Welcome to a new dynamic for the Elastos ecosystem, in 2 short years we are now at the precipice of Cyber Republic preparing to take over all public facing responsibilities except for development.
Cyber Republic now faces its biggest challenge, it and by “it” I mean “we” as a community need to prepare Elastos for the mainstream audience. Truth is Elastos is an older project and created during a generation where there was little competition and only early adopters. Much has changed since it began, but the outside world doesn’t know that, the space is crowded, many new market entrants haven’t even heard of us and our current lackluster approach to marketing Elastos isn’t going to change that.
In the end, we must be cognizant of the fact that unless people can understand Elastos, it will not be able to achieve the prominence it deserves.
Elastos is Due for a Refresh
A Rebrand, a version 2.0, whatever you call it, Elastos needs a jumpstart.
We saw NEO rebrand itself with NEO 3.0 with fair success, Ethereum Classic (ETC) revived itself with a collaborative stance with the wider Ethereum community, and it seems every project that could is pivoting to DeFi.
Yes, we’re looking at DeFi intently too, but it’s hardly a way to stand out now.
Elastos Was Never About UX, This Needs To Change
It wasn’t until the latter half of Elastos’ development that we saw the addition of Benjamin Piette, a transformational product leader, he was brought in to ensure that ElastOS was a product built for real people and he has been doing an amazing job.
But the greater Elastos platform which had been in development for over a year was never built for mainstream users. That was the point too, the strategy was that marketing and product UX should be left to the dApps and projects building on top of Elastos. That Elastos was meant for developers.
Elastos is Just Really Hard to Explain!
Simple is good. Our messaging has never been great, first we were the Smart Web and now it’s The Modern Internet.
But what do those even mean anyway?
We are a multi-chain platform, each does something different, one even handles identities. Then we have a storage layer, and an application, also “spelled” ElastOS, but different capitalization and it means something else.
The user experience (UX) for new users arriving to Elastos is confusing too, no other platform expects users to move a native token between different chains. It’s hard enough for people to manage one wallet address, let alone the 3 potential wallets you could have on Elastos. Yep, one for ELA, DID and the Elastos Ethereum Sidechain, which brings me to another UX issue.
We Need to Stop Calling It The Elastos Ethereum Sidechain
Again, a naming convention for developers, by developers, but quite confusing to the mainstream public. And calling the token ELAETHSC is far too long, how is an 8 character token name even sensible? Is it a token or a technology? Maybe it stands for something else? Nothing about that token name lends itself to being considered a token.
I get fielded questions all the time such as:
- Is it connected to the real Ethereum network?
- Is it a sidechain of Ethereum?
- What’s different between it and Ethereum?
Worse yet, it completely changes the focus of discussion to Ethereum, when really we should be talking about Elastos.
No other blockchain project — except ETC — uses the word “Ethereum” in their nomenclature, even though many like us, use the EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) and are compatible.
Polkadot, Cosmos, Tomochain, Thundercore, Wanchain, IoTeX, they all support the EVM, but they don’t try to confuse their chain with Ethereum.
Call it the Elastos Smart Contract chain, or something else, let’s figure it out together.
What Does CR Regions Propose?
We think it’s time for a community led discussion on how we should refresh Elastos and take the reins on the image of Elastos. For this we have some ideas, for example: starting simple and peeling back the layers of complexity — it has to be intuitive.
What New Users Need To Know:
- Elastos is multi-chain, but you only need to know two:
1. The Elastos mainchain — and it’s secure, like 50%+ of BTC hashrate secure
2. The Elastos smart contract chain
- You can get ELA on exchanges and send it to your “mainchain” or primary address.
- Elastos has an “official” app built for security called elastOS that allows you to swap ELA between the two chains.
- Elastos has a decentralized identity system called DIDs. elastOS can create these for you. Identity management needs to be painless.
New User: “I sign up and I have two blockchain addresses, one for ELA and the other for smart contracts. Also I have an Identity called a DID.”
Now this isn’t perfect, but perhaps it’s the best we can do, having a separate chain for smart contracts is a bit confusing. And eventually the mainchain may only exist as a foundation and take a backseat.
What New Users “Don’t” Need to Know — right away:
- Elastos Hive — it’s an amazing tool for developers, but it’s still middleware that dApps and developers use for storage. Even if you buy an ElaBox it’ll run Hive out-of-the-box, your dApps or capsules will connect to it.
- How the DID Sidechain Works — it’s a merge mined sidechain, but it’s pretty slow. Tuum built DID Assist, it may be semi-centralized but that’s how it has to be, otherwise the UX is horrendous.
Can you imagine any sane regular user going through the steps to transfer ELA to the DID Sidechain just to publish a DID? I wrote this tutorial for CR Regions: https://crregions.com/assets/CR_DID_Proposal_Tutorial.pdf. But it just showcases how poor the UX is, I literally had potential projects just give up, they felt the effort wasn’t worth it.
Perhaps those projects lacked the determination, but Tron, Algorand and Solana are giving away way more money and with them you can pitch your idea to a single team, not go through a convoluted multi-week process.
- All the DID stuff — really, we’ve tried this before, some people just don’t care about their personal data. No one is going to manage their own data, except for the few outliers. dApps and AI needs to take that responsibility and make it easy, and monetizable.
No regular user should have to transfer ELA to the DID sidechain period. But developers would use it to build powerful dApps with Verifiable Credentials (VCs) and enterprise solutions.
Their First Experience Should Look Like This:
Onboarding new users is a science in Silicon Valley, UX leaders know that people have short attention spans, don’t read and they get frustrated after a few clicks. Entire product and marketing teams do extensive A/B Testing, analytics and development to maximize conversion rates, lower CAC and track user data.
The next generation of dApps will be elastOS capsules that will use the newly introduced “Elastos ETH Sidechain” plugins to finally connect to smart contracts. To use these dApps, users will need to easily be able to swap their ELA to the ETH Sidechain.
If a new user can’t get into the capsule that they downloaded elastOS for within 5 minutes, we’ve probably lost them. If we lose them, we probably want to know why.
The Future Ahead with ElaMask
Businesses tell us they don’t want to be inside another app (elastOS), that’s understandable. Traditional dApps use MetaMask or have their own built in wallets. However they do it, if they build on Elastos, users need an intuitive way to understand the multiple wallets/addresses.
Share Your Opinion!
This is a community call to action, we need to take the reins and I’m excited to hear your thoughts on how to make Elastos more intuitive to new users. Eventually we want to take a great proposal to CRC for funding and rebrand Elastos.
Check out this Google Form Questionnaire to Share Your Thoughts:
Thanks, we’ll have more news and updates on the various projects we’re working on, both on CR Proposals and off, so follow us!