Taras Dovgal is a serial entrepreneur and veteran of web development, having built web2 and web3 applications for over a decade. The combination of these skills gives him a unique perspective on making crypto products mainstream. Our team reached out to Taras for his insight.
According to Taras, when he encountered crypto for the first time, he struggled to comprehend it despite his extensive experience with web2-related products. All at once, it felt like a bank and e-money but was unfamiliar at the same time. Eventually, he realized crypto wasn’t all that complicated, just that it lacked clarity for newcomers. Also, he understood the value of crypto for average users, inspiring him to develop simple-to-use crypto products for mainstream use.
According to Taras, creating crypto products begins with choosing a blockchain with mass adoption potential, a step often overlooked by crypto product creators. Developers need to grow beyond profit-taking mindsets if they want their web3 products to catch on. Getting to mass audiences requires a cooperative approach and a broader vision.
“My life has been shaped by entrepreneurship and startup culture. Having discovered crypto at the end of 2017, I’ve been considering ways to integrate cryptocurrency into traditional business or create crypto ventures that are more web-2-like”, Taras said. The crypto industry offers tremendous potential; however, he believes it is still young and has much to learn from conventional industries.
Taras’ current project is Munzen, a platform that bridges the fiat and crypto worlds, allowing everyone to use it, regardless of their technical skill set.
“No matter whether developers build on-chain or off-chain solutions, they should focus on user experience and go beyond what exists today in web2 products. How do you know if mass adoption is taking place? Certainly, one of the signs will be when our elders can use crypto easily”, he added.
The yet-to-be-implemented web3 technologies that will drive more users to crypto
To mainstream cryptocurrency products, Taras emphasizes that some innovative technologies have yet to be widely adopted by the crypto industry. These include, among others:-
Currently, new users are hampered by high network fees and/or the need for network-specific cryptocurrencies. Similarly to web2 services that offer free trials, crypto products can offer meta transactions that allow users to interact with public blockchains without paying network fees. In meta transactions, the data is created by the user off-chain and then is executed by a third party, called a relayer. If crypto products are interested in attracting new users, they can act as relayers who pay network fees for transaction execution.
By encouraging competition among major relayer hubs, meta-transactions can also reduce network fees, thereby contributing to their scalability.
Human-readable addresses (HRAs)
As crypto addresses are long, hard-to-remember strings of code, even one mistake could lead to an irrecoverable loss of funds, one of the major roadblocks to accelerated adoption.
Some crypto products have already addressed this issue through the use of human-readable addresses (HRAs). The ability to share your crypto identity via a human-readable address is crucial to bringing cryptocurrency into the mainstream. Many people don’t understand the finer points of blockchain technology. Still, almost anyone can understand sending and receiving tokens using their names and the names of their friends and family. Using PayPal and Revolut as examples, crypto wallet addresses can also be tied to existing off-chain user data, such as an email address or a phone number.
Multi-party computation (MPC)
Developers often hesitate to develop custodial and semi-custodial solutions because of security concerns, even though they provide better user experiences. A common solution proposed is using multi-sig wallets and storing keys in cold storage. These solutions, however, still lag behind in many ways. For example, Harmony Bridge exploited for $100 million using a multi-sig wallet. It is possible to solve this problem using multi-party computation (MPC), commonly referred to as the holy grail of both usability and private key security.
In MPC-based solutions, private keys are never stored in a single place and are protected against external and internal fraudsters. Multi-party computation works on most blockchains’ standardized cryptographic signature algorithm (ECDSA or EdDSA), making MPC possible across them.
Using the threshold multi-party computation scheme, web3 wallets can also enable social recovery, in which users’ private keys can be split into multiple shards and reconstructed when a user loses their part of the key.
Aside from these technologies, several others need to be widely adopted. Some developments are taking place now, and others are on the horizon. Taras believes developers need to innovate while looking back at best practices from the web2 era to build better web3 products. The important thing to remember is that a poor UX can throw a monkey wrench in the works. In contrast, a positive user experience can contribute to adopting crypto products worldwide.