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Web3 Simplicity: A Sure-Fire Way To Attract More Web2 Users

How Web3 developers can attract more users and solve the UX dilemma

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I recently read three articles on Web3 and they all agree on one thing: Web3 is too complex for the average Internet user. For your reference, below are the three reads. Feel free to check them out for yourself:

Obvious solution: Make Web3 simpler.

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Can We Make Web3 Simpler?

The problem with the solution is that no one seems interested in it. That is, no one who can do anything about it. For example, Web3 developers.

You'd think all the venture capital firms throwing money at Web3 projects would understand that their investments would go further if they withheld them until something truly paradigm-shifting came along. Something like a Facebook, TikTok, or Google for Web3. Of course, expecting a Web3 equivalent of those Web2 behemoths would be like expecting a 3D visual model of our solar system to replace our timeworn 2D model with which we are familiar. Yes, it exists. Yes, it is more accurate. No, people don't want to think about it.

I'm not saying Facebook, TikTok, and Google are the ones to follow, or that they are the paragons of a virtuous internet. But they are popular, and they are popular for several reasons. One reason is that they are all user-friendly.

What can be done to make Web3 more user-friendly? What can developers do to make Web3 more attractive to the average Web2 user? For starters, why not build something that would allow the average internet user to send their regular hard-earned fiat money (USD, for example) using blockchain technology?

Everyone understands the money in their pocket. They understand credit cards and debit cards. They understand the digital symbols that represent hard-earned real-world currency. That's why they use Venmo, Zelle, and Cash App. Those applications allow people to send their hard-earned real-world currency through processes that are easy to understand and easy to use. Sure, they're less secure than blockchain technology, but they're easier to understand and use. And that's what the average internet user needs to see before adopting Web3 technology.

What happens under the hood doesn't need to be understood. Most people have no idea how the Internet works, but millions use it every day. What does need to be understood is that Bob can send Alice $20 and Alice can receive it within minutes, or seconds. So, what would that look like?

A Simple Web3 Solution to a Complex Problem

How about this? Bob drops $20 into a digital wallet on a fast, secure blockchain. He clicks a button in his wallet sending that $20 to Alice's wallet. The wallet application automatically converts Bob's $20 into USDC, MATIC, or another low-fee cryptocurrency. The wallet application sends that $20 to Alice extracting a small fee for the transfer. Voila! Alice and Bob have now engaged in a Web3 transaction and didn't need to understand anything more than click and send.

Here's another example. This time, Bob pays the fee.

Bob adds $21 to his wallet, clicks a button, and opts to send $20 to Alice. Before the transaction can be processed, the wallet prompts Bob to pay a gas fee of .01 percent of the transaction size. That amounts to 20 cents, so Bob clicks a button telling the wallet to extract that amount from his wallet to pay the fee for sending money to Alice. The app converts the $20, and Bob's transaction fee, into a cryptocurrency, then reconverts the $20 back into USD before sending it on to Alice. After the transaction is completed (in seconds, not days), Alice has $20 in her wallet and Bob has 80 cents.

There is already a peer-to-peer application that does this. It's called RippleNet.

Yes, Ripple does have its critics, but it also works, and one doesn't have to understand all the nuts and bolts of it to use it. While I'm not advocating that everyone on Web3 jump on the XRP/Ripple bandwagon, it is a real-world use case that developers can study to develop something that would truly be valuable to the average Web2 internet user who doesn't want to take the time to understand Bitcoin, MetaMask, and the pantheon of cryptocurrency terms Web3 developers like to use to make themselves sound important.

One of the criticisms of RippleNet is its apparent over-centralization. Well, it may not be completely decentralized, but it isn't completely centralized either. If critics want to make a point of it, why not build a similar application that is as decentralized as Bitcoin?

Here's another solution: build an application layer on top of the Bitcoin network that does what I'm suggesting. Or, utilize the Lightning Network to make fiat payments great again (okay, were they ever really great? I digress...).

You get the idea. Fiat money can be the onramp to Web3. Take the Venmo app, Cash App, or Zelle and create a Web3 version of it that utilizes blockchain technology but facilitates ordinary people sending regular paycheck money to their friends without the need to understand crypto or get their fingers on it. Once ordinary people figure that out, they're just one step away from learning about crypto.

There's more than one way to skin a cat, even with cryptocurrencies. Even on Web3. But there must be a way to keep it simple, Stan. If you don't mind a little KISS.

Bottom line: Make Web3 simple and useful to the average Joe and Jane or quit pretending that's what you want.

Allen Taylor is the author of Web3 Social: How Creators Are Changing the World Wide Web (And You Can Too!).

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#web3#internet#blockchain#venture capital#venmo#zelle#cash app#facebook#tiktok#google#usdc#matic#cryptocurrency#digital wallet#ripplenet#ripple#xrp#bitcoin#metamask
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