The Rise of Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum are gaining traction in the modern marketplace and it appears as though they will eventually become major players in ecommerce transactions.
When these services when in their infancy and very likely attractive only to the initiated and experts how their platforms worked and the quality of the user experience was not, perhaps, at the top of the agenda. But now that cryptocurrencies are starting to enter the mainstream and are being taken seriously all around the world both by business and government, the original standard of if it works it will do will no longer be acceptable for a lot of users – and certainly not for the major financial institutions and other significant players. Similarly, if users have a bad experience they will start looking elsewhere for advice and service, so ease of user experience will start to become a major factor and selling point.
In addition, regulation of cryptocurrency is patchy, to say the least, but it is fast becoming an urgent issue in the global finance market. Sites that display little regard for the user experience and for explaining and facilitating user interaction mighty well start to fall foul of regulators and find themselves in difficulties they hadn’t anticipated.
UX Problems with Crypto Platforms
So what next for cryptocurrency related sites? The onset of retail investors means that expectations of crypto sites will be the same as for other sectors that have been around a lot longer and developed very slick, user-friendly interfaces and facilities. The crypto universe is quite a long way from this but, as it become more and more mainstream and competitive, it will need to offer the same (or at least comparable) levels of service. And these will need to be accomplished and delivered without any compromises in security or confidentiality, so this is quite a considerable challenge for the industry.
There are three major areas that present specific problems:
Even if you can get beyond the complexities of understanding how to obtain cryptocurrencies and exactly what they are and what that means, most users will have no clue about what to do with them or how to use (if they even believe they can). Few of the existing sites make onboarding easy – the few that do are the more successful. New and existing sites will need to do more explanation and handholding for the uninitiated or risk losing their business. Storage presents a similar challenge; cryptocurrencies are meant to be stored offline and inaccessible via the internet but most people keep them in exchanges which is neither very convenient or safe. Other methods of storing are not really well-known or publicised and the industry has not tried to educate investors and users of the merits of alternatives and how they can be accessed.
While the majority of users are currently purchasing for investment rather than use, the ultimate aim has to be adoption as a user currency, otherwise what is the point? Again. Most people are not even aware of how this might be accomplished, and sites and platforms don’t provide many clues as to what users might do in this respect.