The crypto industry is gradually shifting towards the mainstream financial system. Now, many influential individuals, institutional investors, and multinational corporations have adopted and accepted Bitcoin as a payment option, while the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) craze is also grabbing headlines. Consequently, blockchain technology seems to be getting beyond the reach of coders and cypherpunks.
Yet, blockchain technology is yet to reach the level that will make the average user feel satisfied to use. Meanwhile, the more difficult it takes for non-professionals to use the blockchain tech, the greater the risk which centralized firms will take to boost accessibility, thereby hindering the new tech from achieving its goal of decentralization as it eventually shifts to the mainstream system.
Bitcoin “Lightning-or-burst” technique suffers setbacks
As Bitcoin refused to accept on-chain scaling through large blocks, it practically relied entirely on its usability as an essential currency on 2nd-layer scaling solutions, prominent among these is the Lightning Network. Although it is quite functioning right now, the Lightning Network brings forth a set of sophistications, such as liquidity balancing, opening and closing channels, continuous management of connectivity to ensure the receipt of funds, and many other issues.
And probably the most difficult for new users is how to transfer funds from the chain to the Lightning Network, a process which needs an on-chain deal (and this applies to similar Lightning Network operations), prompting some terrible, prolonged verification process and huge transaction fees. In short, the processes are too complicated and frustrating for both new and experienced crypto users.
Fortunately, hardworking developers have introduced different Lightning Network wallets, which improve user experience to a point where the average nontechnical user will find it easier to use. The newly launched Lightning Network wallets, like Phoenix, solved this problem by outsourcing some of the operations of a normal Lightning Network node, such as opening channels, liquidity management, automatic backups, and others to the wallet provider.
Usernames are not decentralized
Even if a speedy and reliable transaction is resolved, usability is another issue, which is usernames. Although QR code scanning may be effortless for websites and remote operations, the challenges associated with copying and pasting long cryptographic hashes are tedious. Instead, there should be an easy way for users to pay, pulling out simple usernames and contact lists. However, some systems can achieve this to some extent. But this comes at the cost of usability or dependability. For example, Ethereum’s Name Service maintains a static address but still shows a long, awful address in the interface.
HandCash, a Bitcoin SV wallet, has introduced another solution that doesn’t settle for a static address but supports contact lists. But this is a centralized solution because users still depend on the firm and its infrastructure. Paymail has also introduced another solution that allows users resolve to a new address whenever they want without depending on a centralized system. Another risk that the cryptocurrency market is facing is the possibility of users relying on bank-like firms. There is a possibility that completely custodial solutions will be defeated, and we might return to the conventional financial system.