A major problem with blockchain technology is the number of impenetrable interfaces which scare off all but the most motivated users.
Even though services like CryptoKitties offered a relatively easy user experience, users still had to sign transactions using their own wallet or a platform like MetaMask.
The amount of research required to successfully interact with the CryptoKitties platform also made it difficult for the decentralised app to appeal to newcomers.
One of the services which seeks to change this and improve the user experience of interacting with the blockchain is Status.
Status is a decentralised messaging platform and mobile interface which allows you to interact with the Ethereum blockchain from your smartphone.
We covered the basic functionality of the platform earlier this year, but it has continued to grow and recently launched exciting new features.
The service was previously released in an alpha testing phase and is now closing in on version 1.0, with the release of mainnet support.
This means you can use the app with the real Ethereum blockchain and move tokens around instead of being restricted to the testnet.
It should be noted that this feature is still being tested and may experience problems – it is not recommended that users enable this feature.
Status recommends that the option to enable mainnet support should only be used by developers and those who don’t mind risking the Ethereum they use in their wallet.
As a brave crypto adopter, I enabled Developer Mode and switched to the Ethereum mainnet.
Using the app
The Status app is available for Android from the Google Play Store and for iOS via TestFlight.
After creating a new address on the blockchain through the app’s interface, the first thing I did was send Ethereum to my new address.
The average transaction time on the Ethereum blockchain is very low at the moment, and my balance reflected in a matter of seconds.
Status also supports rand figures for the approximate fiat value of the cryptocurrency in your wallet.
I then joined the Status and Ethereum public chats in the app and added a few of the participants as contacts.
You can send Ethereum and signed messages to contacts from the app, and can request transactions from them.
However, my favourite feature of mainnet Status is the ability to interact with decentralised applications on the blockchain.
Using the simple built-in browser and a library of pre-bookmarked dApps, I navigated to CryptoKitties, logged in by signing a transaction in the app, and proceeded to shop for virtual cats.
This is a far simpler experience than the standard MetaMask interface, and the ability to access multiple dApps grants the app a lot of potential.
Making Ethereum easy
While Status was great to use on the live Ethereum blockchain, holding real tokens in the wallet is currently still a risk due to the ongoing development of the app.
However, once Status officially launches, users will no longer need to access their funds through relatively-complex interfaces such as MyEtherWallet.
Additionally, users who want to access decentralised appls will not need a separate browser extension or wallet, and can use services from in Status.
Status Network ERC-20 Tokens (SNT) still exist, and will be used across many functions of the mobile app once it is live, including currency exchange, dApp registration, ENS registration, decentralised push notifications, and more.
SNT owners will also have a say in the governance of the system and a voice in development direction.
Status is developing a desktop client, too, which will aid its vision of becoming a social network platform for blockchain users.