Hello, everybody, and welcome to yet another episode of Biddle Crypto, where we bring together builders from different industries to talk about the opportunities and challenges of building products in the crypto industry. Today, I'm joined with an eminent and builders today, and I will introduce them shortly. But before I do that, I wanted to do some logistical stuff out of statistical stuff out of the way. The first one being I want to share with you a legal Disclaimer courtesy of my friends at Coinbase, which goes something like this that today's conversation is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or investment advice. We may make forward looking statements in the presentation and actual results may vary materially from today's statements and are subject to risks and uncertainties. That was a mouthful. But with that said, we can get started with the regular programming. Hello, everybody. I'm your host today. I'm Sancheon VPNbase, and I have a special topic and a special set of guests joining us to talk about that topic, which is, how do we design gaps with great user experiences that matches what to expect of Web two today, but hopefully in the future even exceeds this topic. I have five eminent guests joining me. The first one to introduce would be Frank Hugh who's the VP of design and research at Coinbase. We have Yitan Zinc who's the staff product designer at Coinbase. We have Dylan Field, who's the CEO and co founder of Figma, and we have Lily Nugent, who's the designer Zora last, but not the least. We have Paul, who's a senior staff product designer at Twitter, and all of them are here with everybody. And thank you for taking the time to join in. We will introduce everybody soon and get started. The last thing I want to say before we get the speakers to start chiming in on the topic today is that this session is meant to be about 60 minutes and we will keep you updated on the progress as we make during this session. With that said, let's start with first, getting to know the speakers that we have the people behind the speakers that we have today on the chat. I want to start with Frank, and as his customary on this little series, I ask the question, what is one thing that we would like Frank to tell us about himself that we could not have found on his LinkedIn or his Twitter feed? So Frank, please tell us one fun fact about you.
Certainly super excited to be here. Okay. In fact, for me, I have six copies of every shirt and every pair of pants in my wardrobe. I wear the same thing every single day. Why? Because it's easy and nobody cares how I dress. So that's me in a nutshell.
Especially in a remote first world. I guess so. That strategy is working awesome. Welcome, Frank. And we're excited to have you here. Next up, let's ask Dylan Dylan, tell us that you don't need any introduction, but I'd love to hear some fun fact that you don't know about. Hey, all.
Well, first off, thanks for having me a fun fact. As a kid, I did a lot of the acting, but then some professional, but then I basically hit puberty got awkward and that's when I was like, let's do math and computers instead.
I love it. Well, thank you for sharing that fun fact. You also are joined today by Lily, who's a designer. Lily, tell us your fun fact.
Yeah. Hi. I'm really sticked to be here. My fun fact is during the pandemic, my quarantine hobby was being a concert series with my friends in a video game, a children's game called Club Penguin. That's my fun fact.
Love. It always fun to see all the quirks that people had or all the fun facts they had growing up. So this is great that you're sharing all that stuff. Paul, let's go next to you. What's your fun fact?
Yeah, for me, I actually got into Bitcoin in 2011 just for the purpose of writing about it on my website. And I even went as crazy as spinning up Amazon EC, two GPU, very expensive. The time to mine Bitcoin just for a couple of weeks to write about it. Eventually I kind of shut it down, didn't back up my wallet. I didn't think Bitcoin works, but that was kind of my interesting experiment at the time.
You were certainly very early, my friend. 2011 definitely sounds pretty exciting times. Last, but not the least. We have your Tang Zing from Coinbase Tang. Tell us about your fun fact.
Hey, it's good to be here. My fun fact is that my car, my Roomba and my cat share the same naming scheme. It's based on their color.
What is the color?
The car is red, the cat is Gray and then the Roomba is white.
I love it. Such a design aesthetics in your choices of car, Zumba, Roma, and the cat. I love it. Well, thank you everybody for joining and thank you for sharing some fun facts about yourself. Let's get started with the topic. It's no secret that all of you, all our audience knows this as well is that today's DAPs or crypto applications that we use do not have the most intuitive UI and UX. If you think about gas fees, if you think about how transaction signing works, I mean, I would argue even though the vocabulary could seem alien to many people. So I want to go around the room and actually get your perspective around. What do you think is the current state of user experience when it comes to that before we deep dive into the specifics. And I want to start with Paul, who recently wrote a really good article on this as well. Paul, tell us what is the current state of three applications and how does it stand in your point of view.
Yeah. I mean, the current state of Web three. I think it's a little bit of wild west. There's a lot of areas where users could fall off the side. They get tricked into scams. I think we're all just learning together. And I think the key thing going forward is how we embrace thoughtful abstraction. What are areas of the experience that we need to educate people about? What are areas that we can abstract over simplify have smart default so they can get started more quickly? I think right now, overall, I see a lot of experimentation, which is amazing to see a lot of projects Dows new companies trying things, and we're all just kind of learning together. And I think as we go forward, it'll be really exciting to follow along.
Yeah, I think you're right. There's a lot of experimentation happening across the tech stack all the way from the protocol there to the UI layer, because sometimes the technique that we need to invent also powers the UI that we desire or your user experience that we desire for a user. So excited about that experimentation. Dylan, I think you come with a very unique perspective where you've seen many companies tackle design challenges, and, of course, using Figma as a tool to help achieve that vision. And when you look at crypto, how would you describe the state of Web Three applications today?
