I want you to think back to 2005 or thereabouts. If you’re like me and over age 30, you likely can reflect on that time and remember some of the differences between then and now. How technology did or didn’t interact with our daily lives. Back then sending a text message probably cost a few cents each. The phone in your pocket likely didn’t do much more than make and receive calls or perhaps one or two extra functions.
But what’s most important about back then is the Internet. By 2005, the Internet was already well on its way to maturity. Your average person in a developed country likely had some way to get online regularly and likely engaged in email, online banking, and online shopping. But still, the Internet was its own entity – it didn’t blur the lines between the rest of our lives and itself.
So what changed? What was the key development that made the Internet so incredibly ubiquitous and a part of almost everything we do today? You’ve probably guessed by now, but the answer is the modern smartphone.
With a smartphone, suddenly anyone could have the Internet in their pocket. Not only did this make the Internet more accessible, but it also made it a lot easier, too. Suddenly the Internet became so integrated with our lives that it became difficult to imagine life before the smartphone.
So what does this have to do with PIVX or cryptocurrency? I would argue that right now, cryptocurrency is still on a level of development and adoption similar to the Internet in the late 90s to early 2000’s. That being, growth is rapid and climbing quickly, but the average person is not using it, even if they’ve heard of it.
Why is that? Here’s my take – cryptocurrency adoption right now is slow because it’s too hard to use, it’s too inconvenient, and it’s too confusing. The same could be said for the Internet back in 2005 or earlier. Although things were improving rapidly, you had to be tech-savvy or somewhat of a computer geek in order to get everything the Internet had to offer. That all changed once the modern smartphone came out a few years later.
The first step towards helping cryptocurrency adoption becoming ubiquitous is getting it into the average person’s pocket. That means smartphone apps for a variety of platforms. PIVX, for example, proudly launched its own mobile wallet first on Android and later on iOS. PIVX transactions are also supported through a popular third-party app, Coinomi.
This is great, and it’s an excellent step forward for the adoption of cryptocurrencies like PIVX. But, we still have a long way to go.
Keep it Simple (but Smart)
Have you ever heard of the Palm Treo? If you’re under 30, chances are you’ve never heard of it unless you knew someone who had one when you were a teenager. The Palm Treo was an early smartphone-like device that in many ways was groundbreaking. However, it was an infamously quirky device that came with many operational compromises.
When the device first came out, you couldn’t simply hand it to someone and expect them to figure it out. They would likely need to pour over the manual and test and bump into walls before they finally got it working. I would argue that current mobile cryptocurrency apps are roughly on par with the first version of the Palm Treo. All the basic functions of the smartphone are there, but it’s still too difficult, and it’s not intuitive enough.
Let’s compare this to a modern device such as an Android or iOS device. You can put such a device in the hands of the young child and they will quickly be running games and flipping through photos without any guidance or instruction. For security reasons, a cryptocurrency wallet needs to be a little more intentional when accepting commands. You wouldn’t want your entire bitcoin balance to be sent off to a random address because your toddler got hold of your device. But aside from that, cryptocurrency apps need to be that simple to use from a learning curve perspective.
Once that happens, it will be far, far easier to convince newcomers that cryptocurrency is a viable means of making purchases or sending value across the Internet. But until we reach that point, we still have a long way to go.
PIVX can do it
We are pretty lucky to be in the PIVX family. We have some of the best designers and technical experts in the field. I am confident that our team will lead the way and we have seen some of this already come to fruition. Perhaps in the coming years, incredibly easy to use cryptocurrency apps (that are also highly secure) will become the norm across the market.
When that day comes, I fully expect that PIVX will be on the forefront and leading the charge towards a more user-friendly and accessible cryptocurrency experience.
PS. Although our mobile apps are amazing and always improving, the core wallet’s ease of use and design has always needed work. Well, you are some of the first to hear this… PIVX is working on the next generation of Core QT Wallet. Feature rich, user-friendly, beautiful UI/UX and 100% PIVX. More news coming soon.