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  • A panel moderated by the managing editor of Blockworks, Michael Bodley, focused on how to onboard retail into bitcoin at scale.
  • The panel had an array of experienced speakers such as Johnny Ayers, Aparna Chennapragada, Tushar Nadkarni and Tom Pageler, all with clearly defining specialties in approaching retail.
  • The conversation focused on user experience and accessibility, and also discussed the need for belief in a better system.

At Bitcoin 2022, a panel moderated by Michael Bodley focused on the challenges of onboarding retail into the bitcoin ecosystem. When referring to retail in this context, we are speaking of the average person hoping to invest in bitcoin. The panel included Johnny Ayers, Aparna Chennapragada, Tushar Nadkarni and Tom Pageler.

“How do we onboard the next 100 million users?” asked Michael Bodley, managing editor for Blockworks, a financial media outlet that focuses on digital assets.

“I’ve seen some folks take a week or two-weeks to open an account,” said Ayers, founder and CEO of Socure, a company that produces enterprise-grade identity verification and fraud detection solutions. He was referring to his company's success in scaling identity and fraud verification measures in reference to the failure of companies to provide a pleasant user experience for new users trying to register.

This is a common issue for many companies, and even Chennapragada commented that citizens of the U.S. take for granted the ease of access they have when registering for these services, as other countries hold more barriers.

“If you drop the economic barriers, experiential barriers, emotional barriers, diversity becomes inherent to the platform,” said Chennapragada, currently the chief product officer for Robinhood, a mobile stock trading app. This is largely true and even Pageler agreed when he noted that when a customer registers for a new service and they are happy about it, they typically reference how easy the enrollment process was.

Pageler, CEO of Prime Trust, a fintech company tailored for digital asset innovation and on-boarding infrastructure that allows digital asset companies to scale and he noted that building toward user experience is necessary, “We have to keep doing it and keep innovating,” he said.

User experience isn’t everything though, Nadkarni noted. Products and services are wonderful for a company to have, but inspiration can take them much further.

“The ability to give people the belief they have access to wealth generation is necessary,” said Nadkarni, chief growth and product officer for Celsius, a blockchain-based financial services platform that offers non-traditional solutions.

This panel largely focused on discussing the need for providing healthy consumer experiences and building toward accessibility, but as Nadkarni noted, we have to keep the dream alive. The best way to do this is making that dream a reality for as many people as possible.