Accessibility is a pain point for cryptocurrency adoption that has been debated for years but is as relevant as ever. This issue was most recently recognized by the United States government, as we saw Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen discuss it in her remarks on digital asset policy and regulation. There are barriers that restrict access to cryptocurrencies such as: B. Financial literacy and technological resources, and it is our duty as developers and leaders in this disruptive industry to address them.
Studies have shown that only 33% of adults worldwide are financially literate. With many projects in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space focused on enabling people without access to traditional financial institutions and tools to earn, save, and transact, this is an important consideration.
Certainly, traditional financial institutions have additional obstacles bypassing cryptocurrency projects, such as: B. Documentation requirements, high fees and a general lack of local financial institutions in emerging markets. That being said, even DeFi requires knowledge and understanding of money to comfortably enter the space. Comprehensive education on the building blocks of finance, from savings tips to market volatility, is critical to encouraging those who have felt left out of traditional finance to enter the DeFi world.
Related: Decentralized finance may be the future, but education is still lacking
Cryptocurrency formation and technostress
Another necessary educational component is cryptocurrency and blockchain education. New technologies of all kinds can be overwhelming and confusing for potential new users – it’s so common that the term “technostress” has been coined to diagnose this problem.
Highly technical language and frequent use of jargon are two issues I’ve seen in the space that are keeping crypto-novices from delving into the world of DeFi. Providing resources that break down the essentials of blockchain technology, whether it’s blog posts or explanatory videos, helps bridge the huge knowledge gap between developers and ordinary people. While this is an important start, the unfortunate truth is that education also requires a crucial and very limited resource – time.
The time and energy it takes to learn the ins and outs of blockchain and cryptocurrency technology can be a major barrier to developing the deep understanding required to enter the space. While providing simple, basic educational tools is beneficial, it serves an admittedly limited demographic. As a result, financial literacy and crypto literacy remain important, but there are other steps developers and leaders must take to enable user adoption. Project leaders should also consider the knowledge gaps when designing their platform and building messaging. Using simple, concise language that resonates with all audiences is key to welcoming new users.
Related: Women’s interest in crypto is growing, but the education gap remains
How the wealth gap serves as a barrier
As mentioned earlier, the wealth gap poses many challenges for low-income individuals to enter this field. In addition to a lack of access to and time for education, limited liquidity is another massive barrier to entry.
In order to invest, individuals must be able to support their living expenses with extra money that they can use elsewhere. For those living paycheck to paycheck, or even those who just don’t feel comfortable risking their resources on investments, they’re far less inclined to put money in investment accounts.
Related: Crypto education can bring financial empowerment to Latin Americans
This is especially true for digital assets as they are newer and less regulated than traditional investment avenues. Undercollateralized lending will allow those with less liquidity to invest in the space, serving as the main driver for mainstream crypto adoption. Projects like Teller Finance, which allow individuals to borrow crypto assets without posting collateral, are pushing the space forward. This space will continue to grow and is necessary to increase accessibility.
How leaders and developers can overcome these barriers
As developers focus on simplicity and ease of use for users, their platform must reflect these considerations. Onboarding is the first step for any curious potential new user. So by making sure signup is intuitive, you can make a lasting first impression. Understandably, when there are many complicated processes to set up an account, people will not want to continue. Easy Know Your Customer identification instead of tedious logs is one way projects can improve their onboarding experience.
Another step for projects is building a robust network of partners. Depending on the project, this could be compatible blockchains, integration with decentralized applications, or joining initiatives like Celos DeFi for the People that aim to expand real-world use cases. There are so many projects in the space, often with limited interoperability, meaning users have to juggle many different accounts and applications. Making your platform as rich and interoperable as possible means giving users myriad ways of using your platform through compatible programs, which in turn encourages them to take advantage of your offerings.
The continued growth of the blockchain industry requires a steady influx of new users within the space. To do this, as an industry, we need to develop projects with new users in mind. Providing educational content is the first step in building a foundation that will enable us to revolutionize business.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t serve every user, and finding additional ways to encourage new users to join the space is crucial. Offering unsecured lending is helping to fill the wealth gap we’ve seen throughout crypto’s development and increased adoption. It’s equally important to keep your audience in mind at every step, from the design to the message to what you’re offering. The ultimate goal is to embed blockchain technology into applications to such an extent that users don’t even need to know they are on the chain. If our applications are as intuitive and understandable as the traditional financial tools that users have downloaded millions of times, we will see an unprecedented increase in user numbers.
This article does not contain any investment advice or recommendation. Every investment and trading move involves risk and readers should do their own research when making a decision.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Fabrice Cheng is co-founder, CEO and chief technology officer at Quadrata. Previously, he was head of blockchain technology at Spring Labs. Fabrice is an experienced technologist and has been building in the Ethereum ecosystem since 2016 with a particular interest in how to extract value from the mempool and he is also an Ethereum 2.0 open source contributor at Prysmatic Labs.
https://cointelegraph.com/news/accessibility-is-the-main-barrier-to-crypto-adoption-here-are-the-solutions Accessibility is the main barrier to crypto adoption – Here are the solutions