Yeah. Like Paul said, there's so much more that we can do. But before we go into that, which I'm sure we'll talk about for the rest of the conversation. I just want to say over the past four years or so, which is the amount of time I spent paying attention to Dabs Ethereum in that world. And also, I think when we've started to see an inflection point in development, it's gotten a lot better already. And so if I can set a sort of tone for the conversation, I am extremely optimistic about where things are headed and the ability for us to go create a really well designed, simple way to use Web Three and apps. Yes, there are going to be problems that are hard to solve, like key recovery and ways that are going to be tough to make it so that people can really be self sovereign while using these apps and also having a great user experience. But so far, everything that I've seen that I was like, oh, I don't know if they can do that. One by one, they're getting knocked down. And so I'm really bullish overall.
Yeah, I couldn't agree more. I think every week every month we see new innovation coming around that is actually knocking down some of the old barriers. Either it's around vocabulary or just the user interaction patterns. It's getting better and better over time.
One more thing would be that just people care. Not every developer in the world historically has gone, oh, gosh, it's so important to have mine. I would say a tremendous number of people that are developing in Web Three. They care so much about making their work successful to more people. That is the ethos of the space. And that's so inspiring to me indeed.
And as Dylan mentioned today, we're going to talk about how we can make this even better. So to tee that up on these sessions, what we like to do is we like to do a session called Hot Takes, and so I'll make a statement. It might be a little bit provocative. It might just represent some me. It might represent a small minority of a perspective, and I'll love to go around the room and ask your perspective whether you agree with that. You disagree with that and what's your unique lens to that. So let's get started with that session. The first thing I want to talk about is that some people will make us believe that the technology is so nascent, and the technology is also very complex. And I don't think we'll ever get as easy to use as a Web Two application would be like Twitter or Facebook or whatever that might be of your choice, because at the end of the day, it's decentralized nature of the platform that is actually driving a lot of this stuff. So what do you think? Can we really design experiences in this world and can we really make them as good as that, too? And to answer that, let's start with your tongue first, and then we'll go on the room.
Yeah, that's a great provocation. My quick ticket on this is that if you look at sort of like mobile versus web, it's been like a decade now, and I would say that generally, on average, mobile applications still have slightly higher quality bar than web applications. I think the gap is closing a little bit, but it still exists. I think that's just due to the centralized nature of a lot of things on the mobile stack, and I think it's likely going to be the same for Web Three, where the more decentralized and the more permission as you are, the more stuff that you will have and the more stuff you will have. On average, the quality of the stuff is not going to be as high. But on the other hand, I don't think it necessarily means that people are going to have a crappier time for using Web three because I think the trade off of having a bunch of permissionless innovation is that we'll get to do things that we never could before in Web Two. So if I was to summarize this, I would think that on a whole, I think people have a way better time in Way Three because they'll be able to do things they could never do before, like transfer funds internationally, like seconds for cheap. But the actual UI itself might be a little bit jankier than the equivalent for a long, long time.
Got it. That's an interesting take. Let's go to Lily. Lily, what do you think you come from? Zora, which is really very well designed. You guys prioritize user experience on top of anything else. So I want to hear your perspective on what do you think. Is it a trade off between decent location and great design? Or can we marry the two?
I would agree with you, Tong. I think that the way I think about DAPs and just like protocols and Web Three in general, is that I think that there are two different classes of DAPs that really exist today. One is kind of like a very low level, like, kind of non opinionated or less opinionated protocol type app like unitswap or Zora, where the user experience can be a little less, I guess, like opinionated, quote, unquote. You may have a little bit more stuff, but I think the really exciting thing about Web Three in general is that you can take all of these different protocols and mash them together and make your own very highly opinionated, really good, well designed and specific DAP. So I think that there's definitely a species things. And I think the thing that really matters is that as an end consumer, you have choice to figure out which staff that you want to use, what works best for you. Like, what data that you want to own. So I think that that in itself is very powerful and that's going to lead to so many different outcomes that you see in Web Two right now.
Yeah, that spectrum definitely nuances that conversation a lot. So let's go to Dillon. You probably look at every different industry from the vantage point of where you said, what is your thinking between the trade off between decentralization and great user experience?
We should all want to believe that in the limit, there isn't any or that we can minimize it as much as possible. One thing I learned from my co founder, Evan Wallace, is that sometimes you need to build things that are sort of like proof of concepts of you can do this. And so one example that for me for DAP's, Web Three is dark Forest. And I think the team there is just another job of thinking about every level of the stack and how to make it so that you can have a great user experience across them. So, for example, one of the things they did that no one I hadn't seen one before in a decentralized way was they bundled the wallet for XDI, which is the layer two into the onboarding experience and also prompts people to like, here are some keys you can store locally. They also figure out a way to basically make it so that you can have a lot of network saturation and be able to use your knowledge proofs to play this game without having to be exposed to any of that complexity. And so anyway, I mentioned that not just because I love Dark Forest and always want to talk about it, but rather because I think we need more people to take bold initiatives like that and to really go and create those example applications that make people go, Holy shit, that's possible. And if we can have more of that, then I think that will move the PayPal forward.
Yeah, I think there's nothing better than demonstrating what's possible and inspiring a next generation of people do that even further. So I like that I'm going to definitely give that a shot that you just mentioned. Paul, you wrote at length about this as well. Let's hear your thoughts on this hot take. What do you think?
