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| December 12, 2018

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Petition: Spongebob Must Sing at Halftime

December 2, 2018 |

Spongebob Squarepants ‘ creator may be gone, but he’s far from forgotten. A fan’s petition has garnered nearly 300,000 signatures as of this writing asking the NFL to have “Sweet Victory” performed at the next halftime show, Fox News reports. Spongebob performed the ’80s-style power ballad at the fictional…
Newser

Trump advisor Larry Kudlow says China ‘must do more’ to end trade war

November 27, 2018 |

Larry Kudlow, President Trump’s top economic advisor, said Tuesday that China’s response to U.S. efforts to rework the two economic superpowers’ trade relationship has been “extremely disappointing” but the planned meeting this weekend between the nations’ leaders is an opportunity for a breakthrough.


L.A. Times – Business

Trump on Border Wall: GOP, Dems ‘Must Come Together’

November 24, 2018 |

The AP reports that President Trump hit the links on his Florida golf course the day after Thanksgiving, but before he did, he rehashed a topic that’s long been on his mind, with seeming impatience. “Republicans and Democrats MUST come together, finally, with a major Border Security package, which will…
Newser

Op-Ed: To Achieve Mass Adoption We Must Fight for ‘Blockchain Inclusion’

November 23, 2018 |

Op-Ed: To Achieve Mass Adoption We Must Fight for "Blockchain Inclusion"

The following piece on blockchain inclusion was written by Alexander Vasylchenko. He is the CEO and founder of Sofitto and the creator of Sugi-Card, which is a cold-storage cryptocurrency wallet. Alexander is also the former CTO of Mycelium, one of the first secure mobile Bitcoin wallets, created in 2013.

Cryptocurrencies have only been around for a decade, but their impact on global and local economies is palpable. Last month, a pilot project launched in Uganda provided 1,000 farmers with cryptocurrency loans. In a country where almost half the population is underbanked, the project allows farmers to buy necessary tools to scale their businesses without depending on banks.

Also read: Bitcoin Isn’t Volatile – the World Is

Toward Mass Adoption
and Blockchain Accessibility

To Achieve Mass Adoption We Must Fight for "Blockchain Inclusion"

But many of today’s cryptocurrency tools do not commit to making blockchain technology easily accessible. Consumer products are still far too technical, placing an overwhelming responsibility on the user to educate themselves on how to navigate this new landscape safely.

A recent report revealed that while 93 percent of British people are aware of Bitcoin, they don’t know how it works. Only 4 percent understand it.

If we are to see mass adoption of distributed ledger technologies, we need to make them as accessible as possible for every person — from unbanked communities in emerging economies to populations with established financial infrastructure. Blockchain inclusion — the idea that the technology will only make a meaningful difference when everyone, regardless of their culture, demographic or technical know-how is empowered to use it — must be the industry’s focus.

From Cypherpunks to New Adopters

The first users of cryptocurrency were technically proficient. They were drawn to blockchain technology’s potential to disrupt the financial, social and political realms.

A nod to the cypherpunk era, Satoshi Nakamoto’s original Bitcoin whitepaper appealed to those who already sought to challenge traditional finance, which in the wake of the 2008 economic collapse had proven that the system was failing. Blockchain’s consensus mechanism was a promising alternative; it effectively withdrew power from centralized financial authorities and shifted trust into a self-governed network built to resist human-driven misconduct.

Due to the rising market price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from 2015 to 2017, we saw the next major wave of users enter the space. While the core philosophy of bitcoin was not founded on promise of financial returns, the initial coin offering (ICO) boom attracted countless new players to the space. Luckily, ICOs now seem to be a thing of the past — their popularity fading as fast as they arrived — giving the industry a chance to shift the focus to its consumers.

The Challenges of a Nascent Technology

To Achieve Mass Adoption We Must Fight for "Blockchain Inclusion"

But for many people, simply storing crypto can be a daunting process, and this hinders its mass adoption. Corporate solutions are, for the most part, years away from being placed in the hands of consumers. Wallets still require technical acumen and are typically inaccessible for making everyday purchases. Online wallets are far easier to use. However, they are not designed with security strong enough to resist hacks or phishing attacks. Usability and accessibility often comes at a great cost to security.

