Getting people into crypto is difficult… Start a conversation and you’ll hear that Bitcoin isn’t real money, it’s only good for tax evaders or my favorite: my friend’s brother’s cousin told me it’s a scam. It’s fascinating, the expanse of excuses people have for not embracing a paradigm changing technology. But forget them, what about the millions who are interested in crypto but are unwilling to submit to the indignities of registering on an exchange and verifying their identity? How do we turn this cohort of the casually interested into crypto coinnoisseurs? In the last week I’ve heard about these two fascinating solutions that are attempting to solve this problem.
A description of a meta-transaction, straight from the source.
When a user creates a new transaction in their wallet, they sign a message which is sent directly to the Ethereum network. When a user creates a meta-transaction, a user signs a similar message (but one which is not a valid Ethereum transaction), and sends it to a 3rd party, who then submits the message on their behalf, within a transaction of their own.
Let’s break that paragraph down. A user completes a task and earns a bounty. The payout is in crypto but how to get that crypto if a new user has no gas to sign a transaction? Simple, the bounty app sends a message to an Ethereum smart contract. The smart contract interprets this message (instructions) and then uses its own reserve of gas to verify the transaction. In this way the completed task is written to the blockchain and the user receives their crypto reward. Brilliant! I imagine there are plenty of people who would be willing to complete some bounties if they can earn $10 or $20 worth of crypto. Once they have the coin they’ll be incentivized to set up a wallet, find a place to spend it or figure out how to hodl it safely.
The critics might argue that this isn’t really crypto adoption, since the messages users are sending aren’t “valid” ETH transactions. They’ll say things like not your keys not your crypto and centralized scam and whatnot. But I think they’ll be missing the forest for the trees. This type of bounty reward program is a low stakes way to get millions of people involved in crypto, especially if people in developing countries can complete bounties where $10 might be as much as several days’ wages! What’s not to love?
2. Wyre Onboarding
How cool is this; Wyre is going to make it possible to buy crypto without KYC! They’ll achieve this monumental feat by integrating with Google and Apple pay. I don’t use these apps myself but presumably when you create an account you have to enter some basic KYC information. Well Wyre has figured out that they port that information to their own crypto onboarding app so users don’t have to enter their personal information twice. Check out a demo here.
So simple and painless. The limits are small, $250 per day and $1,500 lifetime, but who cares! This was never designed to be a replacement for sending a $100,000 wire transfer to Coinbase. The Wyre solution is about making it ludicrously simple for someone to buy crypto for the first time. Assuming the app works well it could have a massive effect in the next bullrun. There are 380 million Apple pay and 50 million Google pay users, what if just one-quarter of them bought $100 worth of Bitcoin? Run the math on that and see how fast it adds up…
I’m incredibly excited for both of these new onboarding methods. Meta-transactions and the Wyre app address the onboarding hiccup from two different angles but the idea is the same: make it as simple as possible for people to get into crypto. With these solutions, and more to come, mass adoption doesn’t seem as improbable as it once did.