User Interface - The Missing Link to Mainstream Adoption of Blockchain

User Interface - The Missing Link to Mainstream Adoption of Blockchain

 

By Iyke Aru, cointelegraph.com

Any given technology can only be said to have achieved mainstream adoption when it becomes employable by the regular public without any specialized skill or expertise.

The decentralized nature of the Blockchain is applauded for its openness and availability to anyone who wishes to participate in the ecosystem. However, as is currently obtainable in most cases, only individuals with certain abilities, especially those capable of reading and interpreting computer codes, are really capable of maximizing the potential of most Blockchain resources.

The next wave of applications

Creating user interfaces that can enable the easy application of Blockchain solutions without any special coding skills or extra computer language specialization appears to be an important aspect of industry development if Blockchain is to go mainstream.

Michael Vogel, CEO of Netcoins, confirms:

“This is part of the next wave of Bitcoin and Blockchain applications. Blockchain technology has now proven itself incredibly useful and valuable for a variety of applications, and developers are now working away on creating these applications. One such application could be Blockchain-based accounting systems, where accountants can create and access financial reports on the Blockchain - as a user-facing application where no coding skills are necessary.”

Estonian Blockchain startup Agrello claims that its technology is being developed to allow users without coding or legal skills to form legally-binding agreements on the Blockchain, and to streamline production processes through the automation of resource allocation. To do so, Agrello is set to develop a graphical interface that allows users to assemble contracts, which are then compiled to code, managed and executed on the user’s behalf by intelligent agents, based on BDI-software models.

Hando Rand, Agrello CEO, says:

“Operating at the intersection of the legal system, financial institutions and disruptive technologies, Agrello is highly dependent on the establishment of good industrial relationships with the off-chain world. We regard the work done by the Ethereum Foundation on this matter as invaluable, and seek to be an active player in the field, lending our hand to promote this effort even further.”

According to Vogel, especially on the payment side, the mainstream adoption of Blockchain will happen in ways where people don't even realize that they're using the Blockchain. For example, instead of a credit card payment using traditional payment channels, behind the scenes, the payments between customer and retailer will be instantly settled using a Blockchain mechanism.

Ultimate recipe for mainstream adoption: usability, speed, security, scale

Melvin Petties, Blockchain evangelist and technologist, notes the current existence of such capabilities - the low hanging fruit for the developer community is to create the appropriate hooks into the platforms that are available. He identifies some platforms that provide the ingredients for molding "legos" - reusable code that would expose Blockchain APIs.

He notes that with the right platform choice (i.e. Azure, IBM, AWS and other third party workflow or business process management tools like K2, Nintex, etc.) one could then expose that "lego" as a drag-and-droppable building block to be incorporated into any business process/workflow.

Petties tells Cointelegraph:

“As a SharePoint architect, I build solutions like this every day. Business users love it because they don't have to look at JavaScript to decipher how their logic has been implemented. If you can read a decision (flow) chart, you can use these tools. By the way, developers love it too because it completely bypasses the painful change management process, and allows organizations to "expose" approved legos without having to approve each department's "one-off projects." The business is now empowered to iterate and test ideas with incredible speed and efficiency. IT can focus more on strategic initiatives. Everybody wins.”

There exists a universal agreement that whatever efforts are taken to lower the barrier to building value on the Blockchain, the better off we are as innovators and a society as a whole. However, Petties notes that on the flip side, the more transactions that occur on these networks, the more saturated traffic will be.

This may have an (intermediate) negative impact depending on which (public) Blockchain is being exposed to that traffic. Therefore, there is the need to be focusing equal attention on usability, speed, security and scale to make this a pleasant transition to wide scale adoption.

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