Crypto for the Masses: My New Year Resolutions for the Industry
Even though cryptocurrencies had a breakthrough year, they are far from being adopted by the masses and Krypton is aiming to change that.
The crypto market has crossed half a trillion dollars in market cap, but in reality, very few people around the world actually own crypto and that’s a bad sign for the long-term. The spirit and philosophy behind cryptocurrencies was to give the power back to the people and put them in control of their finances. So far, none of that is truly happening.
Even though they received significant exposure this year, cryptocurrencies have largely been associated with three types of people – developers, speculative investors and criminals.
Unfortunately, the average person has not been, and is still not, comfortable using cryptocurrencies or even holding them long-term, due to several factors. Not only is the public affected by media stories on hacks, thefts, scams and price manipulation, but they also find it challenging to understand the underlying technology at work.
Majority of the Crypto is Held by a Minority
Hurdles to adoption have led to a huge imbalance between the crypto-haves and have-nots. Statistics show that less than 0.5% of the global population owns cryptocurrencies (some reports put the figure at 0.2%), which represents a tiny fraction of the 4 billion or so who have access to the internet and are part of the banking system.
We talk about banking the unbanked, but even those who are part of the existing system are not benefiting from these developments. That is why, moving forward, we, the crypto and blockchain community leaders, need to adopt a multi-faceted approach. We don’t just need a bridge to connect the masses to the crypto space, we need a lot more.
What the Crypto Space Needs to Survive in 2018
- User-friendly Applications: Even setting up simple wallets can be challenging for newcomers, let alone running their own nodes or mining crypto. We need to promote the development of applications and interfaces that focus on getting things done in the simplest of ways, without complicated user experiences. Right now, mostly millennials are somewhat comfortable using crypto, and that needs to change.
- Building Trust: This is another key area that needs attention. We need to counter the ‘crypto for criminals’ narrative and utilize strong branding and influencer marketing along with the development of secure protocols to develop trust.
- Reduce Fees: Everyone knows Bitcoin fees are not economical anymore. In order to facilitate proper adoption, we need to focus on scaling solutions and reducing network congestion so that fees are reduced and every-day use is encouraged.
- Education: The foremost priority should be educating the masses about the technology and its benefits. This is not about buzz-words; this is about simplifying things to facilitate understanding and encourage responsible investment practices.
- Effective Marketing: Those who don’t follow financial channels and mediums are still largely unaware of what is happening in the crypto space. We need to work on effective marketing campaigns which don’t just cater to the core community, but focus on expanding global participation.
A Page from Apple’s Book
A great example to follow, is that of Apple. Traditionally, computers were seen as complicated machines, and were used by experts who needed to put together all the different parts. It was Steve Jobs who envisioned a closed system that focuses on getting things done. He believed that the majority of end-users were interested in ‘what a computer could do’, rather than ‘in the computer itself’.
The folks at Apple aimed to simplify the computer for the masses, and they use the same approach to date, which is the major reason behind the success of their Mac and iPhone lineups.
Just like DOS and Windows, and how the first web browser opened a new world of opportunities for everyone, we need to move crypto from the domain of experts and geeks to the masses.
The People Don’t Care About Buzz-words
People in the industry are sold on terms like decentralization, smart contracts and what not, but the masses do not particularly care about these things. When they need light, they flick a switch, they don’t need to (nor always want to) understand how electricity works and what happens behind the scenes.
Similarly, when people use a plane, drive cars, or watch television and movies, or listen to music, they are only concerned with technology delivering what they need. When it comes to any product or service, people want it simple, safe and saving them money.
In order to help the masses adopt cryptocurrencies, we need to focus on these three (Simple, Safe and Save) and find the right mix of education and marketing.
These are the primary reasons why my teams and I built Krypton’s eco-system, where we are trying to bridge this huge gap by bringing together industry leaders and establishing a diverse eco-system of ventures in sectors such as Technology, Marketing, Education, Media, UX, Retail and Exchange.
We welcome talented and motivated people who can contribute to our vision and can help make cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology more accessible to the masses.
Ilan Tzorya, Founder and Managing Partner of Krypton Capital (www.Krypton.Capital)