Dan Held on Bitcoin UX for the Masses

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There is so much complexity in the world that we could probably halt innovation right now, no new technology could be developed, and we would only build better interfaces. We would probably have our work cut out for us for 100 years.
— Dan Held

Location: Los Angeles
Date: Sunday, 31st August
Project: Kraken
Role: Director Of Business Development

Bitcoin is hard! 

There is no easy way into Bitcoin. Yes, it can be easy to buy, but understanding the asset, from economics to the tech, requires a dedication to learning.

For Bitcoin to reach hundreds of millions, if not billions of people and overturn our corrupt financial systems, it must become more accessible.

The Bitcoin community lends itself to the technically savvy and inquisitive. However, to reach mainstream adoption, Bitcoin needs to work for people who are not technically confident and are more risk-averse.

For a new Bitcoiner with little or no technical knowledge, even the most fundamental and straightforward requirements in Bitcoin, such as managing your private keys, is a daunting task. There are no insurance policies, no 3rd party to fall back on, and if mismanaged the consequences are severe.

Controlling and managing your private keys is fundamental to Bitcoin and the cypherpunk movement. It is this that allows you to stay sovereign and in control of your finances. Phrases such as "not your keys, not your Bitcoin" are used to remind people to take money off exchanges and away from custodial services and therefore 3rd party risk. 

These fundamental parts of Bitcoin are challenging and inherently pose some risk. Is this the model that we take into hyperbitcoinisation? Or, is the user experience entirely flawed? If we are to bring Bitcoin to the masses, do we need some form of custodial services, or can better UX provide the solution?

In this interview, I am joined by Dan Held, who's company Interchange was recently acquired by Kraken. We discuss the UX challenges Bitcoin faces, the importance of nodes, advertising and marketing.


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PodcastPeter McCormackComment