Sending Crypto Should Be as Simple as Sending a Text

Sending Crypto Should Be as Simple as Sending a Text: The Road to Simpler Crypto Wallets

The world of cryptocurrency may be constantly evolving, but one thing that remains a challenge is how complicated it can be to send crypto. Even for the technically savvy, setting up a crypto wallet and sending digital assets can be a daunting task. Addressing this issue, several projects have emerged with the aim of making crypto wallets and sending crypto as simple and intuitive as possible.

The crypto industry was pioneered by developers and software engineers who were able to build sophisticated applications and protocols. However, these days, the crypto community includes product managers, designers, and individuals with little or no technical background. This shift has prompted the development of software and solutions that are user-friendly and easy to navigate. One of the key areas that this change in culture has impacted is wallets, which are the core of the crypto ecosystem.

The Quest for Simpler Crypto Wallets

According to Cobrin Page, founder and creator of Patch Wallet, the biggest challenge facing the crypto industry today is how to onboard more users to the space. Page, who formerly headed the fintech product team at ConsenSys, has been working on Patch Wallet for the last year and a half. The product, which he claims “everybody already has right out of the box,” uses a technique called account abstraction. This innovative technique enables developers to create smart contracts that are not confined to a specific blockchain account. Consequently, smart contracts themselves can function as wallets. With Patch Wallet, it’s possible to send crypto and digital assets like BTC or NFTs to someone who doesn’t have a traditional crypto wallet.

According to Page, “You already have one connected to your email, your Twitter, your GitHub, and so I call it kind of like a wallet before you need it. I would say like this is kind of like the equivalent of your Venmo, or this is the equivalent of your in-game items or your in-game currencies, right? This just happens to run on crypto or blockchain rails.”

Page acknowledges that calling his product a ‘wallet’ might stir up some controversy and skepticism within the account abstraction community. Technically, Patch Wallet is an account, not a wallet. However, it can hold tokens and NFTs and perform the functions of a wallet for most users.

Another option for sending crypto to a friend’s email address or phone number is Binance Pay. It’s purported to be an “easy pay” solution that’s operated by the world’s largest crypto exchange. Unlike other similar solutions, Binance Pay requires a Binance account to redeem digital assets. In an interview with BeInCrypto, Jonathan Lim, the head of Binance Card & Pay in Singapore, states that “What is important for Binance Pay is to continuously innovate and experiment with new ways to create a seamless payment experience for users and merchants, facilitating access to Web3 by bridging the worlds of CeFi and DeFi. We see every feature that may affect users’ experiences as important; poor UX is definitely a barrier to product growth. Ease of usage is crucial.”

Redeem is another service offering a similar approach to simplify crypto wallets. It leverages a user’s existing points of contact to receive and send crypto. It links to a new blockchain wallet using a phone number, and the process takes only five seconds and two clicks to get started. According to Tony Rush, the CEO of Redeem, “While social media platforms are ubiquitous today, personal phone numbers are much more widespread, accessible, and inclusive… Someone may be indifferent to social media platforms, but chances are, they still have a phone number.”

The Need for a Web2 Playbook for Web3

For newcomers to the crypto industry, the onboarding process can be quite daunting. Many struggle with questions such as “How do I register a wallet?” “What’s the difference between blockchains?” “Should I self-custody or use some third-party platforms?” “How not to lose my seed phrase?” and “How to avoid fraud and scams?” Simplifying the onboarding process is crucial for the wide-scale adoption of cryptocurrencies. In Rush’s view, if it’s complicated to send crypto, can users go deeper into the technology?

Rush notes that Web2 social media platforms are constantly working on ways to simplify user onboarding, even though they have millions or billions of users. Comparatively, Web3 platforms are much more complex. Thus, they require even better user experiences to have a shot at mass adoption.

Concluding Thoughts

The crypto industry is evolving, and there are plenty of exciting innovations in the works–many of which aim to make cryptocurrency easier to use and more accessible to the masses. While there’s no single solution to this problem, the quest for simpler crypto wallets seems like a step in the right direction. These innovations could bring crypto and digital assets closer to becoming mainstream and could help remove the hurdle to entry that still exists for so many promising projects. Thus, it’s exciting to see progress on this front, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.


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