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Real world applications, user experience and narratives in the blockchain space
Wen mainstream adoption?
In a digital world filled with meme coins, vaporware, empty promises, rug pulls, ponzi schemes and outright scams it can be difficult for someone not involved in the blockchain space to see that amongst the plethora of garbage, there is also a strong development of real-world applications that are aiming to deliver the ultility and fuctionality that creates a meaningful user-experience (UX). Teams of people who have a vision beyond pumping the price of their project and are actually delivering products built with blockchain technology that have long term use cases, with the end goal being mass retail adoption.
Currently there is no argument that blockchain technology is finally developing projects that function and have useful applications. The list of such projects is far too long to list. However, until the UX is improved to a level that is comparable to existing real-world projects and applications, blockchain technology will continue to be a speculative market without any true mass appeal.
One of the biggest driving forces in the cryptocurrency markets at this very moment is narratives. It is what has created a multi-trillion-dollar market, but is also the driving force behind some of the worst aspects of the cryptocurrency space. Blockchain technology currently requires narratives to get people to follow and invest, ie decentralization, community led, make money fast on small investments etc, etc. So prevalent is the use of narratives, that the acronym DYOR (Do Your Own Research) has become a mainstay on forums across the internet. I’ve lost count of the number of projects I’ve looked into that have such a great story as to what it is that they want to bring to the world, but when I dig a little deeper, I find more time being spent on advertising and shilling to increase the market price than actual development of the project that is being promised.
This is the difference between projects that are worth investing in and projects that are not, and it can take a lot of time to sift through the garbage to find the diamonds in the rough, so to speak. In saying that, even among the projects with great teams, real-world applications, road maps that are coming to fruition, and beautiful, intuitive user-interfaces (UI), there are very few projects that are even close to being retail ready.
Current applications with mainstream adoption don’t require narratives or buzzwords. In their early development, did you see applications like Spotify selling themselves as a solution to the centralization of the music industry, or Netflix selling itself as an investment that will change your financial life? Of course not. These projects had strength in the merit of the real-world application of their product and took the world by storm because their products offered seamless user experience and effortless access. Furthermore, these applications solve a single problem and solve it very well. Too many blockchains are trying to be a jack-of-all-trades and the development teams are spread far too thin to solve any one problem to a sufficient level.
Some projects are getting close, but the number of those is very small when you consider the thousands of projects in development. In fact, in the top 50 projects by market cap, only two of those projects offer something even close to what it takes to garner mainstream adoption. Crypto.com with their Visa card, and Axie Infinity which is a widely played video game, are pretty well the only two projects in the top 50 that deliver a retail ready product that is currently functioning. Outside of decentralized finance the only projects that seem to be heading in a direction of retail ready UI and UX are those in the gaming and meta-verse sector yet, most of these are still in the narrative stage and are yet to produce products comparable to those that already exist in the market.
Interoperability between chains may change the way blockchain applications interact with each other and may solve the issue of UX needing extensive learning to even use blockchain tech. When we see single wallets, with simple on-boarding of fiat currencies where you can easily spend your currency to access products that have a meaningful impact on life; when NFT’s are retail ready to have function and a use case that doesn’t require gamification and manipulation of humans’ base instincts to encourage people to participate; when the clever narratives are no longer necessary, and the product speaks for itself; when user interfaces deliver seamless user experiences and on-boarding is as simple as a click of a button and when the security is strong enough to gain the average punters trust. Then, and only then, will blockchain technology move into the mainstream.
Please feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment. Robust discussion is the key to positive momentum so please share your thoughts on the pros and cons of blockchain technology and where you see the future of the blockchain space headed.
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