Kevin Rooke, a cryptocurrency and fintech researcher, recently pointed out (via Twitter) that if a company wants a large number of people to use their crypto or blockchain-based apps, then it should “not force them to learn new skills.”
People hate change.— Kevin Rooke (@kerooke) September 9, 2018
Want people to use your crypto application? Don't force them to learn new skills.
Square figured this out - and they tripled their user base in 9 months 👇 pic.twitter.com/LnXfgZ8aHi
According to Rooke’s research, Square, Inc., a financial and merchant services firm, had “already figured this out.” The Canadian crypto enthusiast explained that Square was able to “triple its user base in 9 months” because of effective communication and marketing strategies.
User-Friendly Crypto Trading
Square, eToro, Robinhood, and Revolut are the four main fintech companies Rooke mentioned in his analysis of the usability of crypto apps. He noted that “pure” digital currency exchanges do not have user-friendly interfaces, so it’s quite challenging or not as “straightforward” for beginners to use them.
When Square and these other established fintech firms introduced their “highly user-optimized” crypto apps, the people who had followed digital currencies “from the sidelines decided to join in,” according to Rooke.
He further noted that both eToro and Square saw “an increase of 200%” in their user base after they introduced more convenient ways to invest in cryptocurrencies. In 2014, eToro launched Bitcoin Contract for Difference (CFD), a method that allows users to trade and invest in bitcoin with the help of a broker.
As explained on eToro’s official website, CFD allows traders to easily “access … overseas markets, leveraged trading, short (SELL) positions for assets which traditionally do not offer that option.”
Rooke also mentioned that Square’s user base increased significantly after it introduced bitcoin (BTC) trading via its user-friendly Cash App. Meanwhile, Robinhood and Revolut managed to attract over 1 million new customers when they launched their own cryptocurrency trading services.
Critcism From Crypto Maximalists
Notably, Robinhood has been offering zero-fee crypto trading since November of 2017, while Revolut’s easy-to-use crypto app charges a 1.5% flat fee on cryptocurrency trades. Despite their positive influence in encouraging cryptocurrency adoption, critics argue that Robinhood and Revolut do not let their users hold the private keys to their digital assets.
This goes against the ethos of “truly owning your money” and the concept of having a decentralized financial system, which is strongly supported by bitcoin maximalists. In response to the criticism, Rooke said that crypto adoption levels have been very low due to the complex and highly technical nature of most digital currency applications.
However, consumer-friendly crypto apps developed by Square, Robinhood, and several other fintech firms have managed to get millions of people involved in trading blockchain-based currencies. As mentioned, these people had been hesitant to invest in cryptos because of their highly technical nature.