Why Orchid’s in-app purchases are a game-changer for dapp usageJul 16, 2020
Last week the Orchid app launched in Apple's App Store with in-app purchases, a new feature that represents a major step forward for broad mainstream adoption of the decentralized VPN marketplace. In-app purchases allow people to get the full benefit of Orchid's privacy solution without needing to use crypto directly at all.
The feature allows people to use the dapp with only fiat currency such as U.S. Dollars (USD). There's no need to separately acquire or transfer cryptocurrency at all, meaning people can now experience all the benefits of Orchid's peer-to-peer bandwidth market with the same level of convenience as any other app. This is expected to make Orchid, a crypto-powered decentralized application, much more accessible to mainstream users.
In-app purchases may also pave the way for stronger mainstream crypto adoption. While the name of the feature may sound run-of-the-mill, it represents a huge step forward for people's ability to use crypto powered apps without having to familiarize themselves with the nitty gritty of blockchain mechanics.
Crypto that doesn't feel like crypto
In-app purchases are a crucial milestone in Orchid's growth. One of the main obstacles to broad-based adoption of crypto-powered apps has been the difficulty of setting up and using them. Before in-app purchases, for example, Orchid required people to go through several steps to set up an account, including acquiring the Orchid digital currency (OXT) and ETH, installing a web3 browser, running smart contracts, and transferring a key. Anyone who has spent time in the crypto space will be familiar with these requirements, and understand how often they discourage would-be users who are unfamiliar with wallets and tokens.
But now, rather than creating an account with their own cryptocurrency, users can buy one that's been pre-created for them with only fiat currency such as USD. To facilitate this, Orchid automatically pre-funds a "pool" of accounts that can be assigned to users. A dedicated server manages an OXT/ETH wallet, creates accounts, and pools these accounts together. When a user purchases one, this same server assigns it to them at random. The result is that, with just a couple taps, anyone with an iOS device can download Orchid and browse the Internet in privacy.
When someone buys an account with an in-app purchase, it's their account -- they have a private key and can share across devices or with anyone they like. The only difference is that these accounts can only be used to buy bandwidth on Orchid, similar to a gift card. When they run low on OXT, the user receives a notification, and can buy a new one. In fact, pre-filled accounts funded through in-app purchases may provide yet another layer of security, since, like a "burner phone," they are not permanently tied to any real-world identity.
User experience is key to adoption
In-app purchases are a key testament to the fact that crypto-powered apps can be as seamless to use as any other product. They lower barriers to use by allowing people to set up an Orchid account and browse the Internet privately, without any need to acquire tokens or fund an account. This is exactly what will be needed for the Orchid's app (and crypto more broadly) to gain broad-based adoption and truly transform online privacy. Most importantly, Orchid achieves this without weakening its core premise -- offering people the highest level of Internet privacy currently available. With in-app purchases, Orchid has taken a step into a crypto-powered future.