Yeah, definitely. Plus one to Dylan that we just need to build more great examples of what's possible today to kind of showcase what is even feasible. I think crypto UX in general, it can be better than Web two. Just think about logging into those sites today. You have distinct accounts and varying usernames across services, but the potential for decentralized identity where you can take this info by yourself, control it, and you have control over where it's shared. That really reduces sign up friction for lots of services. So, like, more adoption of gaps in the future could be very quick compared to a new web to website. You have to either pick a social login if you want to give that centralized provider your information, or you have to make a new login and account. Downside, of course, is there's huge security concerns using the same login for all these steps? If you get a compromise, how do we separate that? Maybe there's better ways to have separate wallets that are kind of abstracted to the user, so they can have different levels of permissions across that. So I think it's a really interesting space to figure out.
Yeah, I totally agree. I think the distributed identity piece and by the way, next week, we're going to talk about that as well on Biddle is very exciting to me personally, because never, ever before we had opportunity for a user to actually own their own data and be able to take that to every application that they interact with and always have to avoid the burden of recreating those access points. A super exciting topic. And I agree with you. There are some downsides, but mostly positive user experience for vast majority of the people. Frank. I mean, look, I want my mom to use crypto, man. So what are you going to do at Coinbase to make it easy for her to do so?
Yeah, that's the ultimate challenge here for many of us, particularly at Coinbase, I think. Well, the abstraction layer, I think, is going to be important. I think we also want to not dumb it down too much. I think we want to embrace all the power that's inherent in Web three. So I think a lot of energy around helping folks manage these things, like key management, navigating, chain all your different asset types. I think there's an opportunity there to not hide it, not necessarily hide the complexity, but help you manage it better. So I think that's one area that I'm excited to dig into and figure out how we can make that a better experience. So to embrace all the power that Web Three offers.
Give the audience an example. What would you like as an example of what could that look like?
Yeah. I struggle a lot with fees when I'm transacting on chain and just understanding explaining it better, like why this is necessary and what's happening behind the scenes. So it's not like hiding necessarily, but letting our users know why this is happening and why it's important and what the benefits are and what's happening underneath the hood. So I think there's value in just explaining things better and educating users on how the system works.
Yeah. I think that makes sense. I think fees, as we all know, are kind of a specific vocabulary as well as technology. Piece of crypto. So let's dig into that a little bit and talk about some of the nuances of crypto that are actually so fundamental that it's actually better to educate the world around that and do so the easiest way to understand. So I want to talk about this topic. Paul, I will start with you, which is great. Design does not need to hide all the course of crypto. It can actually teach users how to work with them. And I know in your article on medium that you wrote, you also talked about education, et cetera. So tell us about your take on this.
Yeah. There's actually a really good piece that kind of highlights a little bit about challenges with attraction. I think it was the founder of Kavan. I think it was foundation. He wrote an article about how crypto wants to be seen. And he has a lot of great points where they start out by abstracting the experience. So their service initially looked more like a Web two app, and they ran into various issues where people were lacking control. The service became more centralized. So I think it's an interesting thing to think about with what pieces of crypto are here to say in terms of educating the next generation of users and really being careful about thoughtful abstraction. I think one of the key things that even with the best layer two is that won't really go away. Not even talking about fees, just like the speed we expect everything today in modern technology to be fast. You open a website, it's pretty fast. You copy files pretty fast. Blockchain is the only thing that's not super instant. And I think that's one thing that we're going to educate around that's not going anywhere. So I think there are a lot of examples like that where we have to be really thoughtful on what we try to hide what we try to educate around and be more transparent. I think we're just in a learning phase right now the next couple of years trying to figure out what's easy to teach. What can we abstract safely? Maybe in the next three years. Layer two is something we don't really think about, depending on the DAP you're using, and we're kind of smarter about that. So we don't have to be too upfront with our customers.
Yeah. My dream state is back in 80 years, there was a thing called SMTP, and you could send mail using the SMTP protocol. People used to talk about it using the SMTP protocol. Today. People talk about what's your Gmail, what's your Hotmail any of those things. So I think it'll be interesting to see, like you said over the next few years, how the evolution goes from what needs to be hidden versus what doesn't need to be hidden and how people can use it as a vocabulary over time. Dylan, tell us, what is your take on what to hide, what to educate, and how do you balance that gosh?
We could go so deep here and talk for hours.
I'll do it.
Well, I think we have to get to a place where something like gas is not part of the everyday experience for people using Ethereum. That's just too much cognitive overhead for most users. We need to get to the point where we've got some method of key recovery for people that are onboarding, so they don't have to go right down a lot of words. And if they don't do that, then they lose all their funds. We're going to have to get to a point where when it comes to defy concepts, we find the appropriate sort of balances between disclosing risk and encouraging people to partake and kind of come to that probably not in a centralized way, but in a decentralized way, but as an industry, because as this reaches more people, there are systemic risks that are out there and people should be warmed about that. And we should be ahead of that versus waiting for regulation to catch up or something. Yeah. I mean, we go on, just try to set up, like, an Es domain and have that back propagate to your wallet or soon, hopefully associate NMT's with your identity. These experience, they're hard, they're technical. It reminds me of the server to the prior point for web hosting. And yeah, I just think there's opportunity in all these places. And the great news is that we have a market opportunity. And I think that there's lots of greatness to come and there's so many amazing people are coming to the system. And so if you're on here and you're thinking is now the time to join, I'd say yes and no, the prices will go up to go down. But actually, the best time to build is during the winters for crypto. And so even if the prices plummet. Don't worry about it. That is the best time to get into the system, and that's when the relationships are in trust is built. That lets us go even further as ecosystem.
