Coinbase aims to make it easier for ‘mom and pop’ to go on-chain

Taking away complexity from the user experience is the “north star” that the Coinbase team is following

article-image

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong | Source: TechCrunch "775208327GB00107_TechCrunch" (CC license)

share

It’s still not easy enough for Mom and Pop to go “on-chain,” Santiago Santos says. 

While Mom and Pop probably won’t be hopping on-chain any time soon, Coinbase protocols lead Jesse Pollak agrees with the sentiment. “Historically, it’s been a pretty complicated process.”

If someone wants to use an on-chain application, Pollak says, it requires several steps, from getting a wallet to funding it and moving Ethereum to the right place.“ That whole process can take minutes. It can take hours if you’re relatively unsophisticated.”

On the Empire podcast (Spotify/Apple), Pollak talks to host Santiago about making things easier for the next generation of crypto users. Building layer-2 rollup Base, Pollak says the company is thinking about “how to get that next wave of adoption.”

“Our goal has been to make it so anyone can go from zero to doing something meaningful in less than 60 seconds on-chain,” he says.

“That’s going from having no wallet and scanning a QR code to having a funded wallet that can transact to buy your favorite on-chain song or sign up for an on-chain restaurant pass or participate in an on-chain community.”

Pollak admits there’s a “ton more work” to do to make the Base experience smoother, but that taking away complexity is the “north star” that the team is following, making the onboarding process “dead simple so that billions of people can actually come on-chain.”

Pollak foresees the flow of consumer usage to be a mix of both “managed experiences that are incredibly simple” and more diverse browser-based experiences that “bring in the entire ecosystem.”

“It’s not really possible to just curate and create first-party experiences for every product,” Pollak says. 

“Historically, Coinbase has really focused on building first party experiences,” he says, “but as we looked at what was required to bring the next billion people on-chain, what we saw was, that’s going to require millions of apps.”

“It’s going to require tons of things that maybe we can’t even predict.” For a vibrant and diverse ecosystem to thrive, Pollak says the team needs to focus on “empowering developers and letting everyday people use these incredible products that are starting to be built on-chain.”

Enabling a ‘thousand flowers to bloom’

Pollak says the team believes in an open and permissionless approach to development on Base. “It should be a place where there’s no single party that’s curating or controlling or dictating what can and can’t be done.”

“Base is open and permissionless. People will be able to put anything on there,” enabling “a thousand flowers to bloom,” he says.

“Maybe 900 of those flowers are incredible, but 100 of them aren’t so great.” The role of Coinbase and those who are building interfaces on top of Base, he says, should be to help build tools and services “that allow folks to distinguish which of those flowers do we wanna smell versus not.”

Pollak says Coinbase has already been building with this in mind. “If you go to [any] Coinbase product, you’ll see [decentralized applications], you’ll see ratings and reviews. You’ll see warnings if you try to interact with something that’s high risk.”

Read more: The ‘crypto degen crowd’ has settled in on Coinbase layer-2, Base

“That balance is really how we think about it,” he says. “Base aims to be open and permissionless, because that’s what enables the global on-chain economy.” 

Coinbase, he says, is more “curatorial” and focused on “providing a trusted experience and ensuring that the products and apps that we show to our customers are really ones that they know they can interact with, with confidence.”


Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.

Tags

Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research report - cover graphics (1).jpg

Research

In this report, we dive into crypto private market data to gather insights on where the future of the industry is headed. Despite a notable downturn in private raises, capital continues to infuse promising projects that aim to transform payments, banking, consumer experiences, community, and more, with 2023 being the fourth-largest year for crypto venture capital.

article-image

Ethereum Dencun will enable Ethereum transactions to be submitted as blobs, potentially alleviating the costs of posting data on the blockchain

article-image

After a rocky start, bitcoin ETF shareholders are now well in the green

article-image

Revolut said that the standalone crypto exchange is currently “invite only”

article-image

The stock price jump comes after Coinbase reported ending its seven-quarter run of net losses during the fourth quarter

article-image

BUZZ holds shares of Coinbase, Robinhood and MicroStrategy

article-image

Opinion: Even though I didn’t pay for my “Diamond Hands” burger with BTC, don’t let that fool you into thinking that crypto’s development is futile