end users are important to us
How I talked to my neighbors and what came out of it
Feb 28, 2023
The idea of starting my own Bitcoin Cash wallet has been with me for a while. Recently I reached a phase when the software became useful on Android and this opens it up to a larger audience. Large enough for me to start thinking about what it is that I’m trying to do here. Beyond the technical stuff, what should this app do ?
A breakthrough happened when a bunch of neighbors were hanging out in the backyard. I was there talking with some of the technical guys and we were going over ideas. Terminology like “custodial”, “assurance contract” and “selling risk” were mentioned.
The breakthrough followed the simple question from an interested neighbor. She blurted out in frustration, words to the effect of “what would we do with all those things?”. And when she got mostly blank faces she followed with a short rant essentially pointing out that all the ideas we’ve talked about mean nothing to her. They have no meaning to common people. They’re simply gibberish.
My first instinct was to object by saying that those technical things are very useful. To which she kindly said: “not as long as normal people don’t know how to use them”. Which followed with a mic-drop moment of a bunch of talkative guys all having nothing to say.
Turning features into products
The last 10 years of building Bitcoin has given us a very long list of features. It started with low level stuff like CheckSequenceVerify, math and booleans as building blocks for smart contracts.
Then smart people came out with smart contracts which used them. We have great ideas in flipstarter, cashtokens and naturally cashfusion.
We have seen very little adoption of many of those features. It is slightly embarrassing to admit but the only thing we turned into a product is basic peer to peer payments. If you search the Internet for “what is a product” you’ll find various angles, but most agree it’s a process and that “Products Provide Benefits to a Market”.
And here is where the important breakthrough mentioned in the introduction comes in. All those features that exist in Bitcoin Cash, they don’t actually provide benefits to the wider market.
This can lead us to a deeper conversation about what market we are aiming at, what kind of benefits we measure and more. I’m happy to have that discussion. Maybe on Telegram.
How can Bitcoin Cash provide benefits to the wider market? The simple answer is that we need to take those ideas and features that are too hard to use and put them in front of common people in a way that they can use them. Turn features into products. And this is just normal hard work that entire industries are experienced in.
Finding a home in Flowee Pay
Maybe a simple realization for some, but not obvious at first is that when it comes to money or financial products, people don’t just go and trust a random website on the Internet. And this is an issue when the entire existence of Bitcoin Cash is related to money.
Especially in a time of economic upheaval, the idea of getting benefits from some website you just have to give some money to is a very hard sell. While this makes our life harder, I am happy that people are growing more cautious about these things. Scammers are the worst thing to happen to independent finance. But I digress.
The idea started that afternoon in the neighbors backyard, the design is much more clear now and slowly taking form in the code as well.
The basic concept of a “wallet” on Bitcoin Cash is too shallow, the chain can do a lot more for people than just be a wallet. You don’t call your banking app a wallet either.
In Flowee Pay the normal wallet features are obviously present. Innovation there is on-going too, it is the core of the coin. Payments are the stem of the tree, it has to stay strong and the main focus.
Additional products can be added to Flowee Pay, providing a custom made user interface for each. They can typically be found under a separate tab or started from a menu. Most important is that not all products are enabled by default, so as to not overload the user with options. An explore-tab would help people find new products they want to start to use.
The process starts with evaluating and picking potential products from our historical ideas and published features. They naturally have to be prioritized as making a product is a lot of work. The goal is to provide benefits to the wider market, and we identified that the number one problem is making it simple and providing tools to make people actually understand how they can use it for themselves.
Flowee Pay is the only cross-platform (Android, Linux and more) SPV wallet for BCH that does not depend on centralized services. It provides non-custodial Bitcoin Cash services and an expanding set of features. And on top of it - it’s open source!
We have a real opportunity to shape how people understand and learn Bitcoin Cash by giving them products that actually provide benefits to them and their life.
I do it for the fun, I use Flowee Pay for most of my Bitcoin Cash needs and I would probably be very happy to use all those cool new features, sorry, products, in the future too. And mostly I just want to be able to show people what this amazing technology can do. I’m sooo tired of the space being labeled as a scam and place to get-rich-quick.