11 years later, Bitcoin is still hard to use

Source: LongHash

Editor's Note: This article has been deleted without altering the author's original intention.

For a long time, various companies and many developers have tried to improve the user-friendliness of Bitcoin, but the overall availability of this world's most popular cryptocurrency is still quite unsatisfactory.

Compared to addresses that are easy to read for ordinary people, long strings of randomly generated letters and numbers are still widely used as payment addresses for Bitcoin payments. To ensure higher privacy, specific wallets are required, and losses from human error are still common. And these are just some issues that can be controlled. There are also high volatility of currency prices and tax issues in cryptocurrency transactions.

Last weekend, issues related to Bitcoin availability were once again exposed on social media. Peter Schiff, a well-known gold supporter and bitcoin skeptic, tweeted that he couldn't get the bitcoin he had received years ago.

Is it possible that the use of Bitcoin can be simplified to a level comparable to the most popular apps like Facebook and Gmail? Maybe not. Bitcoin's innate nature demands great responsibility from its users personally, as its general idea is to become a user's own bank.

Ultimately, technological advances at the network level may increase the usability of Bitcoin for ordinary people. But the reality is that, as is currently the case, to use Bitcoin, users must first figure out why they should use it and the trade-offs they must make.

Although the user interface built around the exchange has gone through many years, unmanaged wallets still face incredible difficulties. These issues are mainly around key management and the irreversibility of Bitcoin transactions, which is still difficult for ordinary people to understand and master.

Bitcoin payments cannot be made simple

Simplifying bitcoin payments is difficult because it works in a completely different way than any other online financial system. Most people have become accustomed to the way banks operate, that is, the security of funds is guaranteed by a third party. Therefore, when users control their own funds, there will be a high learning curve in the process of getting started.

The complexity of Bitcoin has played a protective role to some extent. If it's easy to pay with Bitcoin, it's also easy to accidentally send an irreversible transaction to the wrong person, or a hacker steals your money.

It would be much easier to develop payment apps around a completely centralized system, as they are more resistant to user errors. Missed to send a payment to the wrong person? They can reverse the deal. Someone hacked into your account? They will ensure that everything returns to what it was before the hack. Currently, such protections cannot be implemented in Bitcoin wallets. When users make mistakes, they can pay a high price for it.

A best example of a centralized solution might be a managed wallet like Coinbase. The company has successfully developed one of the most powerful apps for channeling new users to the Bitcoin network, but the cost of doing so is that it has become a Bitcoin bank itself. Obviously, when you allow third parties (especially highly regulated entities like Coinbase) to hold private keys, you lose many of the benefits of Bitcoin as a payment system. However, this solution is enough for those who just want to invest in Bitcoin, and these people are currently representing the vast majority of Bitcoin users.

But these centralized solutions are not perfect. Even with a Bitcoin bank like Coinbase, accounts can be hacked, so users need to use the best security practices, such as two-factor authentication. In addition, it turns out that text-based two-factor authentication is even worse than just using a username and password in terms of security.

In addition, when bitcoin software is developed to reduce the personal responsibility of users, there is always a certain degree of trade-offs in terms of eliminating the characteristics that originally gave bitcoin value.

What does a good Bitcoin wallet UI look like?

So how can we develop a quality user interface that retains the license-free nature of a decentralized financial system? It is simply impossible to enjoy the benefits of personal responsibility without taking any negative risks. At this stage, parents may easily lose money due to misoperations—unless you just give them a piece of paper or a hardware wallet and let them put them in a file cabinet for ten years, so that Bitcoin payment is no longer a problem. Already.

Having said that, for those who wish to take on this extra responsibility, there are also some notable tools that can be developed. For example, wallet B is a wallet that uses a green address to improve wallet security. It's like adding bank-level security reviews to a bitcoin wallet without giving control of funds to a third party. It uses a 2-of-2 multi-signature address to store user funds, and one of the private keys is controlled by a server. This server will sign a transaction only after the user successfully enters some form of two-factor authentication. . Users don't have to worry about the risk of funds being unavailable when the server is offline, because when the server is unresponsive, a pre-signed refund transaction can be broadcast to the entire network.

Non-custodial exchanges (not necessarily decentralized) are another area where they are striding forward and have made huge strides in providing a savvy Bitcoin user with a user interface that allows them to trade without third-party escrow funds. progress. Probably the most important example in this field is Shapeshift, which combines unmanaged exchanges with KeepKey hardware wallets.

In order to really make it easier for ordinary people to use Bitcoin without having to go back to a centralized server, technological progress is necessary. At this point, the Lightning Network is certainly the most obvious example, but other improvements, such as "Bitcoin vaults" should be able to reduce the universality of user errors at the wallet level. But if people want to use Bitcoin to pay, personal responsibility is always irreplaceable.

LongHash , read the blockchain with data.

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