The U in Crypto Stands for Usable: An Empirical Study of User Experience with Mobile Cryptocurrency Wallets


In a corpus of 45,821 app reviews of the top five mobile cryptocurrency wallets, we identified and qualitatively analyzed 6,859 reviews pertaining to the user experience (UX) with those wallets. Our analysis suggests that both new and experienced users struggle with general and domain-specific UX issues that, aside from frustration and disengagement, might lead to dangerous errors and irreversible monetary losses. We reveal shortcomings of current wallet UX as well as users' misconceptions, some of which can be traced back to a reliance on their understanding of conventional payment systems. For example, some users believed that transactions were free, reversible, and could be canceled anytime, which is not the case in reality. Correspondingly, these beliefs often resulted in unmet expectations. Based on our findings, we provide recommendations on how to design cryptocurrency wallets that both alleviate the identified issues and counteract some of the misconceptions in order to better support newcomers.

In The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), 2021.