Yeah. And the builders during that time are truly building for the long term. They're not in it to flip it or they're not in it to put a quick upside, they're really building for the long term and the incentives that are aligned as well. So yeah, I couldn't agree more with that sentiment as well. Let's go to Lily. Tell us your perspective. Like you deal a lot with the trade offs. I'm assuming in your meetings every day. Hey, how do we trade off and abstract this complexity versus actually showing it to the user? So tell us your perspective on how you manage that.
Yeah. I think that one of the things that we talk about a lot at Zora is abstracting away complexity versus letting the user completely own it and own their own data on everything that is a part of their NFTs. I think that some of these things I hope that we can get to a place where a lot of these things matter a lot less. Like, for example, where your metadata is stored or not necessarily having a user has to deal with that amount of complexity because a lot of people, they don't necessarily. It doesn't really matter to them on a day to day. They just want to make sure that it works and it will keep running, like two or three years from now. That's a pretty big design challenge that a lot of platforms haven't necessarily solved just yet. I think that a lot of it is as the designers and builders of the technology. And I think at this stage it's not necessarily just like the UX designer. It's the whole engineering team. It's making sure that we just provide the user with sensible defaults that have baked in a level of ownership and trust and making sure that just all of these things work a little bit more than an unapinionated default. I think those things are a lot bigger than just the UI, the UX or something like that.
Can I ask a question? One thing I found interesting about Zora. Historically, I'm off on this, but if I remember correctly, the team has kind of gone back and forth between having people interfaces or purely through their own wallets versus having a centralized place where you can hold tokens that people can get. I don't need for your time, too. For Zora, I know that there's a lot of a very spicy debate in the crypto ecosystem and just curious, like where you fall on that. Think about those problems.
So are you talking about custodial versus noncustodial services?
Yes. If I sign up for an account on Zora, if you were to basically have custodianship of my stuff at first, because that's like a much better user experience with some offramps for me to go self sovereign versus requiring upfront that I have my own wallet.
I've seen people get really angry on Twitter for both sides.
I think that it's a very heated debate. You're correct. I think that my spicy take is that at this point in time in crypto, as a designer, right? You always want to build that pave path. There's always that urge to build that pave path. And then as community members in crypto, most users in crypto right now are kind of like they want to be on the cutting edge of things. They want to break things. They will take that really paved path, and they will just blast holes in that path as much as they can. So I think that there is some part of me that's like, okay, maybe for a lot of people, right, who are really into just breaking things and making things and building something new, it doesn't really make sense to build those abstractions for them right now. It doesn't really make sense for those types of users to have custodial wallets because they really want to just own their work. They want to own their experience, they want to have options and they want to customize things. But I think that for the vast majority when you're talking about the next million billion of users, I don't necessarily know if that's the case. I think that Dylan, you mentioned earlier, and I agree private key recovery is really hard. It's something like a custodial wallet. It's impossible to do if your wallet gets hacked. If that's it, all of your funds are gone. It's over. And that's not really a great user experience for people right now. It's really hard to solve.
Yeah, this is a very important question. Glad Dylan, you asked it. I want to share some perspective as well, because at Coinbase, we're launching this thing called soon called NFT Marketplace, and we had a similar debate around how to support self custody wallets to buy NFT's also, while supporting a normal user, if you may. If I can use the word who uses Coinbase today in a custodial fashion, how do we let those NFT's as well? But before I answer that, let me just point all of the attention to Paul's awesome article. We just pinned it at the top. So for the audience who's listening is Paul has really good thoughts on how to make you easy, so definitely visit that. So let me share a couple of thoughts over here. You mentioned something very interesting that the onboarding experience to a custodial thing could be a great on Ram first, and then let them go to say the wild Wild West, where they can actually own a lot of their data that can participate at their own risk. So to say, through a self custody thing. And that is exactly how we've thought about Coinbase NFT as well. So on day one, you'll be able to use if you are like the 68 million register uses of Coinbase, you should be able to use your Ethereum in your Coinbase account and be able to buy an NFD that you love and be able to then custody that with Coinbase industrial security. Now, of course, mind you, that is not self custody. We host your NFT in there, but at the same time, let's say you're also using MetaMask. You're also using Coinbase wallet. You should be able to take that NFP to any marketplace, not just Coinbase NFT marketplace, because you're then understanding where you're navigating and you want to participate in that broader ecosystem based NFT, and we want to support both those use cases. We just pinned an example tweet of what that could look like in Coinbase NFD. We wanted to answer that from our perspective, we got to serve different types of audiences, and on that spectrum, the onboarding to a custodian one is much easier because we believe the next 100 million, the next 200 million, the next 300 million users that we bring on board will be of that nature that they would prefer. That easier on run.
Yeah, I just wanted to add maybe one thing here. I definitely got this discussion around self custody versus not. I think this is going to be a very important space going forward. I think the next couple of hundred million users, they will start with a centralized wallet at some exchange, and that will be their wallet for a long time. I think right now we're early adopters. We totally understand how to backup keys. Maybe in the future, there's better recovery systems like Dylan mentioned, but I think we should embrace and be totally fine with hundreds of millions of users being, like, not managing their own wallet. And I think that will become potentially a new standard. We will have to support both. Everyone will move to managing their own wallet. And I kind of think that's my controversial take right now.