As we now enter a new stage of cryptocurrency adoption, it is up to companies and teams to make the use of crypto as simple and safe as possible. Projects face a number of challenges as they try to blend this nascent, complex technology with both usability and security. While users should take the initiative in educating themselves, the tools and products they use should provide a smooth and effortless transition.

Blockchain is Not Inclusive by Default

In the same way that entire unbanked communities have grown from rigid, traditional banking processes, we run the risk of crypto finance solutions creating an exclusive ecosystem. The World Bank’s Global Findex database estimates that 1.7 billion adults do not have bank accounts. However, more than one billion of these unbanked adults have mobile phones, which opens up an avenue for convenient access to financial services.

Blockchain inclusion depends on the teams building the technology, not their users. In an ideal world, the phrase “build it and they will come” would resonate with us all. The reality is far less encouraging; as with any new technology, it’s the creators and innovators who bear the burden of engineering products that are easily adoptable.

According to the Technology Acceptance Model, user adoption depends upon two core factors: perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use. In theory, the combination of these two factors pulls users in and pushes crypto into the mainstream.

Developing blockchain tools that are both useful and easy to use is challenging, but it is within our reach. In order to drive the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, we need solutions accommodating all users regardless of technical ability, simplifying the process of both storing and using crypto.

Blockchain Should be Designed for Everyone

To Achieve Mass Adoption We Must Fight for "Blockchain Inclusion"

As cryptocurrencies begin to filter slowly into the global economy, we need to ensure that their entry into the mainstream is as fluid as possible. As with all new technologies, there are multiple barriers to entry such as accessibility, cost and education.

Products such as wallets and payment options should be so simple that individuals can make cryptocurrency transactions without understanding the mechanics behind them. Our technologies should be made blockchain agnostic, meaning they can operate on top of any blockchain.

User Experience Should Be at the Heart of Our Solutions

We can also engineer crypto products that look and feel like traditional banking products. These include classic payment cards and banking mobile apps. They can easily be embedded within our current financial infrastructure, and signed to be used at ATMs and POS terminals.

Products do not have to rely on third parties; we can process payments, transfers and just about anything else to do with crypto. This will ensure faster transmission and lower transactions costs.

The barriers to both technological and financial inclusion will crumble if we make it simple to use cryptocurrency. We need to place users at the heart of our solution. We should be committing ourselves to blockchain inclusion, while still having a chance to build the products that will define our new digital economy.

Do you think bad user experiences are contributing to problems of adoption? How far away from more “blockchain inclusion” are we? 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.

The post Op-Ed: To Achieve Mass Adoption We Must Fight for ‘Blockchain Inclusion’ appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

After Years of Denial, Ex-King Must Take Paternity Test

November 5, 2018 |

Belgium’s former king has to undergo a paternity test. Per the Telegraph , a mandate just handed down by a Brussels appeals court will force King Albert II, who gave up his crown in 2013 so his son Philippe could sit on the throne, to have his saliva tested to see…
Newser

Candidate’s Kids: Don’t Vote for Him, ‘He Must Be Stopped’

November 1, 2018 |

The son and daughter of the allegedly anti-Semitic candidate who somehow won the Republican primary for a seat in Missouri’s House of Representatives both reached out to the Kansas City Star this week to encourage residents of House District 15 not to vote for their father. “My dad’s a fanatic….
Newser

Pittsburgh synagogue shooting shows anti-Semitism in America must not be ignored

October 28, 2018 |

The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting shows anti-Semitism is a serious problem in America that must not be ignored.
FOX News

Trump Praises Arrest, Says Americans Must ‘Unify’

October 26, 2018 |

President Trump on Friday praised the quick arrest of a suspect in the mail bomb case and promised that “swift and certain justice” would follow. “These terrorizing acts are despicable and have no place in our country,” Trump said. Speaking soon after authorities announced the arrest of Florida man accused…
Newser

Crooked Researcher Avoids Jail, but Must Play the Piano

October 11, 2018 |

A former prominent neurological researcher at Yale and New York University avoided prison time Wednesday for stealing research funds, but a judge said he must play piano for indigent elderly people in Connecticut to make amends, per the AP . The unusual sentence for Dr. Alexander Neumeister was handed out Wednesday…
Newser

NFL player-turned-pastor Miles McPherson on his journey to finding God: We must ‘honor what we have in common’

September 23, 2018 |

In the early hours of the morning nearly four decades ago, Miles McPherson’s life changed forever.
FOX News