Accessibility is a major barrier to cryptocurrency adoption – here are the solutions

Accessibility is a pain point in cryptocurrency adoption that’s been discussed for years, but it’s still as relevant as ever. This issue has recently been endorsed by the U.S. government, as we saw Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen discuss in her speech on digital asset policy and regulation. There are barriers limiting access to cryptocurrencies, such as financial education and technical resources, and it is our responsibility as developers and leaders in this revolutionary industry to address these issues.

Research has show Only 33% of adults globally are financially literate. This is a key consideration as many projects in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space focus on providing individuals with opportunities to earn, save, and transact without using traditional financial institutions and tools.

Traditional financial institutions certainly have other hurdles that cryptocurrency projects bypass, such as required documentation, high fees, and a general lack of local financial institutions in emerging markets. Having said that, even DeFi requires knowledge and understanding of money to easily enter the field. From savings techniques to market volatility, a thorough education in financial fundamentals is essential to encourage those who feel excluded from traditional finance to enter the world of DeFi.

related: Decentralized finance may be the future, but education is still lacking

Crypto Education and Tech Stress

Another necessary educational component is cryptocurrency and blockchain education.Various new technologies can overwhelm and confuse potential new users – it’s so common that semester Created “technical pressure” to diagnose this problem.

The frequent use of highly technical language and jargon are two issues I’ve witnessed in the space that prevent crypto curiosity from sneaking into the world of DeFi. Providing resources that break down the elements of blockchain technology, whether it’s a blog post or an explanatory video, can help bridge the huge knowledge gap between developers and ordinary people. While this is an important start, the unfortunate truth is that education also requires a vital and very limited resource – time.

The time and effort it takes to learn the ins and outs of blockchain and cryptocurrency technology can be a major hurdle for gaining insight into the field. While providing simple, uncomplicated educational tools is beneficial, it serves an admittedly limited population. Therefore, financial literacy and crypto education remain important, but developers and leaders must take additional steps to achieve user adoption. Project leaders should also consider knowledge gaps when designing the platform and building messaging. Using simple, concise language that resonates with all audiences is key to welcoming new users.

related: Women’s interest in cryptocurrencies is growing, but education gaps remain

How the gap between rich and poor became an obstacle

As mentioned earlier, the wealth gap creates many challenges for low-income individuals to enter the field. In addition to lack of access and time to education, limited mobility is another huge barrier to entry.

In order to invest, individuals must be able to use the extra money to cover their living expenses to be distributed elsewhere. For those who live on their paycheck, or even those who simply don’t want to risk their resources to invest, they’re less willing to put money in an investment account.

related: Crypto education can bring financial empowerment to Latin America

This is especially true of digital assets, as they are newer and less regulated than traditional investment avenues. Under-collateralized loans will enable those with less liquidity to invest in the space, a major driver of mainstream cryptocurrency adoption. Projects such as Teller Finance that allow individuals to borrow crypto-assets without providing collateral are driving the field. This space will continue to grow and is necessary for increased accessibility.

How leaders and developers can overcome these obstacles

As developers focus on simplicity and ease of use for users, their platforms must reflect these considerations. Onboarding is the first step for any curious potential new user, so making sure logging in is intuitive is your chance to make a lasting first impression. It’s understandable that people don’t want to move on if there are many complicated processes involved in setting up an account. Easy understanding of your client identification, rather than cumbersome agreements, is one way projects can enhance their onboarding experience.

Another step to be taken by the project is to build a strong network of partners. Depending on the project, this could be compatible blockchains, integrations with decentralized applications, or joining programs like Celo’s DeFi for the People aimed at increasing real-world use cases. With so many projects in the space, often limited interoperability means users have to work on many different accounts and applications at the same time. Making your platform as extensible and interoperable as possible means giving users countless ways to use your platform through compatible programs, which in turn encourages them to use your product.

Continued growth in the blockchain industry requires a steady flow of new users within the space. For this, we as an industry must develop projects with new users in mind. Providing educational content is the first step in building the foundation that will allow us to revolutionize the economy.

Remember, this doesn’t work for every user, and finding other ways to incentivize new users to join the space is critical. Offering unsecured loans can help bridge the rich-poor gap we’ve seen throughout cryptocurrency development and increase adoption. It’s just as important to keep your audience in mind every step of the way, from design to messaging to the product you offer. The ultimate goal is to embed blockchain technology into applications where users don’t even need to know they are on-chain. When our applications are as intuitive and easy to understand as the traditional financial instruments downloaded by millions of users, we will see the number of users grow at an unprecedented rate.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk and readers should do their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Fabrice Cheng is the co-founder, CEO and CTO of Quadrata. He was previously the blockchain technology lead at Spring Labs. Fabrice is a seasoned technologist who has been building the Ethereum ecosystem since 2016, especially interested in how to extract value from mempools, and an Ethereum 2.0 open source contributor at Prysmatic Labs.