This is the year the cryptocurrency finally started to enter the mainstream market. From Elon Musk and Tesla investing and accepting Bitcoin (BTC) to the recent craze for non-exchangeable tokens, the days of blockchain technology are the world of cypherpunks and programmers behind us.
However, the technology has not yet reached the stage where the average person feels comfortable using it. The longer it takes for the usability of a cryptocurrency to reach the level it connects to non-technical users, the greater the risks central companies will face in the challenge of improving accessibility instead, undermining censorship resistance to this relatively new technology, such as that it is finally increasing Ordinary awareness.
Let’s take a look at the state of the crypto scene as it looks today.
Bitcoin’s approach hits snags at lightning speed
When Bitcoin decided to abandon chain expansion with large blocks, it placed almost all hopes and dreams that it could be used as an everyday currency on solutions for expansion at other levels, mainly among them – the Lightning Network. The Lightning Network is operating today, and still introduces a whole new set of complications, including balancing liquidity, opening and closing channels, directing payment methods, staying in touch to receive funds, etc., and perhaps the most difficult task for new users is moving money. -Cin to the Lightning Network, which requires a transaction on the chain (like many other Lightning Network features), causing appallingly long confirmation times and high transaction fees. Overall, this is a frustrating experience even for the knowledgeable cryptocurrency user and totally useless for a beginner.
Fortunately, the diligent developers have rolled out a new generation of Lightning Network wallets that dramatically improve the user experience to the point that a non-technical user can comfortably use it. Second-generation Lightning Network wallets like Phoenix achieve this by outsourcing some of the standard Lightning Network node functionality, including channel opening, liquidity management, automatic backups, and more to your wallet provider.
In fact, it is almost the same in every way with the governor, except that it is not mandatory. This means that the user maintains control of their own funds, and the service provider cannot escape with their funds (or deny access to them). Initially, two main objectives were prioritized: usability and user control of funds, and all necessary measures were taken for this. The results are very good: if you use a second-generation Lightning Network wallet, you can simply send and receive without being subjected to the complexities of the internet, and still have complete control over your money at all times. You just have to rely on Lightning or LSP to get a lot more than if you were using only Bitcoin on the chain.
The challenge arises in the use case and determines the direction of the ecosystem. This approach means that an increasing number of users rely on a diminishing number of large service providers to easily move bitcoins, and it is similar to the old financial system where transaction processing is centered around a small number of large payment companies.
Of course, many users would still be able to control their own money and protect against inflation and currency manipulation, but if there were no tech enthusiasts to operate their nodes, most of them would rely on centralized facilities to conduct transactions.
Even “fast” competitors do not look like this from a user’s point of view.
To be fair, not all cryptocurrencies suffer from the multiples of the overloaded main chain and the still nascent Level 2 solution. Many networks, especially large bitcoin forks and projects like Litecoin (LTC), have low chain fees and regular confirmation times. However, even this experience is not sufficient for the end user.
Regardless of what Bitcoin Cash (BCH) enthusiasts say, the transactions are not actually instant, and paying through many of the popular payment processors or deposits to exchanges will still require waiting for additional confirmations, which may take minutes to hours. The average user does not understand why they have to wait, or why the waiting time changes, or that the service must rely on transactions without examination, but they choose not to. They will simply understand that they had to wait, and as a result, they will be disappointed.