On the most recent episode of the Noded Podcast, co-hosts Pierre Rochard and Michael Goldstein interviewed Interchange co-founder Dan Held about his history in the Bitcoin space and what he’s working on today. During the interview, Held revealed that his time at early bitcoin startups Blockchain and ChangeTip helped him realize that not many people want to use the digital asset for payments.
“Then I went over to ChangeTip, which — all of the OGs remember that,” said Held. “[It] was micropayments over social media. We ended up failing, but [we] learned a lot of things along the way with both Blockchain and ChangeTip, which was that people don’t want to use this for payments.”
Held went on to explain that his time at Blockchain and ChangeTip helped shape his views around the Bitcoin Cash spin-off coin when it was created last year.
“After building and designing two of the most popular tools that facilitate [payments] and seeing no traction in that regard, it definitely shaped my mentality when the whole Bitcoin Cash hard fork scenario came around,” said Held.
Thoughts on the Lightning Network
Although Held did not see much demand for bitcoin-denominated payments in his past, he did mention that he sees the Lightning Network as an improvement in this regard.
“Lightning certainly changes the dynamic of how payments work on crypto — or specifically bitcoin,” said Held.
In Held’s view, there are three main user experience problems when it comes to bitcoin payments: the fees are too high, the payments are slow, and it’s not easy to use. Held also said that he would add bitcoin’s intraday volatility issues as another problem associated with the high fees.
While Held sees the Lightning Network as helpful in the areas of payment speed and ease of use, he still sees bitcoin’s price volatility as a major issue.
“The main thing would be the intraday volatility of the price of bitcoin would be kind of I think the biggest UX hurdle to solve if you wanted to use it as a medium of exchange or unit of account or tool for micropayments,” said Held.