Coinbase Seeks to Speed up Crypto Adoption Through Communication, Simplification
August 10, 2018 by Paul de Havilland
Coinbase is on a stated mission to encourage the widespread adoption of cryptocurrency. And they are actively working on communication strategies to make that happen.
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Simple Enough for a Child to Understand
Connie Yang, the Design Director at Coinbase and a former product designer at Facebook, said in a company blog post of August 6th that “Above all, we want to make this transformative new technology accessible to as many people in the world as possible.”
In order to do that, Yang has accepted the unenviable task of developing communications — through design — that will help the everyday person understand cryptocurrencies and learn how to place their trust in them.
She argues that given children have a basic understanding of money, banks, and the exchange of value, crypto needs to be similarly as intuitive to children. To achieve that, Coinbase has established three questions that they have set themselves the task of answering:
“How do we design intangible money?
How do we build trust in a concept, instead of a company?
How do we make it all simple enough so a child can understand?”
Coinbase Courting Consumers As Well As Institutional Players
Coinbase was thought to be pivoting toward institutional interest in the cryptocurrency market with a number of maneuvers a few months ago. After unceremoniously ditching the account of the controversial Wikileaks, the company established a series of subsidiaries targeting big money.
Its secure crypto asset custody service, Coinbase Custody, was launched in early July, with CEO Brian Armstrong stating:
“Coinbase Custody’s mission is to make digital currency investment accessible to every eligible financial institution and hedge fund in the world. We’ll achieve this by striving to become the most trusted and easiest-to-use crypto custody service available. Coinbase Custody is a combination of Coinbase’s battle-tested cold storage for crypto assets, an institutional-grade broker-dealer and its reporting services, and a comprehensive client coverage program.”
It now appears that the exchange is pivoting back to its consumer base, announcing plans last month to add five new coins to its rather paltry slate of offerings. Ethereum Classic was the first to be formally added. Yang says that “the industry does a terrible job of explaining itself” and is working on ways to simplify the often mystical language of crypto.
With Everyone’s Eyes on Wall Street, Coinbase Heeds Vitalik Buterin’s Advice
News this week that the SEC had delayed a decision on allowing VanEck Bitcoin ETFs to list and trade on the CBOE BZX Equities Exchange sent the crypto market tumbling. That came within days of Intercontinental Exchange Inc. — the owner of the NYSE — announcing they had joined forces with Microsoft and Starbucks to create a cryptocurrency trading platform called Bakkt.
Late last month Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin tweeted a concern that the crypto community was becoming overly focused on Wall Street interest in digital assets, and not on the fundamental aim of increasing Main Street adoption:
I think there’s too much emphasis on BTC/ETH/whatever ETFs, and not enough emphasis on making it easier for people to buy $5 to $100 in cryptocurrency via cards at corner stores. The former is better for pumping price, but the latter is much better for actual adoption.
— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) July 29, 2018
With institutional players from Goldman Sachs, ICE, and the CBOE clamoring for position, Coinbase appears to be heeding Buterin’s advice. The American exchange realizes that until it becomes much clearer for the average person to understand, crypto is unlikely to go mainstream at all. And it is employing design professionals to see that it does.
Have your say. How important is it for crypto entities to get the messaging and communications right?
Images via Pixabay