1 min read

"Account" is a weird word

How many accounts do you have? And what kinds of accounts are they? Think about it for a moment before continuing.


The word account has a lot of meanings, so these questions don't make much sense without more context. Despite that, I'm willing to bet you thought of one or two specific kinds of accounts:

  1. banking/financial accounts
  2. the accounts you use on your computer/phone and various websites

(If any other kind of account came to mind, please hit reply and let me know!)

Banks typically set up multiple distinct account numbers for you for different purposes. Checking, savings, loans, etc. Each has its own account. Usually, you'll still have one username/password to log in with and access all of your accounts in one place.

Most non-financial websites and apps just have a username/password. There's no distinct accounts within the one login. Your login is your account.

Now, here's the real question: when you think of your "account" on blockchain, what does that mean to you?

You might think of your wallet and the password you set up to access it. But within your wallet software, you can have more than one public address. It's possible each of your addresses was generated from a single 12 word seed phrase, but whether or not you did, they all have their own private keys. The wallet and password are just a convenient way to store and use your addresses.

In this way, blockchain accounts are more like financial accounts, just with more personal responsibility and less protections. That's fine for the current cohort of blockchain users, but as more people start using blockchain without putting up their own money, we need wallets and tooling that simplify account management. The experience should be more like an email/password login and less like a complicated banking interface.


P.S. With centralized websites, you expect certain things to be available for your account: recovering forgotten passwords, customer support, etc. These capabilities are not built in to blockchain, and these gaps create friction for new users at the worst possible times.