Cryptocurrencies

5 Ways the Crypto Industry Can Help Accelerate Mass Adoption of Decentralized Services

A pile of various cryptocurrencies
Credit: Nuthawut / stock.adobe.com

By Nick Saponaro, CEO of ‘Crypto made Easy’ pioneer, Divi Project

Talking about Crypto’s mainstream adoption in 2021 feels a little redundant.

According to current data, around 46 million Americans own at least a fraction of a Bitcoin (BTC). That’s around 17% of the adult population. And while developed nations like China, India and the U.S. have looked to curb adoption through bans or regulation, a number of developing nations are exploring how they can leverage crypto to help provide essential financial services, drive economic growth and reduce their reliance on the Dollar.

For example, El Salvador recently became the first nation to make Bitcoin legal tender, and all signs point to the fact it won’t be the last.

Yet, despite the incredible progress it has made in a relatively short time (Bitcoin is little more than a decade old), crypto is stuck in the chasm between the early adopter and early majority phases of the adoption curve and is struggling to dig itself out.

Part of this has to do with the complexity of the crypto space and the volatility of the coins that power the ecosystems and drive the industry forward. Entire books have been written on the subject, so it would be impossible to summarize how the technology works here or unpack the intricacies of emerging sectors it has birthed like DeFi, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), and Gamefi.

Suffice to say that more and more use cases are being identified that will see crypto offer increasing utility to the mainstream.

The volatility of the coins is clearly an issue that makes them difficult replacements for fiat currencies. However, that is likely only a short-term problem. Certainly, when viewed day-to-day or month-to-month even, the price appears to fluctuate wildly. But taken over the long-term, many of the top coins have maintained an upward trajectory. What may surprise some is that Bitcoin is the best performing asset of the last 10 years.

Over time, as the market cap of individual coins and the market as a whole continues to increase, prices will stabilize, and cryptocurrencies will become attractive as forms of payment.

However, there is another barrier to entry that needs to be addressed: the ease-of-use. Sure, there are platforms out there that make entry into the market relatively easy. But many of these are custodial services, where users have to give up ownership and control of their coins in order to enjoy that convenience.

By custodial, I mean that the service takes responsibility for storing and securing your coins. This might sound pretty good. But it also defeats the object of crypto. Using a centralized service is synonymous with putting your money in a bank or using Paypal where your funds and the availability of the service is at the whim of the service provider.

If you’ve ever had your Paypal account suspended for no reason, been unable to access your bank account, or simply been denied a financial service because the computer algorithm deems you unfit, you’ll understand why so many of us in the crypto movement are dead set on breaking the monopoly of traditional finance.  

At Divi we are ardent believers in Satoshi Nakamoto’s (Bitcoin’s absent father) dream of creating a decentralized and democratized finance system that benefits everyone. The whole point of crypto was to remove the middleman and put community at the heart of the system. However, if people can’t use or are put off using the incredible decentralized products and services on offer, we’ll all have wasted our time and energy.

For us, accelerating the mass adoption of crypto is a technological problem that can be solved by pushing the complexity of the underlying blockchain to the background and delivering decentralized products that anyone can use.

For me there are five things that have to happen to make this possible:

  1. User experiences that are engineered for humans. Even experienced enthusiasts rail against the challenge of using crypto services. The cryptic, long-winded addresses are a good case in point. It’s too easy to get something wrong, which means the risk of losing money remains too high.
  2. Easy onboarding. All too often the user is bombarded with complexity at the beginning of their journey. If we don’t make onboarding easy, the market will continue to turn to centralized services. Crypto needs to learn the lessons of fintech and present the user with an onboarding experience that is familiar, quick and easy.
  3. Reducing the cost of using crypto. Whether it’s gas fees, fiat conversion costs or tax, the cost of using crypto today is too high. The number of companies accepting crypto payments is increasing but when the cost of using digital currencies can be more than the cost of the goods or service themselves, we clearly have a problem.
  4. We need products that seamlessly connect the decentralized and centralized worlds together. You should be able to move your money between the two domains on-demand and enjoy the benefits that both offer.
  5. Make earning with crypto easy. Setting up a masternode or staking your coins is an excellent way to build an income, especially with the threat of high inflation and the dollar losing its value. But doing it yourself demands a high level of technical expertise. These services should be available at the press of a button and not require a master’s degree to operate.

Ultimately, the fate and success of decentralized crypto services is in the hands of the industry, and it is up to us to drive mass adoption.

About the author:

Nick Saponaro is the co-founder and CEO of the Divi Project, a decentralized payment ecosystem that's on a mission to improve people’s lives by making crypto easy and accelerating its mainstream adoption.

A dedicated proponent of the founding principles of the crypto movement as set out by its originator Satoshi Nakamoto, Nick is working towards the delivery of a new paradigm for financial services. One that is truly decentralized, accessible to all, and works for everyone.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.