The Meaning of Community in Crypto Discussed at Consensus 2023

Consensus 2023 participants explored how user-focused design, cultural understanding, and gradual decentralization can drive mainstream crypto adoption

AccessTimeIconJun 9, 2023 at 1:29 p.m. UTC

Do users actually care what’s under the hood of an app?

Cryptocurrencies’ censorship resistance and global reach have been the main value proposition of this technology for people not interested in sheer speculation. However, just the existence of technology is not enough: for it to really spread, empower and benefit those who need it most, there has to be infrastructure, products and services that will turn a shiny concept into the actual reality of people’s lives.

This article is excerpted from CoinDesk’s inaugural Consensus @ Consensus Report, the product of intimate, curated group discussions that took place at Consensus 2023. Click here to download the full report.

“Grassroot adoption is all about making sure you target everyday people,” Tricia Wang, co-founder of the Crypto Research and Design Labs (CRADL), said during the interactive session “Grassroots Innovation: Realizing Crypto’s Empowerment Promise for Social Inclusion” at Consensus 2023.

Further, sometimes crypto developers will have to be “obsessively pragmatic,” meaning they are “culturally attuned” to solutions that may work for one group of users but not another, rather than being dogmatic about crypto’s highfalutin ideals.

What are the “winning design principles” founders should focus on if they want to meaningfully impact users’ lives?

  • Should builders prioritize scaling their products as broadly as possible or helping users understand how the product works to the maximum possible extent?
  • Should crypto and blockchain integration be explicit or stay under the hood?
  • Should decentralization be immediate or take place over time?

A range of considerations goes into these choices…


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Anna Baydakova

Anna Baydakova was CoinDesk's investigative reporter with a special focus on Eastern Europe and Russia. Anna owns BTC and an NFT.

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