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Author Topic: The 1 thing we NEED to do in order to make Bitcoin more popular  (Read 3204 times)
Tarma
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June 16, 2011, 11:05:37 PM
 #1

"Bitcoin is the future of currency."
"Bitcoin will skyrocket in price."
"1BTC will be worth $3000 in 2014."

These are things I've been reading on the forums these past few days and I go  Roll Eyes

I do believe that Bitcoin has the potential to change the global market forever, but I think in order for this to happen we need the general public to start using Bitcoin. More people using BTC = higher likelihood of BTC sustainability

The biggest challenge I see for Bitcoin to start getting used by the general public is: usability
Your average person is not technologically savvy enough to understand Bitcoin enough to put his faith and hard-earned USD into it.
I'm not very technologically savvy and it took me hours of reading the wiki and this forum to actually get a somewhat good grasp of how to exchange USD for BTC.

So I think the solution to this is to make software that is user-friendly enough for your average person to set-up a wallet and exchange BTC.

If this doesn't happen BTC will never expand past the techno-geeks and we will all watch as our BTC value plummets...

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June 16, 2011, 11:28:18 PM
 #2

I agree with everything you have said.  In addition, it will still be a hard road.  More established vendors will be needed, which is based on more people joining as well.  I do think that the silk road and other sites like it will be the biggest hurdle to a wider acceptance.
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June 16, 2011, 11:58:04 PM
 #3

I agree.

As bitcoin matures there will be a client war, just like we have Chrome, IE, FF, Safari today.
These clients would compete on security, usability and web commece integration. Maybe the web browser will become your wallet and Bitcoin protocol will be more like HTML where only the features agreed upon by everyone are used.

Has anyone started writing a bitcoin extension for FF or Chrome?
Are there alternative clients for Bitcoin?
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June 17, 2011, 12:03:19 AM
 #4

I am pretty sure that the majority over the age of 40 will never want to use bitcoins.  I could never see my 55 year old parents adopting such a thing and I believe it will stay pretty niche for some time.
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June 17, 2011, 12:16:53 AM
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I was considering allowing BitCoin payments on my site, where I sell my own software.  I use VirtueMart and although there has been BitCoin payment integrated, it can't be used with other currencies so far.  If it was able to do that, then it isn't really possible to peg a simple BitCoin price in the same way you can with other currencies because of the massive price fluctuations at the moment.

I therefore think an API to a BitCoin exchange for currency conversion, together with integration with open source e-commerce solutions would take a lot of the (projected) hassle factor out.  I haven't looked into the bid/offer system in BitCoin but the pricing given to retailers through such a system would have to take into account potential market manipulation.

Ideally, as near instant as possible automated conversion to traditional currency would seal the deal.  Then, for retailers, there wouldn't be any disadvantage.

Just throwing that out there, whilst simultaneously attempting to reach 50 posts without too much chaff.
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June 17, 2011, 12:56:23 AM
 #6

Hmm, we need to make it so people can use it like a credit card, or a debit card.
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June 17, 2011, 12:57:54 AM
 #7

When I read the thread name I was thinking....

Get hard drives, shaped like coins, designed for the specific purpose of running bitcoin. Storing your wallet, keys and connecting to the network. Checking your balance and transfers. Then mass distribute for bitcoins

That way you make all the transactions via computer and you have all your sensitive info on a separate machine. Plus it would be portable enough to take with you eg. not leave lying around the house to be stolen.

EDIT: Alternatively they could run linuxcoin.
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June 17, 2011, 01:07:40 AM
 #8

I agree.

Bitcoin never will be anything if its use is not practical, how will the people who knows nothing about computers, will be able to use it?
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June 17, 2011, 01:14:43 AM
 #9

I think it will be niche forever. But, if you think of bitcoin as a offshore banking account without all the hassles, big business may jump in to hide funds as well as the more seedy element. I think it will be going places for sure. The best part it, the people that will be wanting to use bitcoins will not be the type of people mining them. That's where I see the value in bitcoins. Think of all the congressman that would love something like this to hide their indiscretions. Also, if you got a laugh out of this, send me some bitcoins lol

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June 17, 2011, 01:37:52 AM
 #10

Whats needed is a stable and easy to use mobile app.  Vendors will follow when people can take their wallets with them. And vendors will eventually accept Bitcoins because they want to get off the Visa MasterCard treadmill. It will happen given enough time.

Get your Bitcoin Decals at www.bitcoindecals.com
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June 17, 2011, 05:15:50 AM
 #11

No. I understand what you're saying and where you're coming from, but no.

Purchasing Bitcoins is not something the software enables you to do. Mt. Gox is a third-party service, and they do a great job. Right now Bitcoin is part of the better half of open-source. I've been using Linux and open-source for over 10 years, and I can tell you that what you're thinking of is what brings projects over to the other side.

Let's focus on making Bitcoin itself better at what it's intended to do, and let's let the people who run Mt. Gox and these other "exchange" sites do what they do best. Yes, they still have kinks to work out, but creating our own version will only add to the confusion.

No matter what, Bitcoin won't become widely accepted until it becomes trusted. Which is why I say, let's focus on making it secure and making it easy for people to learn how to keep their wallets secure. Right now everyone's looking at the poor guy who lost his 2500 Bitcoins - we all know how it could've been avoided, and so that's the sort of thing the software needs to do. Make it one-click to transfer all your Bitcoins to an encrypted Flash drive.

