Vitalik Buterin Shares His Experience on Crypto Payments

Vitalik Buterin stated UX around crypto transactions inclusion needs to be improved to explore ways to make stuck transactions more obvious in the UI.
Vitalik Buterin Shares His Experience on Crypto Payments

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin publishes a blog post to share his experience of trying to use crypto payments, how crypto wallet UI posed difficulties and the problem of high transaction fees due to scaling issues.

According to the blog post, Vitalik Buterin tried crypto payments at various places but faced issues multiple times due to technical glitches. 

Buterin gave the example of trying to make a payment using bitcoin in 2013, at a sushi restaurant in San Francisco. Although it looked to have been transmitted and received by the restaurant, the transaction did not complete.

The lesson he learned from this event is that “the internet is not 100% reliable, and customer internet is less reliable than merchant internet. We need in-person payment systems to have some functionality to allow customers to transfer their transaction data directly to the merchant if that’s the best way to get it broadcasted.”

Buterin gave another instance of purchasing tea in 2021 in an Argentine shop with ETH. According to him, the initial transaction was declined because it was below exchange’s minimum payment limit. 

The second one was successful, although the Ethereum co-founder ended up paying three times as much as the beverage’s cost.

A transaction was unsuccessful when Buterin tried again in 2022 at a different location because the gas limits were too low. 

Also, a user interface (UI) error in his phone wallet caused the second transaction to also fail as it made it not possible to scroll down and edit the field that contained the gas limit.

The lessons he learned through these incidents are “simple-and-robust UIs are better than fancy-and-sleek ones. But also, most users don’t even know what gas limits are, so we really just need to have better defaults.”

Delays between transactions being accepted and recognized by the recipient, and confirmation timeframes are further concerns. Buterin pointed out that the Merge and EIP-1559 had made this better.

Also Read: Vitalik Buterin Proposes Stealth Addresses for Ethereum’s Privacy

Buterin also stated UX around transaction inclusion needs to be improved to explore ways to make stuck transactions more obvious in the UI because current wallet UIs suck at showing the risks when the base fee goes too high and transactions do not get accepted.

The Ethereum co-founder concluded that “Good user experience is not about the average case, it is about the worst case. A UI that is clean and sleek, but does some weird and unexplainable thing 0.723% of the time that causes big problems, is worse than a UI that exposes more gritty details to the user but at least makes it easier to understand what’s going on and fix any problem that does arise.”

Meanwhile, the Ethereum network is getting closer to another major upgrade ‘Shanghai’ as the Shapella upgrade was successfully rolled out on the Sepolia testnet on Feb 28.  The next step in this development will be an upgrade on Goerli public testnet, which will enable developers to write a smart contract and open withdrawal for staked tokens.

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