From Speculation to Utility

A blueprint for mass market adoption of decentralized apps

Chris Tse
Chris Tse
Aug 27, 2018 · 8 min read
Chris Tse at the Blockchain Futurist Conference in Toronto, August 15, 2018

The Adoption Gap

What is the adoption gap? Is it just about waiting an amount of time — 6 months, 12 months, maybe another few years — until this all becomes amazing and everybody wants in? Or is it something deeper than that?

The Conversion Funnel

This absurd journey is the reason why mass market adoption of blockchain applications hasn’t happened yet. If you’re in marketing, you might recognize this as a conversion funnel: how many people you lose between the time they heard about you, to the time they buy or use something.

Toward dApps 2.0

Right now we’re still in a dApps 1.0 world — which is essentially taking a blockchain such as Ethereum or Bitcoin and beautifying the cryptography.

Token Availability

Right now, because Bitcoin is a coin, we think we need to pay for the usage of decentralized apps by essentially having a pocket full of coins. I need one coin for this, another coin for that, and so on.

Blockchains and Protocols

The second thing is that a lot of these decentralized apps are silos. They’re their own app, their own download, their own plugin, and so on. In dApps 2.0, we need to see all of these things as part of one cohesive stack. It’s a bunch of layers that allow one application to tap into decentralized insurance, decentralized payments, decentralized dispute resolution. Because that’s what, say, eBay is — it does those three things together without you knowing it.

Application Hosting

Finally, it’s very difficult to ask someone to install some software on their own machine, configure it, make sure you’re connected to the mainnet, then wait six hours before you can make a prediction market bet. Wouldn’t it be great if all of this could be hosted? But then, how would it be decentralized?

The Cardstack Framework

These are the key ingredients of what I believe will bridge the adoption gap. But if I tell every dApp team out there that you have to solve each of these major issues before you can begin solving, say, your decentralized licensing problem, that would be unreasonable.

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Chris Tse

Written by

Chris Tse

Technologist, designer, and founding director of the open-source @Cardstack Project. Building the experience layer of Web 3.0.



The experience layer of the decentralized Internet.