Web3’s Path To Mass Adoption: Balancing User Experience With Decentralization

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If there’s one goal that everyone in the blockchain community shares, it’s the desire to achieve mass adoption. The community is united in its belief that the power of this technology is on the brink of delivering a revolutionary shift towards Web3. It’s a new version of the internet that’s built on decentralized networks and gives users back control of their online experiences, in sharp contrast to today’s Web2.

But although the technology that sits at the heart of Web3 has been around for over a decade, it’s still a long way from surpassing the legacy internet. There are many reasons why this is the case, but few need to be solved more urgently than the need for a superior user experience. It’s the perceived complexity of Web3 that’s holding it back. Users are alienated by the difficulty of buying cryptocurrencies as well as the need to manage their private keys and wallets and pay gas fees on transactions.

Web3 can deliver unrivaled control and privacy to users, but it will not do so until they have a user interface that’s as easy to interact with as those in Web2.

Striking A Balance

The blockchain industry needs to create a more balanced approach that ensures seamless user experiences without compromising on security. This can be achieved through the implementation of easy to use authentication and identity systems that simplify interactions with blockchain while providing the same level of security that decentralization is known for.

At the same time, we need more intuitive and secure digital wallets that allow users to remain in control while trusting their assets are secure. Ultimately, the industry needs to develop a Web3 ecosystem that caters to both the seamless experience desired by consumers and while matching the level of security they enjoy today. If this balance can be achieved, it will help to promote more rapid adoption of blockchain technologies.

Challenges To Overcome

Web3 will only achieve its destiny by becoming more accessible, and to do this it needs to solve three key challenges around security, user-friendliness and costs.

The first challenge is to enable a seamless transition from Web2 to Web3, which can be done through the familiar entry points to Web2, such as Facebook and Gmail. Using these legacy protocols, users will be reassured they can recover access to their wallets. At the same time, the industry must stay true to its decentralized roots and ensure users can maintain full control of their digital assets.

Second, there’s a need for better wallets, custodial services and on-ramps. User-friendly custodial wallets can attract a lot of users because their security features and recovery tools equate to peace of mind. However, there’s also a need for self-custodial options for more experienced users. More on-ramps are necessary to facilitate easy onboarding with fiat for new users.

The third challenge is to deliver improvements at the protocol level to ensure Web3 is a cost-effective place for users. With existing networks such as Ethereum, the gas fees can unfairly penalize users and disincentivize adoption. By introducing protocol-level zero-gas or low-gas models, the industry can eliminate the financial barriers to entry.

By making improvements in these key areas, the Web3 ecosystem will become more accessible and user-friendly. The difficulty is that decentralized applications must be simplified and streamlined while still adhering to the principles of decentralization that are the basis of Web3’s appeal.

Solutions At Work

Some projects have already implemented solutions to all three challenges, creating a Web2-like experience that users wouldn’t even know is built atop of blockchain. The online e-ticketing platform UTIX is a good example of this, with an application that’s designed to solve problems around fake tickets and price gouging, which is where individuals buy up a large number of tickets and resell them at higher costs.

With UTIX, each ticket sold on its platform is a non-fungible token (NFT). The event organizer can customize aspects of each ticket, including its price, availability, the ability to resell it or not, and also control the resale price. Yet the user simply thinks they have purchased a digital ticket, proof of which they can show through UTIX’s consumer-friendly application. By using NFTs, the organizer makes it impossible for touts to operate, and also solves problems around fake tickets, as the associated QR code can be scanned by any potential buyer to ascertain it is authentic.

UTIX cleverly employs its own $UTIX token. When users first create an account, a crypto wallet is created for them, and access can be recovered through their email. On-ramps allow for users to buy tickets with fiat, and when they do so they can earn tokens that can later be used for discounts, rewards and other opportunities, such as access to special events. Although the $UTIX token is a cryptocurrency, it simply looks like rewards points to the unsuspecting user.

Another example is the Indian social media app Chingari, which is often labeled as a TikTok clone due to its focus on creating and sharing short video clips. In 2022, Chingari – already a wildly popular app – debuted its native cryptocurrency token $GARI, which is given to users as a reward for completing various tasks and activities each day. The tokens are deposited into each user’s wallet, which is created for them when they sign up to the app. As users slowly earn tokens, they can use them to purchase merchandise from top influencers, tip the creators of videos and even purchase videos (represented by an NFT) they believe may go viral, giving them a way to earn more $GARI tokens if it receives lots of tips. Moreover, Chingari now has a way to reward the top contributors of content on its platform, and although crypto sits at the heart of this ecosystem, most users won’t even know it.

User Experience Is Key

The future of Web3 is already taking shape, and there are hundreds of dApps available that provide innovative services and benefits that cannot be had anywhere else. As the industry continues to evolve, the focus must be on building a more user-centric ecosystem that’s accessible, inclusive and secure.

Web3 must meet the needs of every single user if it’s to grow and fulfill its potential. This is not something that can be done overnight, but by focusing on the user experience, the dream of mass adoption is one that’s possible to achieve.