Yeah, I do think there's going to be a spectrum. Some will prefer self custody, someone will prefer custodial, and we should solve for both of them. And you tell I know you want to raise your hand to say something. Go ahead.
Yeah. I actually have a little bit of a different take on this just as a provocation. Maybe. I think we have this carried over a mentality from true world where everything needs to be quick frictionless. And that's kind of the lesson that we've learned maybe over the last 1015 years for how to onboard as many people as possible as quickly as possible. I do think that in general, that's probably the correct way to go, but I wonder if it needs to be to the same extent as we've done it with these web, two apps. And the reason I say this is because I feel like a lot of the big players that we use that today in the Web two world have taught us how to do things in maybe two easy way. That's kind of reduced the media literacy of a lot of the people who regularly interact with these apps. When people use Google and Facebook, they really have sort of no idea what's happening in the back end. And I think Web Three has this opportunity of making the guts of what's happening a little bit more accessible because everything is transparent blockchain. So I wonder if a slightly different direction of design would not be instead of trying to abstract, rather make the underlying more easy to understand. So maybe a more concrete example is instead of asking people to never go to either scan, right, because everything just works. And I think 90% of the time, everything should probably work. But is there a more human readable version of Ether Scam where people can actually go and verify and read what's happening on the back end? Like something like what context is doing, for example, is super cool, because then they're letting people really use what's on the blockchain in a way more accessible way. And I think that's kind of moving towards both having good user experience and still maintaining users agency in the technologies that they use.
Now, I'll add that I think agency is a really key word there. And I think when you talk about the self custody user experience, I think it is a little bit scary, but it does have all these benefits of ownership. Like you are your own bank, right? You own your own identity and you can move it around with you or however you navigate across Web Three. But I think a lot of people just like the onboarding onto all those capabilities is what seems to be missing for me. So I think there's an opportunity there to help folks better understand what those capabilities are. Even understanding what the gaps that exist out there are. Can there be, in a way like a decentralized web, an app store experience that shows you like, what's high quality categorized by functionality and what's legit and protects you from being scammed? I think there's an opportunity there to expose to you like what the opportunities are, while also keeping you safe and helping you build confidence as you weighed further into the soft custody world.
Backing up a bit, I feel like just for all of us and correct me if I'm wrong. But the sort of vision that we're all working towards is like, okay, how do you make it that crypto is a foundational layer for finance for the world? And I think that if that is indeed the goal, then yeah, there's different approaches for things like custody, but there's also other things that we should consider, too. So speed incredibly important, as I even mentioned. But I think it's worth double messing. And I would also argue that Privacy is a part of the nurse, because when you're doing design, you're thinking about how everything works and without foundational Privacy layer. And I know that we went against a lot of people's opinions. That blockchain is great because you can see everything. And my point of view would be if you're going to be in that self sovereign state, you need to also be able to have a fully private experience. I'm off the heels of Iron Fish lunch. They're incentivized testing that today. So I'm a little bit excited about that, of course. But I think it's a really important thing to take into consideration along with speed.
Yeah, I think definitely makes sense. I think Lily, you've raised your hand as well. Why don't you jump in?
Yeah, I think that we talk about self custody. I think the thing about the self custody world versus the custodial world is that every action has some level of risk built in. And I think that one of the things that we really, truly have to design for is how do we show that risk to a user on the wallet level, which I don't think any wallet really does very well to the point of I think there's a very common hack that happens when there's this blockchain method called Set approval for all, which is a very common pattern on uni swap on Zora and a lot of different self custodial DAPs, but some people they can actually use that method to take all the tokens in your wallet that you have because you're essentially setting the approval for that contract to spend any sort of token that you have. I think there's a level of on the law level we have to design ways to show to a user. Oh, you're setting this approval. Maybe that's not the best thing to do, or you have X amount of money here. If you do a bad action, you're going to lose everything that you have in your wallet. Yes, a lot of this self custodial stuff is really exciting, but I think the thing that we risk when we tell people, oh, hey, download minimap, download rainbow is they can put all this money in their wallet that they don't necessarily know that. Oh, it can be gone in 1 second, and they have to secure it a little better or get a ledger or get a burner wallet or something else.
Yeah. Paul, you were saying something.
Yeah, I think just a lot of interesting points here around Privacy and transparency around transactions and wallets, especially managing them yourself. Like, the crazy thing today is it's really hard to know what DAP, what smart contact even trust? I find myself today searching Twitter for a smart contact address just to make sure it's the correct one. Double checking. I'm going to the profile of the actual legitimate project and just like going through the link on their website. So I don't like go to any URL. I didn't find myself, and I think going forward just like Lee mentioned being very explicit around what you're actually doing when you're approving a token? Are you improving all the tokens forever? How do you revoke that? I think a lot of walls today and app experiences don't do the best job of saying, hey, you're going to approve this token now, but here's how to undo that later. I think Zapper has a way to do that for their contracts, for example. But I'd love to see that more of that going forward. And even just like you could imagine in the future, if you had some kind of knowledge graph attached to your decentralized identity, you could see in your wallet that the contract you're about to interact with has been used by seven of your other friends to buy NFPs, so maybe you could trust it today. There's no real way to know if something is a scam token. Maybe you can hide it directly in your wallet and either scam has it on their level. But there's no block list you can follow. Like you might follow a DNS block list, for example, for security on your home network. So I think there's a lot of cool things like that to think about going forward.
