Bitcoin, Crypto, Blockchain – How Designers need to start rethinking their Digital Strategy
Whether you are a believer, an investor or a fencesitter in the Bitcoin debate (we are firmly in the pro-crypto camp here at JTB), what is undeniable is that the technology on which Bitcoin is built, Blockchain, stands to fundamentally transform a number of industries over the next few years.
Inherent to Blockchain’s structure is its decentralised, peer-to-peer networks. For example the ability to exchange funds directly with anyone, anywhere without the need for a centralised intermediary like a bank. However it can also work in other service industries we use today; such as how we track our health, how we transact and communicate with each other. In fact it is hard to think of an industry using technology that wouldn’t benefit from it. Even the Estonian Government is already carrying out its citizenship registration on a Blockchain.
Whilst it is tempting to assume Blockchain as something to leave to the coders, there is a wider cultural shift at play and an area where digital designers of today need to adapt in understanding its impacts on user behaviour, interaction and functionality.
Working with Blockchain will require a need to establish and maintain a new level of trust with users, ensuring their data is secured across a decentralized platform. Users will in turn come to expect new things from other people and parties, echoing the open, accessible code structure. A transparent and traceable ecosystem will give birth to a new design backdrop.
On a pointier level, the world of e-commerce will also be radically transformed and is the most obvious area to immediately yield to the cryptocurrency effect. There are already a number of examples where marketers and platforms have taken first mover advantage in setting up payment gateways which accept Bitcoin. This cements not just a forward-thinking positioning but also delivers benefits both Bitcoin and the Blockchain bring.
Bitcoin fees are less expensive and quicker to process than those of credit cards at just US$0.22 per transaction vs 1-3% of total amount. Credit card companies also charge retailer fees – so not surprisingly the retailers are keen to explore alternatives.
The crypto token borne from ecommerce is virtually impossible to fake and thereby hack.
The Monaco Visa Card is the first cryptocurrency rewards program which allows the user to make everyday purchases using Bitcoin or Ethereum credit and accrue the respective currency tokens at 10% of the total spend.
There will be thousands of blockchain-native platforms created to fulfil purposes over the coming months and years, and even ones for purposes we haven’t yet thought of. Its infiltration into the digital economy knows no bounds and should start to be factored in to marketing plans.
If you would like to hear how Bitcoin and Blockchain might work as part of your digital platform, we would welcome the opportunity to book you in with one of our Blockchain designers for a consultation.