There are still hurdles for crypto to clear before it can be called mainstream. Skepticism has abated in more savvy circles, but it has yet to cross the chasm to mass adoption. Nearly everyone has heard of Bitcoin, but crypto is not, for most of us, yet a part of everyday life.
Even wide-eyed tech enthusiasts, quick to grab the latest gadget, may not be sure what to do with digital assets. An art fan can have a ball with Ethereum or Zilliqa, but right now most tokens do not have many uses. In some cases this is because they are still under construction. In others, it is because they were not built for the long run.
Gaining the trust of ordinary people can be hard. It is particularly difficult when the products are not immediately understandable. The failure to see the value of new technology is not limited to laypeople. History is overflowing with naysayers, including ones who should know better, who have doubted the practicality or marketability of trains, cars, airplanes, and personal computers. Moving from early adopters to the reluctant majority is a challenge all technologies face. Crossing the Chasm is a classic in this area.
First published in 1991, it shows its age and prescience when it mentions the unrealized potential of products like video conferencing software. Its focus is on how tech startups can succeed, including reasons why outfits like Oracle and Microsoft have prevailed where others have failed. Although there are key differences between the crypto market and the startup scene of 30 years ago, there are lessons crypto can draw from it. Moore divides purchasers into the following groups: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards.
We may be tempted to say crypto is entering the second or third phase. After all, a handful of large corporations are accepting payments in Bitcoin and the average person is becoming less averse to adding crypto to their portfolio. Most of the products Moore focuses on require upfront investments. After purchasing the software and training employees, we might be reluctant to switch to another suite — even if it is better. From this vantage point, it is useful to think of crypto projects as products. This is probably as far as we would want to take this, however.
The main stumbling block for crypto is cosmetic. Under its hood Mac OS X runs a modified version of BSD Unix. Android runs a version of Linux. Neither of these operating systems are noted for their ease of use. However, the fact these operating systems are supporting a sleek graphical interface is irrelevant to the end user. Crypto wallets, which ask users to store their passwords and recovery information themselves, do not instill confidence. They are daunting at best, sketchy at worst. The fairly bare window, which may make us think of Windows 98 in its heyday, does not look like the financial solution of the future. Who would trust something that looks like the payment portals of credit cards for people with low FICO scores?
It is not fair to judge by appearances, but we do it anyway. We don’t need Don Norman to tell us the average crypto wallet is neither aesthetically pleasing nor, lacking simple denominations, particularly intuitive.
Ergonomics aside, getting a token can be a hassle. Most of us, especially those who dabble in newer tokens major exchanges may not carry, know this struggle. It’s natural to feel uneasy transferring hard-earned ETH or BTC to a new exchange. Coordinating with retailers, integrating the currency with the established financial infrastructure, and providing a familiar interface — preferably one that is nearly indistinguishable from online banking suites — is what is necessary to move forward.
An application that hitches its wagon to a single star is asking for issues down the road. Systems come and go. We may, with good reason, have more faith in Ethereum than a younger ledger, but that is no guarantee it will always be the favorite. It is also no guarantee that it will remain the best, or near the best, option for all applications. Programming languages that make use of virtual machines, letting them run on a variety of operating systems with little or no modifications, are a godsend to developers. Interoperability can be a substantial competitive advantage.
HODLC is one of the few tokens that has thought this far ahead. HODLC is ledger agnostic, meaning it has not bound up its fate with EOS or Ethereum or any single ledger. More than that, it is striving to make obtaining and holding HODLC simple. The HODLCommunity is taking education into its own hands and training a group of ambassadors to initiate people into cryptocurrency. Its technology and its organization are ferrying those who stand to benefit from cryptocurrency to other shore. It will be an endeavor like HODLC that lets crypto cross the chasm.
Authored by: Adam Alonzi
Adam is a writer, biotechnologist, documentary maker, futurist, inventor, programmer, fintech specialist and multi awarded and published author. He is a co-owner and operations director at Mass Media Division where his team has been responsible for launches of several top cryptos. Alonzi is also Head of New Media for BioViva Sciences, interdisciplinary analyst for EthicsNet and a reviewer for the Millennium Project.
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