UX in the crypto world is awful, and it is hindering adoption. Products like Coinbase and Blockfolio are leading the way with designs that use the foreign concept of cryptocurrencies yet still feel familiar, but many wallets and other applications are still clunky and hard to use.

Allowance is a concept for a mobile cryptocurrency wallet that gives the end user familiarity and trust while minimizing the risk for the loss of funds. The private keys to these wallets are still owned by a third party, similar to how Coinbase operates today. But with Allowance, the amount of money that you ever store in the wallet is capped. You still own all of your crypto with your own private keys in a paper wallet or a hardware wallet offline, and simply move a daily spend amount into your allowance mobile wallet.

This bridges the gap between safe private key storage while protecting a majority of the total value of crypto that you actually own. A fun extension of this idea is to enable a smart contract reload of crypto into the wallet anytime the balance falls below a certain threshold.

Key Differentiator

The “reloadable” design puts the burden of security back onto a third party, but since the reload value is capped and controlled by the user, it reduces the control of funds that the third party maintains. It lets consumers retain a traditional fintech experience, broadens crypto use and adoption, and creates a middle ground of trustless, decentralized currency use mediated by a third party.

Design Inspiration

  1. Robinhood and Square's Cash App. Each of these applications have beautiful landing pages that are intuitive and contain the bare minimum of options for the consumer. It is as if the app is nudging the consumer in the direction of the action that they are trying to perform, while simultaneously idiot-proofing it. In my opinion, some of the best designed experiences are those that limit functionality, and guide the users toward a certain behavior.
  2. Andrew Chen has written about the topic of simplified experience to drive growth within a sales funnel (check out the piece here). I believe that similar concepts can and should be applied in a cryptocurrency wallet app to drive growth, use, and adoption. Make the process clear and comfortable, and strip out everything that isn't 100% necessary to get the consumer through the experience of using your product.


2x Allowance Portfolio.jpg