There are a seemingly infinite number of drawbacks and obstacles that have prevented mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency. Among them, the one that gets talked about the least is the user experience. Even if cryptocurrency could scale for the volume of everyday transactions; even if the price were stable and consistent; even if the transaction fees completely vanished, there would still be limitations in how accessible it is to the general population.
It's just too complicated.
Granted, one of the few saving graces of cryptocurrency's rise are well-designed wallets and exchanges that have made it simpler for someone to sign up, link a bank account, and begin buying and transacting with cryptocurrency like you would any other digital wallet.
But the reality is, most people have grown tired of bouncing between too many apps or learning how to use a new interface after every new download. According to a report by Personetics, about 25 percent of all downloaded apps are deleted after just one use. There are only a few applications people use on a regular basis, and they spend 85 percent of their time on email and messaging apps.
Which is why Libra is an interesting evolution for the cryptocurrency user experience. It brings the concept of cryptocurrency to meet you where you are: messaging.
To begin using Libra, you'll need to have a digital wallet to store currencies, but Libra is intended to be sent and received inside of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp--the same way you send messages or photos.
For crypto purists, Libra may not be considered an actual cryptocurrency, since each transaction is meant as an intermediary for transferring traditional currencies. The coin is referred to as a "stablecoin," which means it is pegged to a basket of existing currencies such as the dollar and the euro.
However, if Libra achieves any sort of adoption, it would improve the public's disposition toward using alternative currencies and, more important, provide a golden use case for how the user experience of other coins might be modeled.
If it works, people will increasingly trust decentralized forms of governance, and it will open doors for other cryptocurrency innovations.