Decentralized, blockchain-based digital currencies captured the world’s attention due to their promise of sparking a financial revolution and freeing the world from the shackles of centralized, manipulated money and payment solutions. A decade later, most of them are rarely used. And most of them never will be, because their fans or advocates aren’t prepared to do what is necessary to build an actual crypto ecosystem. Here’s three big reasons you probably have had no luck in building any sort of meaningful adoption for your favorite cryptocurrency.
1: You Don’t Have Infrastructure to Make It Easy
Quite frankly, most cryptocurrencies were meant more for speculative trading and transfer than for actual use, and as such don’t have many decent wallets available. Even those that do don’t have any integration into a usable point-of-sale system. Most merchant solutions out there for cryptocurrency are either convoluted and clunky (sometimes serving to replace the merchant’s existing software entirely, which they’re likely happy with), or woefully inadequate or hard to use. Even if a merchant wanted to accept crypto, there are few easy ways for them to do so, and potential customers aren’t ready to easily make payments anyway. Finally, how do you know where to spend it? Very, very few cryptocurrencies have associated merchant directories, and among those that do, almost none have one that’s in any way accurate, comprehensive, or useful.
Consider the example of setting up a merchant with either Anypay or Spark and having them use it to accept Dash payments, while a customer comes in with a Dash wallet. Setup on both the merchant and customer side is easy and intuitive, and making a payment is fast and easy, faster and easier than accepting a credit card in fact. I’ve seen it hundreds of times myself. And if you don’t know where to use it, you can use Discover Dash to find a merchant nearby. That simple, fast, and elegant process made possible by the current Dash infrastructure is the reason behind its incredible success in gaining adoption around the world. If you can’t replicate that smooth experience, don’t even bother, you’re not ready yet.
2: You Won’t Use It
Big $Dash meetup Wednesday, even bigger crypto crawl Saturday. Dozens of people paying in Dash at eight or more local businesses, including some first-timers from out of town. This is how financial revolutions are made. @Anypay_ pic.twitter.com/WGx0f2q5oB
— Joel Valenzuela (@TheDesertLynx) April 7, 2019
I hate to be the one to come down hard on this point, but if you’re a cryptocurrency fan, you’re probably not prepared to use it in any kind of meaningful way with any kind of regularity. Do you carry a mobile wallet with funds on you at all times? Do you spend cryptocurrency on a purchase at any point during the week? Do you visit a storefront business and use it there? Do you set up friends and family with wallets, gather fellow enthusiasts, and purposefully organize social events and outings at supporting businesses? If you don’t constantly drive sales in cryptocurrency to real merchants, then how can you expect any to still accept it for payments?
That Dash has come to the forefront of adoption should come as no surprise. There are consistent groups in New Hampshire, Venezuela, Colombia, Thailand, and plenty of other locations that go out and spend it every week. Some of us do so just about everyday. In terms of creating, and retaining, an actual digital cash ecosystem, this is how you must do it. HODL doesn’t work. You need to go out there and use it, over and over again, and get more people to join you.
3: You Won’t Learn and Work to Make It Better
We need your help! Visit https://t.co/UBAKf43Yoa to find a #Dash-accepting business near you, visit the business, take a picture, & leave a review! You can also report any issues found with the business listing. We rely on the community to keep the listings accurate as possible. pic.twitter.com/EsZzasYohw
— Discover Dash (@DiscoverDash) March 19, 2019
Rather than giant, profit-driven, well-funded companies, cryptocurrencies are community-driven decentralized projects. Given this obvious fact, it’s surprising how few people will lift a finger to contribute to helping develop the ecosystem. To be brutally honest, all the above-mentioned success in creating smooth payment flows and growing a community of merchants only came at the end of a decidedly rough path. I personally have spent countless hours testing wallets, attempting (and failing) to make a payment at a store, relaying information back to developers, brainstorming ways of improving user flow, complaining in frustration when things were broken, and so on. Our impressive merchant listing in Discover Dash was compiled over thousands of hours of hard work combing the internet’s various listings, visiting stores in person, calling and emailing businesses, and trying to chase down which ones had either gone under or stopped taking Dash. What we have today is the result of dozens, if not hundreds, of individuals working together to battle test Dash and all its supporting services to make sure they’re ready for mass adoption.
No one ever said this was going to be easy. But it is possible, as we’re in the process of showing everyday. If you’re not interested in doing the work to get cryptocurrency adopted, however, you’d be best served by not pretending anymore.