How The Open Application Network is Making Blockchain Mainstream

Joseph P. DiPasquale
10 min readFeb 23, 2020
The Open Application Network’s full-page ad in The New York Times and National Post, November 7, 2019

In November 2019, the world was introduced to The Open Application Network (“The OAN”). With the new name came a new vocabulary: “Platform Problems,” “Open Applications,” and “Unity Interleave.” Part rebrand and part refocus, the shift took many by surprise.

By lowering the barriers to blockchain for developers and consumer end-users while strengthening the economic security of the network, The OAN and AION are poised to make game-changing advances in the race for blockchain adoption.

Stuck in the Crypto Bubble

Most public blockchain and cryptocurrency projects market themselves exclusively within the “cryptosphere”: they announce news through crypto-exclusive media; they network and give talks at crypto-focused conferences; and they use crypto-specific jargon and metrics to explain and differentiate their products. But crypto memes don’t resonate outside of crypto. Preaching to the converted is a zero-sum strategy, where user growth means siphoning attention and resources away from other projects in an isolated, saturated, and emaciated market.

Bringing in the remaining 99% of the addressable market is an entirely different (and too-often neglected) challenge.

For most cryptocurrency projects, finding new “hodlers” means convincing “no-coiners” to sign up for an exchange, go through KYC, onboard fiat currency, trade, set up a wallet, and manage keys. But retail and institutional purchasers can’t be bothered to jump through so many hoops in the hopes that risky and volatile “magic internet money” “number go up.” For on-chain application platforms, in addition to the convoluted process above to pay for network access, would-be users may need to download and learn yet another app or plugin (e.g. MetaMask) to access the app they wanted to use in the first place. These steep consumer learning curves are still huge barriers to mainstream adoption.

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Joseph P. DiPasquale

Joseph is a Chicago trial attorney interested in blockchain technology and alternative dispute resolution.