Firstly, the only way to truly understand a new technology is to use it. Generally speaking, people don’t like change and can be slow to adapt. Let’s not forget that mobile phone technology took almost two decades from its original launch in the 1980s to the release of Apple’s iPhone in 2007. The internet took roughly three decades from its conception at ARPA to what we now understand as the world wide web.
By comparison, awareness of cryptocurrencies has exploded. Considering that cryptocurrency was virtually unknown to the public only several years ago, the spread of international awareness is groundbreaking. In 2017 alone, the total value of all cryptocurrencies grew by over 3300% to over $600 billion, with Bitcoin itself jumping more than 1300% over the course of 12 months.
Mass adoption is a topic often discussed in crypto forums and numerous media articles. How do the blockchain protagonists ensure their product is adopted by the mainstream? How do they ensure that digital currencies can and will be used in everyday life?
But getting the general population to test, let alone use, a technology that a threatened banking sector purports to be dangerous, complicated and untrustworthy is a challenge that all of us face. The key to this is education, and the answer for lies in sports and the size of the potential audience or customer base. By partnering with top tier clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus, blockchain platforms have the opportunity to educate billions of sports fans around the world about the potential and utility of this technology. After all, football is the world’s most popular sport — more than half of the world’s global population consider themselves football fans.
Secondly, the practice of actually buying and selling cryptocurrencies is currently far too complicated. Consumers have to wrestle with complex software to convert fiat to crypto and back, with the added threat of keeping private keys safe and secure to prevent hacking and prevent assets from being stolen. We believe we need to remove the friction and associated barriers to entry by simplifying the buying process, making the user experience more ‘novice-friendly’. For example with Socios.com consumers will be able to buy our cryptocurrency, chiliZ, direct from their app/web login and store through the platform itself for low denominations. Removing the need for external wallets, multiple apps and log-ins. This we believe makes the buying process more like online retail experience. As a consumer-facing solution, we believe this is important to foster mass adoption.
Lastly, we need to stop talking about blockchain. The fact that our platform is built on blockchain and fueled by the crypto economy is irrelevant; the technology needs to be as inconspicuous as possible so the user experience is maximised. Same as we take wifi and NFC for granted. These technologies are woven into our daily lives. Blockchain, we believe will be the same.
What is important, is the tribal nature of what it means to be a sports fan when considering mass adoption. Sport is society’s common denominator, bringing people together to share a common passion, emotional experiences and a shared set of beliefs around belonging. In creating a global community to which fans want to belong because they feel a deeper connection to their club, you create a trusted space for fans to unite, connect over their love of the game, the sport or the players. The technology becomes, trusted, consistent, ubiquitous and therefore accepted and used by the mass-market.
No-one yet has the answer, but over the course of the last few months, as awareness has grown about our product offering, we have believe that Socios.com, powered by chiliZ could be the route to mass adoption for blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
For us, blockchain is not about disrupting an industry; we are not trying to revolutionise sports. Our ambition is to build the world’s biggest global sports community through Socios.com and to demonstrate that blockchain and cryptocurrency can be the trusted technology for the mainstream.