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Accessibility is a pain point for cryptocurrency adoption that has been discussed for years, yet still, it is pertinent as ever. This issue was most recently recognized by the United States government as we’ve seen Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen discuss during her remarks on digital assets policy and regulation. There are barriers that are limiting accessibility to cryptocurrencies, such as financial education and technological resources, and it is our duty as developers and leaders in this revolutionary industry to address them.
Studies have shown that only 33% of adults across the globe are financially literate. With many projects in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space focusing on providing individuals without access to traditional financial institutions and tools for earning, saving and transacting, this is a key consideration.
Traditional financial institutions certainly have additional barriers that cryptocurrency projects are bypassing, such as requiring documentation, lofty fees and a general lack of local financial institutions in emerging markets. With that said, even DeFi requires knowledge and understanding of money to comfortably enter the space. Comprehensive education on the building blocks of finance, from tips on savings to market fluctuations, is crucial to encourage those who have felt excluded by traditional finance to enter the DeFi world.
Another educational component necessary is cryptocurrency and blockchain education. New technology of all kinds can be overwhelming and confusing to potential new users — it’s so common that the term “technostress” was coined to diagnose this issue.
Highly technical language and frequent use of jargon are two issues I’ve witnessed in the space that deter the crypto curious from diving into the world of DeFi. Providing resources that break down the essentials of blockchain technology, whether they are blog posts or explanatory videos, helps to bridge the large gap of knowledge between developers and everyday individuals. While this is an important start, the unfortunate truth is that education also requires one crucial and very limited resource — time.
The time and energy it takes to learn the ins and outs of blockchain and cryptocurrency technology can be a major barrier to developing a deep understanding necessary to enter the space. While providing easy, simple educational tools is beneficial, it serves an admittedly limited population. As a result, financial literacy and crypto education remains important, but there are other steps developers and leaders must take to enable user adoption. Project leaders should also consider the knowledge gaps as they design their platform and build out messaging. Using simple, concise language that will resonate with all audiences is key to welcoming new users.
As mentioned, the wealth gap presents many challenges for lower-income individuals to enter the space. In addition to a lack of access to and time for education, limited liquidity is another massive barrier to entry.
In order to invest, individuals must be able to cover their living expenses with additional money to allocate elsewhere. For those living paycheck to paycheck, or even those who simply do not feel comfortable risking their resources on investments, they are far less inclined to put money into investment accounts.
This is especially true with digital assets since they are newer and less regulated than traditional investment avenues. Undercollatoralized loans will enable those with less liquidity to invest in the space, serving as a major driver of mainstream crypto adoption. Projects, such as Teller Finance, that allow individuals to borrow crypto assets without posting collateral are moving the space forward. This space will continue to grow and is necessary for increasing accessibility.
As developers focus on simplicity and ease for users, their platform must reflect those considerations. Onboarding is the first step for any curious potential new user, so ensuring that sign-on is intuitive is your opportunity to create a lasting first impression. If there are many complicated processes to set up an account, people will understandably not want to move forward. Easy Know Your Customer identification, rather than laborious protocols, is one way that projects can enhance their onboarding experience.
Another step for projects to take is building out a robust network of partners. Depending on the project, this could be compatible blockchains, integration with decentralized applications, or joining initiatives like Celo’s DeFi for the People that aim to increase real-world use cases. There are so many projects in the space, often with limited interoperability, which means that users have to juggle many different accounts and applications. Making your platform as expansive and interoperable as possible means providing users with countless ways to use your platform through compatible programs, which in turn encourages them to utilize your offerings.
The blockchain industry’s continued growth requires a steady flow of new users within the space. To do so, we as an industry must develop projects with new users in mind. Offering educational content is the first step to building a foundation that will allow us to revolutionize the economy.
Bearing in mind that this does not serve every user, and finding additional ways to incentivize new users to join the space is crucial. Offering uncollateralized loans helps to bridge the wealth gap that we have seen throughout crypto’s progression and increased adoption. Keeping your audience in mind every step of the way, from design to messaging, to the offerings that you provide, is of equal importance. The ultimate goal is for blockchain technology to be embedded within applications to the point where users don’t even need to know that they are on-chain. When our applications are as intuitive and understandable as the traditional financial tools that users have downloaded by the millions, we will see an increase in users like never before.
This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Fabrice Cheng is the co-founder, CEO and chief technology officer at Quadrata. He was previously the head of blockchain technology at Spring Labs. Fabrice is an experienced technologist and has been building in the Ethereum ecosystem since 2016, with a particular interest in how to extract value from the mempool, and he’s also an Ethereum 2.0 open-source contributor at Prysmatic Labs.
As the fall of Terra (LUNA) and TerraUSD (UST) may have a noticeable short-term impact on the decision-making of both retail and institutional investors, it doesn’t pose a risk to the larger crypto ecosystem, according to Huobi Global CEO Du Jun.
In an interview with Cointelegraph, Jun explained that the collapse of Terra will affect the ecosystem by slowing down investor interest in crypto as an asset class. However, Jun noted that this will only be a short-term effect. In the long term, the exchange CEO explained that cryptos like Bitcoin’s (BTC) demand as a hedge against fiat inflation will grow along with the advent of new applications for blockchain.
“In the long term, demand for cryptocurrencies as a hedge against fiat inflation will continue to grow, as well as for applications of blockchain technology.”
