- More needs to be done to improve transaction speeds and reduce the high gas fees on Ethereum, says Buterin.
- As it is, users prefer centralized networks rather than decentralized options.
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The adoption of the second largest cryptocurrency, Ether, in payment for goods and services, largely depends on how easy it is to use the Ethereum network, says the co-founder, Vitalik Buterin.
In a blog shared on Feb. 28, Buterin wrote – while explaining several instances where he tried to pay for services with ether with little success – that more needed to be done to enhance the user experience on Ethereum. A combination of high transaction fees and technical issues make the UI unfriendly.
“In 2021, I attempted to pay for tea for myself and my friends at a coffee shop in Argentina,” he narrated. “I suggested paying in ETH using cryptocurrency exchange accounts, as wallets are a standard way to do in-person payments in Latin America. Unfortunately, the transaction of 0.003 ETH did not get accepted probably because it was under the exchange 0.01 ETH deposit.”
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The second instance Buterin attempted to transact with ether was in 2021, where the transactions failed because of a higher gas fee requirement and a technical glitch in his phone wallet.
Simple and robust UIs
For both instances, the lesson the blockchain developer learned was the importance of having ”simple and more robust UIs than the fancy and sleek ones. More importantly, better defaults are important since most users care little about the complex technical aspects when making payments.
The other issue Buterin discussed in his proposal concerns the long transaction confirmation time, whereby it takes long between the time a transaction is accepted on-chain and when the service provider acknowledges receipt.
The role played by the various Ethereum upgrades
However, the computer programmer acknowledged the strides Ethereum has made in rectifying the challenges, including with the EIP-1559 fork and the most recent Ethereum Merge, which saw the network shift from the proof of work consensus to the proof of stake model. Both upgrades have led to faster transactions and better block stabilization times.
Buterin concluded that: ” along with the all-important issue of high transaction fees due to scaling not yet being fully solved, user experience is a key reason why many Ethereum users, especially in the Global South, often opt for centralized solutions instead of on-chain decentralized alternatives .”
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