5 Tips to Make Crypto less Cryptic

5 Tips to Make Crypto less Cryptic

Have you heard of the term “cashless society”? More and more countries are going cashless and giving up the use of paper money for daily transactions. COVID supercharged this phenomenon and the longer the pandemic persists, the less people want to use cash for transactions. A cashless society increasingly now ties in with cryptocurrency. like Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Ripple. Whether you’re interested in investing or using it to make online purchases, crypto curiosity is at an all-time high. 

However, for most people, and even with all the Bitcoin buzz, the word cryptocurrency still sounds abstract at best, shady at worst. Here are some easy steps to decrypt crypto and make it accessible for your users. 


A 5 Step Crypto Scripto

If your audience is confused by the concept of crypto, then the following five tips will help make it accessible.


1. Make it human-focused

Yes, cryptocurrency was made by humans for humans. But the way it’s explained isn’t optimised for humans it seems. Beyond merely collecting crypto, it’s hard to imagine what else to do with it. This largely contrasts with fiat currency, which has countless demonstrated use cases. 

The cryptic nature of crypto is that it’s built for an unforeseen future, rather than the immediate needs of today. So, with many competing priorities, users are apt to overlook it. What crypto lacks is user engagement that is optimized for our deeper feelings, biases and heuristics. So try to create design that appeals to human motivation, using behavioral science and the Octalysis framework.


2. Build blockchain technology for today

Blockchain is a buzzword that’s come to light since the dawn of Bitcoin. It is the technological foundation through which Bitcoin securely enables and stores its transactions (i.e., it’s a digital database). But Bitcoin aside, blockchain – like cryptocurrency – doesn’t have many real life uses for today. But that’s slowly changing. 

For example, BitDegree is a MOOC that capitalizes on the transparent and decentralized nature of blockchain to offer crypto to learners as an incentive for completing courses. This crypto can then be used to enroll in paid courses at accredited institutions. It offers a clear use case for both blockchain and crypto, making it that much less abstract and more concrete. More importantly, they hired The Octalysis Group to make the user journey truly engaging, resulting in a 400% increase in course completion


3. Leverage Octalysis’ “Epic Meaning” core drive

Octalysis’ Gamification Framework is borne out of behavioral science and outlines 8 core drives of human motivation – the first of which is “Epic Meaning and Calling”. When Bitcoin first debuted, there was the popular narrative of non-reliance on centralized governments and banks, and thus the potential for “true” democracy and freedom. 

You might’ve also witnessed how quickly everyone jumped on GameStop stock to effectively “punch up” to opportunistic, short-selling hedge fund investors. What you witnessed there – that was “epic meaning” in action.

So quickly, people get on board when they feel they are “called” or “chosen” to be a part of something greater than themselves. While cryptocurrency certainly isn’t immune to corruption, if it is framed in the right way, you can make it more accessible by showing users practical ways in which its use can positively impact the world. 


4. Creatively incorporate social learning into the platform

Speaking of core drives, another way to make cryptocurrency more interesting and accessible is by leveraging blockchain tech to foster human motivation through Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness. Well before we institutionalized education, social spheres dominated the context in which learning took place. In other words, “monkey see, monkey do”; we’ve always learned from watching others. 

Of course, leveraging blockchain as a social collaboration and learning tool requires some design work. One example might involve gaining recognition amongst an international community of journalists through the decentralized nature of blockchain – a capacity that’s limited in traditional educational systems.  


5. Take users on a journey

Like in the previous tip, taking users “on a journey” requires intricate design work. But what would this even look like? Let’s circle back to human-focused design. Cryptocurrency transactions currently follow a function-focused design, where the mere functionality of the system alone is supposed to be motivating. 

But imagine an app where each user is assigned an avatar or character whose goal is to buy and nurture their crypto, metaphorically “watering” it to make it grow, kind of like kids did in the 90s with their Tamagotchi pets. And there could be different strategies for different Cryptobabies (see Cryptokitties) where you can pair different kind of Crypto to generate totally new crypto pairs with new powers.

This latter element of motivational design nicely pairs with the evergreen Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback. When these “crypto-characters” receive regular feedback and insight into their progress and skills, it is ultimately empowering. 


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