Ease of use is important too, but not in the way you've mentioned. Already it's easier to transfer money online through Bitcoin than it is to transfer it through other services - there are no passwords or accounts necessary, just a piece of software. What we do need, however, is solid mobile apps. The Nexus S has a NFC chip, and supposedly the next iPhone will as well, with other phones to follow - we should look into using those to transfer Bitcoin between phones. Contract workers and freelancers would love that because it's as handy and easy to use as a credit card, but accepting payment wouldn't require them to pay any fees. Stores will love it because they, too, want to avoid paying those fees, but they know that it's so handy for us to just swipe a card. Now we can just swipe a phone instead. And THAT is how people will gain interest in Bitcoin. Sure, the average person won't care - until their local market starts charging extra to use a credit card. There's already one chain of stores (Aldi) that doesn't even accept credit cards at all, and that's supposedly how they keep their prices down - if they accepted Bitcoin, they could have the convenience benefit while still not having to pay the credit card fee.

But aside from the lack of a mobile app, it's not Bitcoin that is preventing this. It's trust.
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June 17, 2011, 05:47:16 AM
 #12


You're absolutely right that it needs to be much easier to acquire and use Bitcoins. I've already started working with a friend on a few concepts for UIs and workflows that'll be much better than the current system of run all over the internet looking for information then cross your fingers while websites take your money. While from an aesthetic point of view things would look cleaner if everything was nicely separated, I'm convinced the biggest hurdle we're facing right now is usability. Revamp the client, revamp the exchange.

On that note, do any of you have any suggestions outside of "more usuable?"

We have ideas ranging everywhere from trying to hide ugly addresses to an escrow using zero-knowledge proofs that never actually touches your money.


Offering programming and sys admin services for BTC.
Android, iPhone, php, linux, far below market rates to bootstrap the economy.
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June 18, 2011, 12:27:31 AM
 #13


On that note, do any of you have any suggestions outside of "more usuable?"


What about making a YouTube video similar to this  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um63OQz3bjo  that explains in very simple terms how to set-up your wallet and trade/buy Bitcoins.


Get hard drives, shaped like coins, designed for the specific purpose of running bitcoin. Storing your wallet, keys and connecting to the network. Checking your balance and transfers. Then mass distribute for bitcoins


I also like this. A simple hard drive that you can purchase

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June 18, 2011, 12:38:22 AM
 #14

Agree 100%. It would also be nice if we could get a major credit card company to partner with bitcoin; so ppl could actually use a credit card to use bitcoins.
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June 18, 2011, 12:40:13 AM
 #15

Usability and understanding how the system works are two big hurdles to overcome. When I explained the concept to a friend, she really didn't like the idea of the lack of a financial institution that was responsible for her money. Trust in the 'cloud' still isn't quite what it needs to be in order for this to really pick up.

If you're feeling at all generous, or have found any of my posts interesting: 1DqZdskXq58BuN4v485YDpo9auQfmT8QsG
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June 18, 2011, 01:23:20 AM
 #16

The general public will never fully understand the bitcoin system....it will forever remain a thing for tech people/geeks
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June 18, 2011, 11:09:46 AM
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The general public will never fully understand the bitcoin system....it will forever remain a thing for tech people/geeks
The general public don't understand how fiat money in general is created or the technicalities of other online payment systems either. 
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June 18, 2011, 11:16:14 AM
 #18

Silk road is not bad for bitcoins, any publicity is good publicity
Besides, the actual population will never be as puritan as the government truly wants them to be and believe everyone else is

People trading children for bitcoins would be as good for the bitcoin economy as people trading baseball cards, any volume is good

People trade for kids in usd, is that why its going down?

Any publicity is good. The more the better. As the old saying goes

"I dont care what you write about me just make sure to spell my name right"
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June 18, 2011, 11:22:39 AM
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The general public will never fully understand the bitcoin system....it will forever remain a thing for tech people/geeks
The general public don't understand how fiat money in general is created or the technicalities of other online payment systems either. 


agreed.

What we need is something that shows that all the potential risks of Bitcoin already exist in all other currencies. Maybe a similarities table.
No currency has true value but at least Bitcoin can't be inflated.
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June 18, 2011, 11:41:30 AM
 #20

I was considering allowing BitCoin payments on my site, where I sell my own software.  I use VirtueMart and although there has been BitCoin payment integrated, it can't be used with other currencies so far.  If it was able to do that, then it isn't really possible to peg a simple BitCoin price in the same way you can with other currencies because of the massive price fluctuations at the moment.

I therefore think an API to a BitCoin exchange for currency conversion, together with integration with open source e-commerce solutions would take a lot of the (projected) hassle factor out.  I haven't looked into the bid/offer system in BitCoin but the pricing given to retailers through such a system would have to take into account potential market manipulation.

Ideally, as near instant as possible automated conversion to traditional currency would seal the deal.  Then, for retailers, there wouldn't be any disadvantage.

Just throwing that out there, whilst simultaneously attempting to reach 50 posts without too much chaff.

Somehow it appears to be hard to include some kind of retail instant-quote button for a price in BTC to existing operations. Someone selling software via a webstore, or a utility company billing residents shouldn't have to deal with monitoring rates and taking the hassle to pipe it through, isn't that what financial service provider are for? Then again, why would an existing large bank or payment servicer volunteering to cut off the branch that is earning the fees. I just think it's not beneficial if a normal seller has to worry about exchanges rates at different and changing BTC exchanges.


Btw, I think the bar for postings was lowered to 5 posts now, looks like you're good to go..
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