Bitcoin, like all other cryptocurrencies, has a very high barrier to entry when it comes to first-time users. Unlike so many other things in the world of social media, esports, and streaming services, where everyone is bending backward to make their platforms very user-friendly, cryptocurrencies operate differently. When they were first conceived, the same networks functioned on the level of baseline code, which did not even have any UI, let alone a system that would make it more approachable. Back then, early adopters were more than happy to use raw code to put up bitcoin nodes on their personal computers and store the earned tokens in private wallets.
All of that demands effort and technical knowledge on an impressive level. But, for ordinary users, that was a nightmare scenario, and mostly steered clear of these possibilities, even if they could potentially earn some money from them. But, years later, everyone understands that the number of users is essential for cryptocurrencies to succeed globally and on a massive level. That is why it is necessary to figure out ways to make cryptocurrency more user-friendly, especially on big platforms that are now catering to millions of cryptocurrency users. However, to turn those into tens or hundreds of millions, a lot more effort is needed. Fortunately for the cryptocurrency domain and its users, names like Jack Dorsey, the former CEO of Twitter, and many others, are already actively working on the same boost to user-friendliness.
In 2021, the payments startup Square stated that it is developing a cryptocurrency wallet that will use a hardware platform. The same company is run by Jack Dorsey, who promised to build a very effective point-of-sale tech that offers quick adoption and ease of use. At the same time, Dorsey decided to step down as Twitter’s CEO and take on Square full time, which then became Block. Many analysts saw this as a clear upping of stakes for the development of the same platform.
Recently, Block published a blog post that its wallet would use fingerprint ID as the main means of user identification. With it, users would need nothing more than a press of their finger to gain access to their crypto funds. Besides this primary version of crypto access, Block is also exploring other means of ID verification that the customers might employ on their devices. However, the use of biometric signatures remains the primary option for the company and its upcoming product.
It is not hard to see what Block is aiming to do with its cryptocurrency wallet device. Many consumer goods from the tech domain focus drastically on the user experience and the sheer convenience of employing such devices. Smartphones are fully focused on that factor and the reason why so many already added biometric features and access control that uses the same physical data. The key element that this provides is not security but everyday convenience.
However, experts are pointing out that the fallout from those conveniences could be drastic and even dire. The main problem would be the access to biometric data for companies like Block. Even before the same physical wallet device comes out, many organizations are raising their voices and pointing towards the potential abuse of user data. But, Block is trying to make sure that this abuse does not take place with their products.
The danger of losing biometric data is very much real and everyone is accepting the same fact. That involved companies that are working on the technology that involves it in some shape or form, including digital wallets operating from a physical device. Block is also working on preserving the data of its user – it will be a single-user gadget that will store the data used for its access only locally.
But, other companies that are working on the same type of easy digital wallet are using centralized mechanisms that take data from users and store it inside of server remote architecture. In all of these cases, safeguards are necessary and will actually formulate the use of the same devices at a later date. While some might flock to them because of their user-friendly nature, all of that might sink completely if they compromise the same stored digital assets. However, getting mass adoption still involves the need to make a process as initiative and smooth as possible.
Dumbing Down Security Needs
The problems that Block is facing with their physical storage for digital currencies are the same as digital apps are coming across. The problem remains that making the experience for users better and more intuitive ends up as something that also dumbs down the security needs and overall best practices against cyber threats. All of these digital currencies are a prime target.
While a lot of media attention goes to things like WannaCry and other ransomware instances, the truth is that criminal ventures are willing and ready to steal digital assets as much as fiat money. So, any digital wallet remains a prime target for malicious parties across the globe. Having a popular option for a digital wallet that is at the same time critically low on safeguards and cyber security is a certain recipe for a disaster. These can have strong and long-term consequences on the markets.
The situations like Mt. Gox hacks are now a well-known part of cryptocurrency history. In a single incident, the value of bitcoin tokens and other digital currencies plummeted and stayed there for years. That crash was so massive that many believed that cryptocurrencies will never bounce back from the same calamity.
That is why today no one is so willing to risk the same eventuality for higher user adoption. While new users are necessary for the domain to grow, there is no entity in the same realm ready to take that and undermine it because of its basic safety features. Instead, it seems that users will have to grapple with somewhat intuitive systems for some time to come.