Crypto needs End-to-End

In emerging technologies, the average consumer needs an end-to-end experience to make use of a given product or service.

However, these emerging technologies are developed by corners of the internet that don’t represent the interests of the general public. Because of this, often the first projects that develop some of the most innovative technologies are unlikely to apply those technologies in a way that consumers can adopt.

In the early cycles…

- If you can’t code, you can’t use a computer.

- If you can’t code, you can’t build a website.

- If you can’t code, you can’t send Bitcoin.

As the technology matures, new solutions emerge that patch the holes left behind by their fore-fathers…

- Operating systems allow anyone to use a computer

- Squarespace ties domain management, cloud computing, and design into an easy to use bundle

- Coinbase allows you to easily send Bitcoin to any address

Likewise, when Steve Jobs was putting together iTunes, het met with Jeff Bezos of Amazon. Jeff wanted to sell music on Amazon.com that could be downloaded to Apple’s iPods.

In opposition, Steve wanted to create one central hub where users could buy, store, and upload their music to their iPods.

As history shows, this worked. If Amazon had its way, you’d have to go to Amazon.com, purchase a song, download iTunes (or other music player), upload the song from your computer and into iTunes, then transfer to your phone or iPod.

End-to-end experiences relieve the burden of decision-making from the consumer and grant it to the platform provider:

Steve Jobs once said, “They’re paying us to make those decisions,” when talking about refusing to include flash on iPads and iPhones.

In the same way today...

- Youtube decides which content is appropriate

- Apple chooses the capacity, color, and finish of their phones

- Uber chooses which driver picks you up

End-to-end experiences are easiest for users, but pose some major drawbacks..

Benefits of end-to-end:

- less burden of decision on consumer

     - experts choose so non-experts don’t have to

     - more integrated system

- same login info

     - stored payment info

     - trusted intermediary

Drawbacks:

- less choice for consumer

     - problematic for “edge-case” users

- more closed system

     - harder for outsiders to contribute

     - security risk

     - loss of autonomy

The promise of crypto is that we can interact on platforms without losing our autonomy and while minimizing security risks. The trouble is, can these be built in a way that is simple and painless for the user?

Can we build an end-to-end experience in crypto? Who’s doing a good job so far?

Tweet me.

—PA