When asked about critics who are using the Terra collapse as an opportunity to take a dig at the entire crypto market, Jun highlighted that crashes like Terra also happen in many other industries.
“Market crashes and coordinated attacks are not unique to crypto,” said Jun. Citing the Lehman Brothers collapse and the housing market crash, Jun mentioned that “every industry will see its fair share of toppled players.” He further explained that the long-term endurance of an industry always depends on the demand for its services.
“Crypto as a technology and asset class introduces value and innovation that is unique and irreplaceable, and we believe that one bad apple in the short run will not affect long-term demand for crypto assets and the industry as a whole.”
Jun is also optimistic and believes that when the price of BTC recovers, confidence in the market will return and it will lead to more investments coming into the space. Despite the bumps in the road, the CEO trusts that the broader crypto industry will grow continuously.
Also, Jun noted that there are flaws exposed by the Terra crash. “The takeaway is that in the future, stablecoins should be backed by less volatile tokens,” he said. He underscored that collateral must be “rebalanced with less volatile tokens.”
Lastly, the Huobi Global CEO said that in summary, “decentralized stablecoins are vital to the development of the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem.” He shared that the community can turn this loss into a win by innovating so that tragic incidents like the Terra crash do not repeat.
Earlier this month, the UST dollar peg crumbled as a whale started to dump UST. This lowered LUNA’s price by 20% only one day after the initial dump. The event then snowballed even as Terra founder Do Kwon shared plans for Terra’s recovery. In the end, the Terra debacle became one of the biggest price meltdowns in the history of crypto.
Bitcoin (BTC) headed toward an “interesting” liquidity area on May 18 as United States stock markets opened with a bearish bang.
U.S. markets saw a swift reversal of prior gains on the day, with the S&P 500 down 2% and the Nasdaq 100 down 2.3% within the first hour of trading.
The big surprise, however, came from grocery giants Walmart and Target, both of which saw the biggest intraday declines since the weeks prior to the 1987 “Black Monday” market crash.
At the time of writing, WMT was down over 15% in five trading days, while TGT was nearing 25%. Both came after reports of deteriorating earnings amid a squeeze on consumer spending from inflation.
“Bear market rallies can last weeks or just a few days. The combo Walmart/Target bombs indicate the U.S. consumer might not be as healthy as thought. The 3-day rally could be over,” Fred Hickey, editor of The High-Tech Strategist, told Twitter followers on the day.
As standard, BTC declined with the indices to threaten a break below $29,000 toward an area of liquidity that represented the daily closes from last week’s drop, which had seen spikes below $24,000.
“Looks like a clean breakdown to me. Price action has been choppy but we should at least sweep the lows,” popular trader and analyst Nebraskan Gooner tweeted in his latest update.
“Lows break and we probably see $22K. Lows hold and we can break back above $30K.”
Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe agreed, descrbing the area at around $28,400 as “interesting.”
Fellow longstanding social media trading presence Josh Rager hoped for a bounce at the key level to take Bitcoin higher once more.
“Many times these compressions break one way for a fakeout and then reverse,” he tweeted regarding declining volatility now potentially resulting in a price move.
A subsequent post confirmed that BTC/USD was moving according to plan.
On altcoins, losses began to mount faster as Bitcoin abandoned any short-term bullish signals.
Ethereum (ETH) lost $2,000 support and headed toward its lowest levels since the May 12 cross-crypto capitulation.
“Altcoins have retraced a lot. But previous bear markets suggest they could go lower,” trader and analyst Rekt Capital warned on the day.
“If BTC loses its Macro Range Low, that would confirm more downside in the Crypto market. Which could enable Altcoins to follow their standard Bear Market correction of over -90%.”
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Financial companies in Israel are increasingly moving into cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), with two competing credit card firms working on BTC investment and cashback features.
Two Israel-based credit card companies, Max and Isracard, have inked partnerships with crypto-related platforms in order to allow cardholders to purchase Bitcoin, the local news agency Calcalist reported on Tuesday.
Max announced a collaboration with the local crypto broker Bits of Gold to launch a crypto-enabled card called MaxBack Crypto. According to Max’s official website, the card will offer cashback opportunities in BTC as well as the option to buy Bitcoin through a clearing agreement Bits of Gold.
Formerly known as Leumi Card, Max is one of the largest credit card processors and issuers in Israel and a major non-banking financial institution. The firm reportedly issued 1.6 million credit cards and provides clearing services to more than 40,000 merchants.
— Bits of Gold (@BitsofGold_LTD) May 17, 2022
Max’s competitor, Isracard Group, is one of the biggest credit card companies in Israel, offering credit clearing services to four major credit card brands including American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Isracard.
Isracard is also not missing out on crypto, reportedly announcing a partnership with Israel’s major investment company Altshuler Shaham on Tuesday as well.
Isracard specifically partnered with Altshuler’s crypto-focused subsidiary Altshuler Shaham Horizon to allow Isracard holders to purchase Bitcoin directly via its credit card.
As previously reported, Altshuler Shaham has expressed interest in Bitcoin investment before, with the firm investing $100 million into the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust in 2020.
“As the leading crypto company in the country, we are proud to launch this innovative collaboration, which will allow the general public to join the digital currency arena,” Horizon CEO Ilan Stark said. “If in the past this field belonged to the exotic part of the capital market, today we see more and more interest from investors and customers,” the exec added.
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