Someone who has bought into a scam and a tea collection, please. Yes. Thank you.
Yes, I can imagine when Paul was speaking, there are plenty of people say yes, please, let's make it happen. I think these are great perspectives as well. One thing many of you mentioned not in the exact same words, but hinting to words which will go into the next top you want to talk about is at the end of the day. This is all about engendering trust in the actions that users are taking. So I know Paul, you talked about it and others talked about it as well as that. Designing for trust. What does that mean? I want to take your perspective of what does the term mean and how some of that thinking can manifest into the product will go to you because you just wrote about it and we'll go around the room as well.
Yes, I think designing for trust is a few things on the Daft level. If you're going to adapt, you've never seen before, maybe you heard about it. Just knowing who created this. Has it been around for a while? Who uses this? Are the founders even putting more of the information online? I will absorb any signal as possible to understand if this is trustworthy or not. I think today it's a big challenge, even to what Frank mentioned. Like there's no trusted place to find DAPs to use. This is the Internet age, and we don't have a Yahoo showing us a list of trusted links that we can explore. So I think just a like how do you even find these gaps and discover them? How do you know you can trust them and then B through the rest of your crypto experience? Just being hyper transparent about your transactions. All the things we've talked about, what am I interacting with? More context around it just like context. That app shows you more context around an NFC. And also, I think we tend to focus a lot on the happy path. Like what happens when you're doing this transaction. How do we make it clear what you're doing? But I think we have to spend just as much time on the error case. What happens when, oh, I just approved this token for a contract that I just realized is scam. How do I undo it before my wall gets cleared? Is there, like, an Oshit button that can just fix things for me? Move my assets to a new wallet? How do we design things for that? I think third is just we're in this awkward period of L. One gas is insane. There are side chains like Polygon. There are layer two that are solving this. There are alternative chains like Avalanche and Salona. How do we support an average user's experience across all these networks? Is it one wallet? Is it three and just being really transparent because we're in this really early stage?
Yeah. I think that's a really good articulation, Frank. I mean, you sit at the helm of Coinbase design here in the design team at Coinbase. Tell us more about your perspective of designing for trust and what you see from your vantage point.
Yeah, that's a huge emphasis for us. We've been trying to get better at informing users what's happening at each step and what the potential pitfalls are. I think it starts with that bit of in context education. Personally, something that I've learned a lot from are these scam teardowns that I've been seeing on Twitter, so I don't know how quick you might productionized something like that, but I'm kind of a fan of the oh, shit button that Paul is talking. Maybe something that's a little bit more Proactive than that. That might help highlight something that's fishy, or maybe even removes the fishy things so that we only present to you the things that are maybe more vetted, not shutting you off from the DAPs out there, like as a walled garden, but rather just presenting the information and the bits of data that Paul mentioned. I think that could go a long way in helping you navigate. That the kind of muddy waters of web three that exists today. I'll also add that just touching on a point that Dylan made a little while back about the optimism here. I agree. It is a bit of a UX salad out there at the moment, which has an impact on trust, particularly if you're new to it. But at the same time, it feels like you're at the start of something. Whereas a participant and perhaps as a builder, you are a pioneer. You have agency and shape what this will become. So I think on some levels, to design the chaos of Web Three today is kind of what makes it exciting. So I think there's something about that today at this particular point in time that's bringing attracting a lot of people to the space, like whether you're a builder or a user. So I think there's something about that that you can't just skip over.
That's right. The energy is truly infectious when you are the innings one of crypto. I mean, I share the same point of view. I left my career Facebook Instagram. It would be crypto, like I jumped into both feed because the idea and the opportunity to build something from day one is very exciting. I want to use an analogy over here. Frank, back in the day, if you wanted to move files between two computers, there was this thing called FTP. I don't know how many people remember this protocol, right. And you had to go to the command prompt and put the address of what the original server was versus the destination was. And that's how you moved files today. You have drag and drop in Google Drive and others, and the transition from that imagine you and I are sitting in 1980s and having this conversation we're like, oh, my God, it's going to be so hard for people to adopt it. Well, no, you could actually build on top of this and actually create unique experiences that today become Google Drives of the world or Dropbox of the world. So the journey is just getting started and the excitement is truly real. Lily, let's have you jump in and talk about what does it mean from your vantage point, what does designing for trust mean?
What does designing for trust mean? I think in the context of Zora, I think that like what Paul mentioned earlier, number one is just knowing that you're interacting with trusted contracts. I think that's something that it's something that's very challenging. I think because of the decentralized nature of the product showing to user that this is the right contract versus a scam contract for, like, an NFT collection that is out. It's something that we haven't quite cracked yet. I think that Unitswap is actually doing a really good job at this with their token list product. And I think it's something that I would like to build in the future is just like having different people in the community kind of like, curate which tokens are trusted. Tokens versus scam tokens. I think that a lot of these things will happen, kind of like on the community level in a very, very decentralized way instead of somebody at the top of X application being like, oh, this is the contract that you all are going to trust. It's not a very Web Three experience. I think that one of the interesting things about Web Three is kind of like giving that control and trust to different subcommunities and different subcultures of a product instead of the heads of some sort of product which I think is really exciting to see play out.
