According to Vitalik Buterin, the co-creator of Ethereum, the days of 1000x growth as seen in 2017 in the cryptocurrency sector is gone.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Buterin emphasized that the awareness of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology has already achieved its high point in Dec. 2017, when the price of major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash demonstrated 10 to 300-fold returns.
“The blockchain space is getting to the point where there’s a ceiling in sight. If you talk to the average educated person at this point, they probably have heard of blockchain at least once. There isn’t an opportunity for yet another 1,000-times growth in anything in the space anymore,” he said.
Moving From Promotion to Real Adoption
The speculative bubble of last year has led the vast majority to take interest in cryptocurrencies as an emerging asset class. In the upcoming years, Buterin stated that the industry will focus on improving the usability and accessibility of decentralized systems rather than promotion and gathering interest.
Buterin explained that the strategy of promoting blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies to the broader consumer base is hitting a dead end and that it is time to improve the infrastructure of decentralized systems, applications (dApps), and protocols to encourage consumers to commit to blockchain-based platforms.
“Go from just people being interested to real applications of real economic activity,” he stated, adding “that strategy [promoting the blockchain to the broader consumer base]is getting close to hitting a dead end.”
In the upcoming months and years, to reach true mainstream adoption, developers of dApps will have to ensure that the utilization of decentralized systems is as seamless and efficient as centralized platforms.
For instance, apps like Peepeth, a decentralized alternative to Twitter, which was recently discussed on the Joe Rogan Podcast, require users to send Ether or gas every time a piece of information has to be broadcasted to the Ethereum mainnet.
The simple shift from cash to cryptocurrencies can already be difficult and technically challenging for the majority of people. Then requiring users to utilize MetaMask to process gas on a dApp through the Ethereum mainnet could be highly complicated for most.
As decentralized cryptocurrency exchange Kyber Network CEO Loi Luu previously said, in the near future, dApps will have to improve their user interface to refine and simplify the process of utilizing blockchain-based systems.
“I think it’s because the UI isn’t good enough. The users aren’t familiar with the Decentralized Exchanges; they’re more familiar with Binance or Bittrex. So that’s why we wanted to make it really easy for the user to use. So we don’t focus on the decentralized aspect of it. We focus more on the usability aspect of it,” Luu said, recognizing that the current UI of decentralized exchanges and dApps is not efficient enough.
Improvements on Protocol and dApps
On the protocol side, the open-source developer community of Ethereum is working on the implementation of Sharding and Plasma, two solutions that are expected to massively increase the scalability of the Ethereum network.
Other projects like Cardano and Zilliqa are working on proof-of-stake (PoS) and Sharding-related solutions as alternatives to Plasma and Ethereum-based solutions.
Still, the front-end and UI side of dApps and decentralized systems in general need significant improvement, especially if dApps intend to target the consumer base of widely utilized centralized platforms.
Featured Image from TechCrunch/Flickr. Charts from TradingView.