DeFi’s goal is to create greater financial inclusion. This is the central mission, to reduce access barriers to wealth generation so that anyone with the Internet can participate.
How can we make a mother in Mozambique be empowered and participate? She is not looking to trade everyday and buy a Lamborghini. She may be looking for passive income so she can pay the bills or put her kids through school.
For her, the DeFi user experience needs to be easily accessible and understandable. She should be able to access it from her phone through a simple app and be aware of the different options available to her.
But, until now, it’s those with the time and resources to understand and access the underlying technology and new financial tools who are reaping the benefits.
This is a serious problem.
Web3 is on the horizon. Still, in its current form, it won’t deliver on its promise or see mass market adoption unless these new technology ecosystems are streamlined through stronger user experiences.
Web3 is on the horizon. Still, in its current form, it won’t deliver on its promise or see mass market adoption unless these new technology ecosystems are streamlined through stronger user experiences. Complexity is the enemy, intimidating newcomers from giving DeFi a chance and preventing its launch as a mass-market phenomenon.
Simplification of decentralized financial products is key. This will demystify complex proposals and attract more users to this space. This will create the opportunity to use DeFi to drive financial inclusion, more liquidity and more innovation, especially with the user experience.
The future of finance is decentralized, but only if UX is prioritized
The best technologies work without most users knowing how, why, or that it’s there. You don’t need to know how your WiFi works or how Gmail sends an email. The iPhone removed buttons in an innovation that created a fully functioning screen computer operating system, ushering in a new paradigm in UX design.
Cryptocurrencies should follow a similar adoption curve.
But many user interfaces seem to be made by developers rather than product managers and UX designers. As a result, the complexities of the DeFi ecosystem require an intricate understanding to access these products and are limiting mass adoption.
It’s unrealistic to expect newcomers to easily understand a new world of digital asset trading when you ask them to register a series of random keywords to ensure their money stays safe. It is unrealistic to expect newcomers to securely and reliably secure and transfer their assets through chains and portfolios without hesitation, or to adequately protect themselves against the high risks of this new digital world of finance.
The DeFi user experience needs to be intuitive and easy, but that’s not currently the case. For example, users need to be better informed about which respective digital wallets correspond to which blockchains. Users should be better alerted if they try to send assets to the wrong chain. Surprisingly, most platforms don’t offer this. Or, better yet, they shouldn’t need to understand anything.
Important tools need to be simplified. Consider portfolio rebalancing, the process of realigning asset weights to help manage risk and avoid overexposure. If a user cannot do this easily, he can suffer needless losses. However, the process often requires manual tracking and adjustment of the respective asset allocation to reduce losses on other assets, often through separate asset trades. We need more automated tools that allow users to allocate weights at the click of a button and reduce unnecessary steps.
Developers should also be aware that they cannot assume that newcomers have the education, experience, and understanding of the risks associated with DeFi. Users should also be aware of hidden fees or the potential for slippage losses before executing buy, sell and switch orders. Platforms like Orca do a great job at this.
DeFi must be more inclusive to witness greater adoption
Returning to the example of an average working woman in a developing country, we need to make it clear how long she should set aside her funds to get the most optimal returns. She needs to clearly see how much to deposit to get a certain amount of wagering rewards.
She needs to be able to clearly see how much to deposit to get a certain amount of financial rewards, or see the returns she will receive if she wagers a native token, as well as being able to predict the returns to make an informed decision around which investment opportunities. Wealth generation work best for her and her family.
She should feel empowered to make decisions about which platforms provide the most value in pricing, trading page and yields. Jupiter and Sonar Watch and other aggregators are allowing this.
Then we will see greater adoption.
A New Financial Future: How Can We Get There?
There’s a lot at stake as traditional financial institutions move towards encryption and DeFi.
We’re seeing fintech giants like Square planning a platform for DeFi services on the BTC blockchain. We are seeing Aave launch a DeFi platform aimed at institutional investors with strict KYC procedures, both on the loan and loan side, for investors with strict regulatory requirements.
We also have conventional companies outside the banking system that use DeFi. Paperchain, for example, is using DeFi to speed up streaming payments for musicians, using invoices as collateral for DeFi loans.
And MAPS.ME, the world’s most used offline maps for travel, has integrated DeFi into its app’s backend with the goal of letting travelers touch a button for profit. Greater collaboration between the two sides of the bridge will accelerate the DeFi movement.
Leaders in DeFi must make DeFi more secure and accessible
Part of the increased usability, accessibility, and ease of use of DeFi isn’t just making it easier. It’s also making you more secure. Users have suffered more than $12 billion in losses due to crime in DeFi applications, with the majority of those losses occurring in 2021 alone.
Code bugs and design flaws are allowing criminals to launder the proceeds of crime, sacrificing the less experienced in protecting themselves in this new domain of finance that advocates removing third-party middlemen, putting DeFi technology on regulators’ hit lists.
DeFi is considered the “Old West” of cryptography by many traditional financial leaders, and we owe it to the world to change. UX includes the introduction of a more secure infrastructure, more regular audits and more reward systems to ensure the safety of users, and regulators do not introduce strict and rigid rules that limit what is possible in this new financial system.