Yeah. I think that the point is very well taken. Which is that how can you activate the community around it to build that trust versus have some centralized authority judge whether something is trustful or not? Yes, that's a very good point as well. I know, Dylan, you're very passionate about Privacy. I know you've also invested in companies that are trying to make private cryptocurrency transactions of possibilities. So tell us about why Privacy matters and why are you excited about that area?
And for full disclosure, the company I mentioned iron fish stored by my wife.
Oh, I don't know that.
We'Re in a world of rising authoritarianism, and this is something that's, like a global phenomenon. I think that with COVID, we've seen the use of cash diminish, and we're headed towards really doing all digital payments. And I think there's just so many reasons why you need the ability to create private transactions. I think that if you're, for example, trying to make a purchase and you don't want your employer to see or if we split it up like I shouldn't have access to your entire bank account information. There's people who are not getting in therapy because they're worried about whether or not their security clearance will be revoked. What we want for people that are working in defense, Star Nation. I think it's not about what's there to hide. I think you can read some great essays, if that's sort of like a question that comes to mind for you. One particular is by Moxie who's behind mobile coin. But yeah, I just think that if also as you try to get more financial institutions involved in crypto, the risk of people frontrunning trades for wallets that are known becomes even higher as well. And so this is something that I just see as a primitive in a space that does not exist yet. But we need to have. And we need to have in a way that applies to all assets. You need to be able to bridge assets into a private sort of system where then they can be transacted on.
Yeah, definitely. There's so much impact there as well. I think someone would argue that that is actually important. I don't want like you said, if I share coffee and spit coffee with you, I don't want you to know everything about my wallet, but at the same time, there's something magical about being able to maybe not my bank account, but some other information be publicly available to others as well. So I want to go around the room and ask, what are the takes on Privacy? Maybe you should go next and tell us, how do you view Privacy in this open, trusted world?
Yeah. I think we're very light to own Privacy right now in crypto, and that's sort of concerning it's a little bit like if your entire life was exposed on your Venmo feed and you didn't have a choice of doing anything private. I think that's kind of the world that we live in right now. So I view Privacy as a little bit more of a it's not that we should desire Privacy for everything. It's that we should give users the choice, right. There are some things that you would just like to have private and things that you would like to have public, and it's about being able to offer people a reasonable choice where one doesn't really exist right now.
That's right. I want the world to know I had coffee with Dillon, so definitely I want that to be public, but not my bank account information. I agree with you in the last seven minutes. Let's do the last question that we ask all our speakers is if you had a Crystal ball and you could see a year out, maybe two years, what do you imagine the world of that user experience looking like? Imagine what innovations will happen in the next year or so and describe to the audience, what is this world that we're going to live in as vivid details as you can. So we'll start with Paul. Paul, tell us your prediction. If I were to open a gap in two years from now, what would the problem that you will see you will see still exist?
Yeah. I think the major thing that this industry needs to focus on right now is onboarding and just getting that initial experience, right. And there's a lot of challenges in that space. There's wallet stuff that we've talked about. But I think the big one is fees and solving that with investing in a lot of layer twos or other blockchains and having more and more depth build directly on those, be it avalanche or a side chain like Polygon. Whatever the case may be, let's get that initial experience to be faster and cheaper. If you go to the app store, you look at any crypto app. You'll see a ton of negative reviews very often, and you look into it. And people think that it's because the app themselves is charging them $50 per transaction, but it's because they don't understand what gases and how it works. So it's definitely an education problem. But someone's first experience can't be paying a ton of money to use the product. So I think in a year and more investment in layer two, and there will be huge. Yeah.
Then that'll be amazing, Frank, from your vantage point, what's the prediction? Where do you see a year? Two from now? Imagine your whole same bill again with the same audience. Oh, my God. We thought this will not be solved and solved. Now imagine that world.
I have two perspectives on this from a product perspective. I think a personal security, personal OpSec. I just learned what that word meant and great UX and security management of your assets will be an area of innovation. Two years from now everyone will know what OpSec means, and we'll have a personal strategy to solve for it. I also think in a year we'll see a lot of Web three companies embrace. Not that they don't necessarily see, but education and MPC will be big themes. And I think you'll see user researchers being cornerstone hires for early stage startups.
Yeah, we definitely need user researchers across the board to build empathy and help drive companies towards the innovation that drives easier adoption as well. Couldn't agree more. And Lily, where you sit from your vantage point, describe the world in a year or two. What am I talking to you in a year or two that we are tripping about and excited about?
The thing that I hope is that whatever happens a year or two from now is something that I can't predict or anybody else can predict in this room. I think that the things that are most inspiring to me, not just a designer, but somebody just hanging out and like, Web Three is seeing how people take all of these tools and break them in ways that they're just not supposed to be used at all. Or like, the designers of that technology didn't think that they'd be used at all. Who could have predicted that a Dow could go up to Sotheby's and be like, hey, I want to buy the Constitution. It's like, it's not something that people thought that would ever happen. And so I think that for me, I just want to see how people use a lot of very, very powerful composable technologies to just make the Internet more fun again. I think that to get to that point, the thing that is the most challenging is just making sure that these tools are better able to communicate, trust, to communicate safety, to make sure that people don't get rugged as easily or get scammed so that we can all party safely. I guess that's my main takeaway. And I think that's the biggest challenge for us.
