Innovation

Why cryptocurrency needs to get more user-friendly to achieve mainstream success

Cryptocurrency is complex, nuanced, and hard to use. Geoff McCabe and Tim Sanders explain how the Divi Project makes blockchain-based transactions as easy as PayPal.

Cryptocurrency was created by geeks for geeks, according to Divi Project's leaders Geoff McCabe and Tim Sanders. And if there is anything that is certain about cryptocurrency, it's that it is very confusing for both business and consumers alike.

TechRepublic's Dan Patterson met with Sanders and McCabe, who explained how cryptocurrency and the blockchain work. People who are first getting started with cryptocurrency quickly get confused by the jargon associated with it, McCabe said. For example, people believe they put their cryptocurrency in a wallet, however, if they understood how it works, they would know that the coins don't actually live inside a wallet. Instead, the currency is unlocked with an encryption key.

SEE: IT leader's guide to the blockchain (Tech Pro Research)

If a person wants to send or spend money in cryptocurrency right now, it's a long process. "It's not PayPal-easy," Sanders said, which is inhibiting its mainstream adoption. Acquiring, selling, and spending cryptocurrency can take days, rather than minutes or hours. The Divi Project's proposed solution would eliminate many of these barriers and function similar to other digital wallets like PayPal, Venmo, Google Pay, or Apple Pay.

Why is a simplification of cryptocurrency essential? Everything in the world is going digital, McCabe and Sanders said, and money is one of those items that hasn't changed in hundreds of years. Banks don't allow people to use their own money, and cryptocurrency is coming along and changing the paradigm, McCabe explained. "Eventually the banks and the government will get on this because the technology of blockchain is so powerful and amazing that it can't be denied," he added.

Sanders compared the way the technology will work to the way Facebook worked to help make everyone become their own publisher. "Cryptocurrency decentralizes money the same way social media decentralized publishing. We all become currency owners and creators," Sanders said.

While there have been many technologies predicted to change the future that ended up being just fads, there have also been several technologies predicted to be fads that ended up changing the future. Cryptocurrency is predicted to be both— a fad, and the future.

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Image: iStock/phongphan5922

About Leah Brown

Leah Brown is the Associate Social Media Editor for TechRepublic. She manages and develops social strategies for TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research.

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