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Offline MrJeans

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A thought experiment
« on: April 25, 2015, 12:20:33 PM »

I was doing some thinking into the value proposition bitshares has for the average non crypto user. Which is prob around 99.9% of the population.

Most people wont care that the solution is decentralized, the assets unseizable and requires no trust. Infact many people prefer a centralized, solution that requires regulation.

To work out what the value proposition of bitshares for the majority of people, we need to  compare it to the current centralize services.

And we need to pretend for a moment we are providing a centralized service and then ask why people would use it.

lets pretend:
- We are a centralized service, like PayPal.
- We are providing a service for the exchange of IOUs dollars/gold and other commodities and currencies.
- People can put money onto the system and exchange IOUs with other users at low transaction costs.
- People can trade IOUs for IOUs of a different kind to gain exposure to different commodities and currencies.
- Transactions are fast and global.

This looks like a decent traditional centralized service but, regulation aside, is not too difficult to create.

So lets pretend we have created this centralized service and we are direct competitor to the likes of PayPal. What are the next steps to gain user adoption.

- there needs to be a very small barrier to entry (paypal users can easily link their credit card).
- users need to be able to draw their cash back into their bank accounts quickly and easily.
- merchants need to start using bitshares as a way for their customers to pay them (this is different from saying they need to accept bitUSD).
- user conversion should involve zero need to understand the mechanisms of how the system works.

I thought this would be an interesting way of looking at things as we need to be better or at least as good as current centralized services (and being decentralized and trust free doesnt count ;)
« Last Edit: April 25, 2015, 01:51:11 PM by MrJeans »

Offline luckybit

Re: A thought experiment
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2015, 03:21:51 PM »
I was doing some thinking into the value proposition bitshares has for the average non crypto user. Which is prob around 99.9% of the population.

Most people wont care that the solution is decentralized, the assets unseizable and requires no trust. Infact many people prefer a centralized, solution that requires regulation.

Most people don't know what they prefer. They haven't had it explained to them and the technology is currently too sophisticated to make sense.

People tend to be motivated by fear. Provide security and you'll get people on your platform if it's offering greater security. People also tend to want new capabilities, so if your platform can provide them with capabilities they didn't previously have then it's valuable.

Bitshares offers more to people who are locked out of participating in capitalism than to people who are on the top of the current capitalism model. So if you're already an institutional investor with millions sitting in the bank you might not actually need Bitshares. If you're an ordinary person who isn't an institutional investor then Bitshares would be like the minor leagues are to baseball.

Bitshares can target young people who don't have access to capitalism. It can target people in developing countries who don't have access to capitalism. It can target people who have access but who have experienced the inefficiencies that go along with centralization.

People say centralization beings efficiency and in some areas it does. It also brings inefficiency in other areas. The cost to secure something centralized is far higher than to secure something decentralized. Additionally the loss of control of personal information, the loss of control in general, is explained away as "trust".

This isn't to say decentralized models don't have trust too but you have a lot more choice along with that trust while with centralized models you have a lot less choice and so trust isn't distributed in the optimal way.

So it all depends no your target demographic. For millennials Bitshares will make more sense because most millenials don't have good credit, or a platinum card, or institutional investment accounts. In fact most milennials are or will become NEETs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NEET

When you look on the Internet you see a lot of activity from these NEETs but almost no financial literacy. That lack of financial literacy is going to cause a societal collapse unless something like Bitshares is offered as an alternative. The current financial system only seeks to create debt in exchange for hard work. So pursuing education equals debt for most millennials. Just offering a way out of these sorts of traps is good marketing for Bitshares and appeal to rational self interest.

I realize not everyone is going to be rational and in fact most are not. That is why you see posts like these: http://www.coindesk.com/dogecoin-founder-bitcoin-toxic/

Millenials who follow their emotions, their gut, might listen to authoritative thought leaders such as the Dogecoin founder and decide there are too many white male libertarians in crypto and sell all their Bitcoins at all time low prices because of it. On the other hand a rational individual would see it as a buying opportunity because if only white male libertarians are into it right now that means it's still very early and there will be many chains which will appeal to different demographics years from now unless somehow people associate libertarianism with being financially literate which I doubt.


« Last Edit: April 25, 2015, 03:32:12 PM by luckybit »
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Offline MrJeans

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Re: A thought experiment
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2015, 04:32:23 PM »
Your points are all very valid.
My thinking is that, while Bitshares may be more useful for 3rd world persons etc, it should still be somewhat useful for people in the first world.

How are financially disadvantaged people, with less education and less opportunities going to start taking advantage of something that people in the 1st world, with much less barriers to entry, having started using.

Imagine a solution that works well in the first world, where it is orders of magnitude easier to implement, that can extend into the third world.

Offline luckybit

Re: A thought experiment
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2015, 05:16:14 PM »
Your points are all very valid.
My thinking is that, while Bitshares may be more useful for 3rd world persons etc, it should still be somewhat useful for people in the first world.

How are financially disadvantaged people, with less education and less opportunities going to start taking advantage of something that people in the 1st world, with much less barriers to entry, having started using.

Imagine a solution that works well in the first world, where it is orders of magnitude easier to implement, that can extend into the third world.

The barriers to entry aren't based on geography but on net worth. Lack of education also has something to do with it because a lot of us here are just lucky enough to have exactly the right knowledge base in computer science or some similar field to gravitate toward Bitshares before everyone else.

But there are probably millions of people who know computer science in other countries who don't know Bitshares exists. Lots of people in Europe who have masters degrees with no employment like in Greece.

Bitshares is for the people who are smart and who want opportunity. This would be potential entrepreneurs, this would be people who want to try investing for the first time without being fed to wall street wolves. Entrepreneurship and equity crowd funding are the two features that appeal to the demographics I mentioned.

Smart people want to start a business but don't know how, cannot get investment, etc.
Smart people want to invest but don't have wall street connections to get in on tech IPOs. Reduce barriers to entry while aligning their interests. Even if 90% of these businesses fail it's the Bitshares incubator effect which can boost Bitshares for everyone while creating value.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2015, 05:24:32 PM by luckybit »
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