Yeah, I'm going to print out a T shirt that says, Make Internet fun again, because I think this is going to be a fun next few years where the people who use this technology and builders who use this technology can use it in ways that none of us can potentially imagine. Excited about that, tell us your vantage point.
Yeah, mine is maybe a little bit more prosaic. I think that in the next few years, we're probably going to move away from protocols operating their own front end and having their own canonical UI to a world where multiple teams across the world are shipping different UIs and competing on better user experience. I think wallets are probably also going to enter the game in a major way from the UI side, doing first party integrations, making things a lot easier. And so I think that's kind of the path towards us getting into a more usable and better design world. For a lot of crypto applications. So I'm really excited to see the competition on the front end heating up between all these players.
Nice. So world where the UI innovation, user experience, innovation is at a rapid pace and everybody's jumping and innovating around there while the protocols are the base upon which all of this happens. Pretty exciting vision. Sorry about that. Let's go to Dylan as the last predictor of what's going to happen, my friend. Tell us what you see happening.
I mean, first of all, I agree with what a lot of other folks have said about all sorts of stuff. Always point about makes Internet fun again, and let's all figure out how to party safely safely. Sign me up. And I totally agree about the emergence of layer two. There's been so much good work that's been done there that is just starting to come to fruition. Two other points. I'd raise one. I already talked about Privacy, but if you kind of say as a metric, the percentage of transactions that are private today is probably more like 0% effectively, and maybe it gets to like .1% or 1% over the course of the next year or two, which would be really exciting. And I think the second one that I would highlight is compatibility, and I know other people have referenced it, but it's kind of double down. I think that especially in DeFi folks underestimate or ignore some of the systemic risks that come when we are using these Lego pieces in the ways we're using them and sort of what can happen when one part of the stack no longer works. And so I think that we will probably start to see people visualizing the ways that all this is composed better in order to protect consumers. And I also think that we are going to start to see what I'm most excited for. So follow me on Twitter and I'll be tweeting more by the soon. But I think there's going to be a lot of really interesting design challenges and solutions that come out of this sort of opportunity to create new universes and create consistent or consistent spaces across different NFP collections and sort of content in the crypto web three universe. And I think the challenge hasn't been solved yet, but I think that in the next year we're going to see some major solutions to it. And I think that the design of those will be very fascinating.
Yeah. I mean, all of you have left this room with a lot of energy about the future, and all the builders here are probably excited about seeing that happen. So thank you very much, everybody who joined today and we are right on time. And thank you very much for sharing your personal opinions and point of views around how you see the world manifests in the coming year. So thank you very much. And we will come back again next week with another topic with another set of builders talking about how to capture the opportunities for our users in crypto. So thank you very much to everybody. And I'll see you next week at the same.
Thanks for having us.
SPEAKER A notes that they bring together builders from different industries to talk about the opportunities and challenges of building products in the crypto industry. SPEAKER A says they have five eminent guests joining them to talk about how to design gaps with great user experiences. SPEAKER A notes that this session is meant to be about 60 minutes.
SPEAKER A and SPEAKER C talk about the current state of the user experience for crypto applications. SPEAKER A mentions the state of web three applications.
SPEAKER A and SPEAKER D discuss the quality of mobile applications and web applications. SPEAKER A and SPEAKER E talk about the trade off between decentralization and great user experience.
SPEAKER A mentions building proof of concepts like dark forest. SPEAKER A talks about how there’s nothing better than demonstrating what’s possible and inspiring a next generation of people. SPEAKER F notes that they want to embrace all the power that web three offers.
SPEAKER F and SPEAKER A overview educating users on how the system works. SPEAKER A talks about how design does not need to hide all the course of crypto, it can teach users how to work with them. SPEAKER C mentions that the founder of kavan wrote an article about how crypto wants to be seen. SPEAKER A says the evolution goes from what needs to be hidden to what doesn’t need to be hidden.
SPEAKER A and SPEAKER E overview abstracting away complexity and providing the user with sensible defaults. SPEAKER E mentions custodial and noncustodial wallets.
SPEAKER A talks about the coinbase marketplace and how to support self custody wallets and normal users. SPEAKER C says the next couple of hundred million users will start with a centralized wallet.
SPEAKER E discusses the self custody user experience. SPEAKER B and SPEAKER E overview privacy and transparency around transactions and wallets.
SPEAKER A and SPEAKER C talk about designing for trust. SPEAKER C mentions that designing for trust is a few things on the daft level. SPEAKER C notes that coinbase tends to focus on the happy path. SPEAKER F mentions that the chaos of web three makes it exciting.
SPEAKER A talks about the energy of crypto and the opportunity to build something from day one. SPEAKER E talks about how designing for trust means knowing that you’re interacting with trusted contracts. SPEAKER B notes that they need a system to bridge assets into a private sort of system.
SPEAKER D discusses privacy and says they should give users the choice to have private and public information. SPEAKER C mentions that the industry needs to focus on getting the initial experience faster and cheaper.
SPEAKER E talks about how the biggest challenge is making sure that people don’t get rugged as easily or get scammed so that they can all party safely. SPEAKER A notes that this is going to be a fun next few years where people can use this technology in ways that none of them can imagine. SPEAKER D says that in the next few years, we’re probably going to move away from protocols operating their own front end to a world where multiple teams are shipping different uis and competing on better user experience.
SPEAKER A mentions that all of the builders left with a lot of energy about the future and that they will come back next week with another topic about capturing opportunities in crypto.