Ever since the boom of cryptocurrency, news has been inundated with the term “Blockchain.” 

We hear that this will be the technology that will revolutionize business, but what really is it anyway?

History of Blockchain

In 2008 a white paper titled, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” was published by an author or authors using the name Satoshi Nakamoto. The document outlined the design of blockchain, a sophisticated form of encrypted technology that can be used to verify and record transactions. Following the 2008 white paper, the team built Bitcoin in 2009, the first public decentralized blockchain database to be used for the new cryptocurrency. 

How Blockchain Works

Distributed Database – No single person controls the information on a blockchain, the data is transparent and open to either party. All the records of transactions are available and cannot be manipulated. 

Peer-to-Peer Transmission – Communication happens between two groups, not a central party. 

Transparency with Pseudonymity – All transactions are transparent and include information about the value associated with it. Each user is assigned a unique ID address and can remain anonymous if desired. 

Irreversibility of Records – When a transaction occurs the database and all accounts concerning the transaction are updated. This is where the “chain” comes in, these records cannot be changed because they are linked to all the transactions before. 

Computational Logic – Since this is all digital users can program algorithms and rules that can automatically trigger transactions.

Current Use 

Since the craze of blockchain began the technology has been introduced into many industries

Spotify is using blockchain to help better connect artists and licensing agreements. 

Warrenteer is a blockchain application that allows consumers to access info about products and helps in the event of product malfunctions. 

IBM is introducing blockchain into supply chain and using it to create a shared record of ownership and locations of products. 

Why should UX designers care about blockchain?

Blockchain is slated to change the digital world, it will impact things from banking to digital voting to digital identity. With changes in all these areas, it is essential to understand the impact it will have on UX and other technologies. 

UX as the Main Focus of Blockchain

With the boom of interest in blockchain and the rise of blockchain applications in all industries, it is important for these applications to be user-centered. We should be investing in resources that will produce a user-focused app that will serve the users purpose. Basically, if it isn’t going to be better for the user why should we do it?

UX Principles for Blockchain

Transparency – One key feature of blockchain is the fact that it is transparent. This will help increase trust with users. How do we share this trust and transparency with users? How do we educate them on how it works?

Jargon – Cut the jargon, it is hard to get users excited about something they may not understand. 

Focus on the Product – Users don’t care how the app works, they care about what it does for them. 

Programmatic Marketing & Remarketing

Programmatic Marketing – The practice of automating business rules that allow you to target your most valuable customers with personalized ads effectively. 

Remarketing – This is the practice of serving ads to people who have already visited your site. You know when you put something in your Amazon cart then see an ad for it later on? That’s remarketing. 

Both of these processes involve bidding and ad buying on platforms such as Google Ads or Bing Ads. 

Where does Blockchain fit in?

The challenges of these are the existence of a middleman, it is highly subject to fraud, and it is hard to measure effectiveness. 

Using Blockchain, we can eliminate the need for a middleman, such as Google, to oversee ad buying. Advertisers and publishers can communicate directly and create agreements enforced with blockchain. 

To learn more, check out the MAD Network– they’re actually doing this right now.