It’s a question crypto philosophers have pondered since the dawn of Bitcoin: how do we get the masses to actually use the damn thing?
IOST, a new public blockchain network based in Singapore, wants to solve that riddle once and for all.
Quickly climbing up the usage ranks among public chains, even overtaking Ethereum in daily transactions last week, IOST is now poised to unleash its most ambitious project to date: a way for ordinary Internet users to earn and use crypto—without the madness of private keys, cold storage, or any other technical mumbo jumbo.
On Sunday, Team Oasis—a node on the IOST network—will release OnBlock, a web-based platform that will allow anyone to interact with decentralized applications on IOST's network, just by using an email address or mobile phone number to log in.
OnBlock will be accessible through any web browser beginning on April 28, a Team Oasis spokesperson tells Decrypt. The developer team then plans to introduce a seperate mobile OnBlock app, for both iOS and Android, down the road, the spokesperson says.
For those curious about how all this works on a technical level, Team Oasis explains that OnBlock will function in much the same way as a crypto exchange: IOST tokens will be stored on OnBlock platform accounts, which users can register for and access with a mobile number or email address that acts as a private key. Once logged in, users can then access IOST dapps, starting with its most popular offering and top-three blockchain gaming dapp globally, Endless Game.
"Through its hassle-free registration process and the removal of resource-management requirements, such as [Ethereum’s] Gas and [EOS’s] RAM, OnBlock will reinforce IOST’s role in enabling the widespread acceptance and adoption of blockchain technology," IOST CEO Jimmy Zhong tells Decrypt.
Did you know?
OASIS (the original name of OnBlock) is the name of the virtual gaming metaverse in the 2011 science fiction novel (and film) Ready Player One.
Since launching its mainnet two months ago, IOST has focused heavily on blockchain gaming as a way to lure users onto its chain—and so far, the strategy has paid off big time.
In less than 8 weeks time, IOST has registered more than 250,000 wallets (that is, users), processed over 35 million transactions, and become a legitimate challenger to incumbent blockchain networks such as Ethereum, EOS and TRON.
And Zhong says OnBlock could be just the thing that takes IOST over the top.
"Within our first two months of mainnet launch, the growth of the IOST ecosystem has been substantially higher than our peers in their respective corresponding periods, post-mainnet. Multiple dapps continue to be launched online every week on IOST, with new users and accounts growing rapidly," he says. "With the rollout of OnBlock, IOST can look forward to attracting a wider base of users, further growth in transactions, and a strengthened position among the leading public blockchains today."
Tearing down the technical walls that divide crypto diehards from the masses is critical for the industry to grow as a whole, says Zhong. "In its current state, access to the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry is largely limited. Users can only own cryptocurrencies by mining or purchasing their cryptocurrency of choice on an exchange— activities that require a fair amount of technical and background knowledge, ranging from knowledge of computer science to complex KYC and trading processes."
All of that needs to change, says IOST's leading man—and pronto: "Unless the industry opens up a better dialogue with the users it is trying to target, and introduces more convenient ways of interacting with dapps, adoption rates will stagnate."