage of mainstream adoption.
Refine Your Product Messaging
As the blockchain industry matures, we are starting to see areas of growth outside of financial products. In order for this space to get a critical mass and take off, the products driven to the market need to deliver a working prototype (at least) and a comprehensive understanding of the said product to the retail markets.
Cryptocurrencies and their products are changing the way we look at money and decentralized applications. While there have been many products created in this space, they were made for experienced knowledge-based users who understand and show interest in how these products work.
I am talking about DeFi experts, financial analysts, crypto enthusiasts, etc. This is a must to create quality and drive adoption in the industry.
One of the most difficult problems people have encountered in the blockchain space is the knowledge gap between what crypto products do and how they work. A lot of projects are reimagining the wheel of current financial products and adding a ton of useless technology around it, making the product harder to grasp for a first-time user.
Explainer videos help a lot, but having a strong community filled with seasoned members in the industry is the pride and joy of what every business strives for. Not only will they welcome newcomers with open arms, they can also navigate new members through any obstacles and even go to the depths of explaining the product to you in Layman’s terms.
If you are a ‘crypto OG’ or ‘DeFi enthusiast’, I challenge you to look into your favorite products and seek the lack of knowledge or education provided by the business- from a newcomer’s point of view. This will not only promote your value within their business model, but you will also have a better grasp on how to help and retain someone new to the community.