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  • EOS
  • 16. Apr
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EOS: User Experience that could bring Blockchain to the Masses

The user experience of early mobile phones made them a user-experience nightmare, impossible to use by today’s standards.

Only 3 users on the entire network could make a call at any given time.

You could either talk or listen at any one time (and both users had to switch between modes).

The equipment was 36KG.

It seems a fitting analogy considering the current state of cryptocurrencies.

In order for Decentralized applications to enter mainstream usage, the user experience needs to be tackled in new ways which many projects do not consider nor approach.

To make matters more challenging – Centralized versions of applications are already strongly established, mostly running on ‘free’ models, with privacy-infringing monetization strategies that the average user doesn’t care strongly about.

Consider a Decentralized video streaming site:

Currently users have a great centralized video streaming site that is one of the most used websites in the world.

It lets you, and everyone else, access content immediately without even registering an account at all.

If you wish to post your own videos or interact with content, you can do so, and it will cost you absolutely nothing.

It will cost you in privacy & ad exposure, which is a huge debate in the tech world currently, but the direct upfront cost of engaging with this platform is nil.

Consider a Decentralized Video streaming site, on an inefficient blockchain:

  1. Videos cannot be hosted decentrally on existing blockchains due to impossible data cost
  2. With (limited) databasing handled on blockchain, data cost still exceedingly expensive
  3. Upfront user cost (directly, in token that user would need to hold) for many actions:
  4. Cost for creating user account
  5. Possibly Cost for watching video
  6. Cost for liking a video
  7. Cost for commenting on video
  8. Even if all of the above were technically ‘free’ would still require gas cost or similar
  9. Time delay on all of the above actions, resulting in awkward, janky user experience
  10. Possibility that action interrupts another users action, resulting in cancellation of transaction and lost gas (transaction fee still paid)

Sounds absurd, and it is.

Exactly the same issues plague other decentralized apps

Exchanges, there are many. Almost all of them are centralized, using standard web databasing and established coding languages.

Transactions are instant, fees are low, the fees/cost goes directly to the website owners to cover their risks.

There are few decentralized approaches in exchanges currently in existence, I will be looking at 2 in particular.

The first is based on an inefficient blockchain, and as a result, all of the above expected issues parallel.

There is a transaction cost/penalty for almost every action on the site, minus viewing pages (which is essentially a block explorer). These gas fees are ‘burnt’ – they do not go to the site owner, so whilst the transactions may technically be ‘free’ – they are not really.

There is also a large delay due to the limited transaction volume ability of the underlying blockchain. As a result trades can overlap each-other, resulting in gas being burnt with no transaction completion, usually accompanied by a delay of several minutes.

At the peak of Eth’s usage, it was virtually impossible to use this site without incurring:

  1. Gas fees of $11+ per trade attempt
  2. High possibility of trade failing
  3. No gas refunded if trade fails
  4. 10-30 minute delay on all trades, whether it fails or succeeds

This is akin to the early mobile telephone. Not useful for anyone but the most die-hard or those with a necessity that exceeds the cost/difficulty. Some realisations in this space need to occur:-

A Dapp is simply a regular app with decentralized underlying technology.

Therefore, The execution of a ‘Dapp’ should not differ from any kind of app that a user may wish to use.

If an apps underlying technology changes:

Users cannot be expected to complicate their lives unnecessarily in order to benefit from these changes.

Expecting this from users moves away from mainstream possibility because:

Centralized versions present users with the path of least resistance when it comes to registering and using these apps. The necessity for users to join the app or site far exceeds the cost/difficulty for them to do so. Registration can take seconds, interactions can take seconds. The user experience is great as a result.

In fact, we are now at the stage where a user is asking ‘is it worth me joining this platform? what can you offer me?’ in many cases, resulting in a highly competitive app market where apps compete for users.

The competitive benefits of a decentralized platform for many apps will become apparent when monetization switches from:

Current Centralized Model

Providing a free platform, taking users data, serving ads based on data, keeping all the ad revenue.

to:

Future Decentralized Model

Providing a free platform, keeping data trustless, serving ads based on user preference, sharing ad revenue with users in order to grow the platform and obsolete centralized models.

Is there anything that exists currently that is taking this approach?

Yes indeed.

A second competitor exists in the decentralised exchange space.

It is decentralized, it is trustless, and it encounters none of the decentralization issues of the aforementioned project.

It is capable of handling over 1,000 transactions per second which exceeds almost all blockchain projects.

Using the platform is free with zero ‘gas’, and making exchanges on the platform are free and instant.

You can sign up and use it today – it is not vaporware, nor is it a pipe dream/concept.

It is called Bitshares – It was conceived in 2014 by Daniel Larimer and has been running somewhat smoothly ever since.

And what about Decentralised Social Media?

Yes, there is something great in this space also.

It is decentralized, it is trustless, and it encounters none of the decentralization issues of the aforementioned project.

It is capable of handling over 1,000 transactions per second which exceeds almost all blockchain projects.

Using the platform is entirely free, with zero ‘gas’, and making exchanges on the platform are free and instant.

In fact, you are paid cryptocurrency for many user actions, as an added incentive to use the platform.

You can sign up and use it today – it is not vaporware, nor is it a pipe dream/concept.

In fact, it is in the top 1000 websites for traffic in the world, and has around 60,000 daily users.

It is called Steemit – It was conceived in 2016 by Daniel Larimer and has been running somewhat smoothly ever since.


All of the above paint a picture of the kind of model that is going to be required to not only gain DApp traction – but to actually provide realistic and competitive alternatives to centralized websites/apps that people will switch to when the urge for decentralization becomes necessary.

Is there a development platform for many many decentralized apps?

Yes. It is called EOS – It was conceived by Daniel Larimer, and it launches in 47 days.

It brings his many years in the blockchain space and everything he has learned from constructing 2 incredible, working decentralised projects, into a new high-performance core blockchain, built for developers, letting them build their own Steemit & Bitshares (or unlimited other things).

Most importantly, it approaches user experience in a realistic way, that has demonstrably proved not only that it works, but that it is effective with users (Steemit attaning the top 1000 websites in the world on Alexa is a huge feat, and puts it in a similar class to the centralised versions).

In the hands of everyday developers with alternative decentralized monetization models in mind, could prove to be world-changing.

My opinion does not constitute investment advice.

3 Comments

  • Nick

    Great Read. EOS is larger than people think. Many continue to underestimate EOS. I simply can’t wait till it’s officially launched and officially recognized as a real Ethereum competitor. The difference, EOS will do everything a lot better.

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