Let’s talk today about the mass adoption of the blockchain
It’s something that people in this sphere are looking forward to. We really would love that to happen. And obviously, we would love that to happen soon.
Is it going to happen soon or not?
That’s a big question actually. And I think it highly depends on how things go.
But at the moment there are a few things that I think we have to address and look into. Those are going to impact the speed of the adoption.
Which are the issues?
To be fair, I’ve been in this space for a bit over three years and I thought that it was going to happen but now when I’m revisiting and looking at things and seeing how things are done, I’m not so sure that it’s going to be happening as soon as I thought it would.
I see several things that are done at the moment.
I’m looking at this from the non-tech perspective, from the human side of it and I am representing the masses. I’m putting myself in the shoes of the masses that are supposed to adopt the blockchain.
So where are the problems?
First of all the masses and the blockchain needs a bridge.
The bridge is basically all these projects that are creating some things people.
Let’s look at what’s happened on that side.
I may say something very obvious, but I feel like some need to hear this.
Not only the projects that are creating services and products need to make sure that they are actually solving a problem, which NOT always is the case.
Because very often, even when the blockchain projects are solving a problem, they are solving a problem for a very niche market for, for themselves, for tech people, for blockchain enthusiasts, crypto people, but NOT for the masses.
So what happens when you are solving a problem that is very niche and it’s a niche within the blockchain already?
If you are solving a problem that blockchain people have, then that’s who are going to adopt your solution. And the adoption probably will not go beyond that niche.
The easiest and fastest way to contribute to mass adoption would be trying to solve a problem that non-crypto people have, that people who don’t care or are not very inspired by blockchain technology have and solve it for them.
And make sure that when you solve that problem, you create the tools and the bridges that are very easy for the non-crypto people to cross.
That’s where another problem is lying.
The problem comes from the fact that most of the blockchain founders are absolutely in love with the technology and are focused on building the tech.
But when you are stuck in the technology sphere, when you talk only to other founders, when you talk only about the tech, you end up becoming isolated and detached from the non-tech crowds, right?
So the more detached you get, the less you understand what their needs are, what their desires are, what they are looking for, and what their problems are.
As a result, you won’t even be able to come up with a solution to a problem that they have, because most probably you won’t even know what their problems are.
And then the harder it will be to build those bridges between the two.
So don’t get stuck and don’t talk only to people in your field.
Get out there and go broader and talk to more people, understand what’s going on in the world.
The world doesn’t rotate around blockchain.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, not everyone is as inspired by the tech and as excited about blockchain as you are.
Another thing is the language: the language that you use.
For example, I’m originally from Armenia and Armenian is my mother tongue. So imagine if I didn’t speak English and I did this podcast in Armenian.
I’m sure that no one would listen. No one would understand and there would be no engagement and whatever I’m telling you would be completely lost in translation.
That’s, what’s happening very often with projects.
They are so obsessed with the tech and use all these tech terms. They forget sometimes that the masses who are supposed to adopt that technology, have no clue what they’re talking about.
These days, people are leading in a hectic world. They are busy. They are running around and their attention span is very short.
If you bet that this person is going to be so curious that he’s going to go and start digging and looking into the terms and trying to understand what those mean, it’s not going to happen.
It’s just not how life works. No one is going to do that.
Just a simple example is the website copy…
I go to the website and sometimes I read the whole page and I still have no clue what the project is about. I still have no clue what’s the offering, which means that I don’t even know whether it’s for me or not.
And I spend the time going over it.
Not everyone is going to spend this time and try to read the whole thing.
All they will do is just skip it and move on.
So that’s another thing that is not very complex. Just pay attention to who you’re talking to and what are you saying.
Usually, something that is unclear seems complex. It scares you and it makes you avoid it altogether. It just makes you think that it’s probably not for you and you just move on.
Let’s get to another reason that the masses don’t adopt blockchain.
Very often blockchain projects bet on the fact that people are going to change their lifestyles.
We talk about mass adoption through education.
More clear and more simple materials for non-techie people to learn about blockchain and how things work is very useful obviously.
They just don’t want to spend the time and effort to learn this – and they don’t need to!
Most of people probably will prefer to watch something on Netflix instead of going and reading a book about blockchain or watching a video about blockchain. Let’s be realistic about it.
So the educational route is betting on the fact that the people will be so intrigued and so curious that they’re going to go out there and spend time and effort to learn about it. Sorry to shatter your illusions but is NOT going to be the case.
The other problem is that all the solutions usually include a learning curve and there are loads of barriers to entry for masses.
Even a simple thing, like opening a crypto wallet is not a straightforward process. Things are not so simple. So people will have to put extra effort in order to try things out.
We need more effortless and simpler solutions, just a few clicks, very easy, not scary, nothing risky kind of thing that is going to make people use the thing without realizing that they are using blockchain and without needing to know how it works.
When I’m sending an email I don’t care how that email got from my inbox to your inbox. I care about how long it takes and that my message actually gets into your inbox and that it took me just a few clicks. And it was very simple. That’s all I care about.
So what technology is underneath it – I don’t care. All I care about is how easy for me it is to use and how well it works.
And the problem now is that there are very few blockchain projects that have come out with mass appeal products that are also easy to use.
One of the examples that I’m always giving, because I use that on a daily basis is the Brave browser. And that is why it has millions of users, because I don’t need to know about tech in order to use the Brave browser. I don’t need to change my lifestyle or habits or learn something new in order to be able to use that browser because I use it as any other browser. So there is no rocket science behind it to learn and that’s the way to go.
Back in 2017, during the ICO, boom, the communities were mainly about communities, token buyers, right?
But masses are not token holders. They are not token traders.
They don’t participate in any other kinds of tokenized crowdfunding mechanisms.
So, what if you want to reach mass adoption as a B2C project?
What you have to build is NOT a community of token buyers, but a community of your FUTURE USERS.
So I guess what one needs to consider while building their blockchain startup is – stepping out of the blockchain bubble and become non-crypto customer-centric… and then maybe, the mass adoption process will move faster.