The long road to adoption - Bitcoin, Steem, & Camels 🐪 🐫

in #steem2 years ago (edited)


"You can bring the camel to the oasis, but you can't bring the oasis to the camel."


One of the major obstacles of blockchain technologies is trying to get people to adopt them. Some of the main issues we face are usability and accessibility. If blockchain is trying to disrupt the status quo, it fails when there are so little users due to difficulty in understanding the technology. It is unwise of us to think that creating tutorials or thinking that people will "get over" the learning curve will lead to mass scale adoption. We live in an ever increasing complex world, and most "normies" just don't have the time, or won't dedicate the time to learn the ins and outs.

Lets take the Steem blockchain for example. I like markdown but I have some background in coding, so markdown is "Noobs" work for me. For a lot of people it is daunting, and off putting, and just another twist in the many turns of the learning curve.
Wallets and storage are another huge issue in regards to usability. Although it is all relatively simple, there are so many different types of wallets and ways to store your keys. The sheer amount of information to know can make it difficult for "noobs" to understand how best to hodl.
We need to build infrastructure for the "normies" and the "noobs". Something they can understand and trust.


Trust is a key issue. Blockchain is a relatively new technology. It provides trustless systems, yet if we don't understand them, or have trustless systems we can trust, this function becomes moot.
What is the point of having bitcoin if I cannot spend it safely online? If I want to purchase marijuana for example, but cannot trust the infrastructure that exists, my bitcoin/monero/etc is useless to me. This disruptive technology fails at providing me with trustless systems. I have no trust and so am too afraid to make the order for fear of being scammed.
Then there is the amount of cryptocurrency scams online, people's phones being hacked, crypto-malware stealing software, etc etc. Where is the security in these secure ledgers when the infrastructure is full of so many holes?

Who do I trust? What can I trust? Can I have trustless trust?

I think one initial way of overcoming the trust issue, is through creation of decentralized third parties. People do not trust themselves with the keys of their wealth, and often feel more secure letting the banksters hodl their wealth. A decentralized third party would help with onboarding while still providing a modicum of self-ownership of wealth, with the decentralized third party operating with some of the functions that banks currently have in regards to protection of the wealth they hold.
In the blockchain world it is scary trying to understand what wallets are safe to use, and whether or not your keys will be intercepted somehow, and your wealth vanished, with nothing you can do about it.

I like how the Steem blockchain handles security, with multiple keys with different functions, powering up, savings, etc. But still, if you lose your keys you are locked out, and that scares some people. I personally ended up locked out of my Steem account for an extended period after having all my items confiscated by the police in a wild terrorist hunt. I had made many back-ups and prepared for the worst, but I had not prepared for the authorities to comb through my possessions and take everything. These days I'm into burying my keys as back up, which to many "normies" would seem an extreme thing to do just to protect your wealth.

The Camel

"You can bring the camel to the oasis, but you can't bring the oasis to the camel."

Blockchain is the camel. The people are the oasis. It is more difficult, and more work to bring water to the camel. We can spend our time and energy walking back and forth, bringing water to the camel. Or we can walk the camel to the oasis, and let it have its fill.

I believe that SMTs & Steem tribes are key to moving the camel closer to the oasis. When people become onboarded onto the blockchain they will not even know it has happened. It will be slipped underneath them. It will be embedded into the next version of the internet, and extend beyond into the "real" world. Blockchains like Steem have the power to transform our world. We just need to bring the camel to the oasis.

Irish Writer, Poet, & Lover