Let me begin to say that I really want to like Byteball. I like crypto tokens that are used in a working product that have - more or less - 'usefull' features and solve real problems. And I do agree with most of the points @ctrl-alt-nwo points out in the article https://steemit.com/byteball/@ctrl-alt-nwo/byteball-reasons-why-it-s-a-good-crypto-and-why-steemians-should-hang-on-to-their-free-bytes. But I think the product has some big hurdles to overcome before a significant amount of people will start to use it. The main problems Byteball are facing are in my view:
People want to use fiat for crypto services. I know, this is a general problem for cryptocurrencies and also true for Byteball. Easily send or receive money (via text message or 'the regular way'), betting on sport events or insure yourself against flight delays, these are usefull things, but a lot less usefull if you have to use GBYTEs instead of your local currency. And I know that's just psychological, but it is the way 99% of the people see it right now. Dollars and euros are a store of value and unit of accounting, maybe even BTC, but GBYTEs are certainly not.
And that is why I don't understand the following is the number one priority for all crypto products right now. Let people use the existing services by paying in their local fiat, let them pay an extra fee for converting to the utility token in question and use the service. So suppose a user can buy a flight delay insurance and can pay in euros. He doesn't have to worry about the GBYTE/EUR price fluctuation and he knows exactly how much he pays for the insurance and what he will receive (in euros) in case of a flight delay. It will mean that the GBYTE token has little value because the demand is limited, but that's only in the beginning. Eventually more and more people will use Byteball and gradually people will see benefit in keeping some GBYTES in their wallet (lower fees) and the price of GBYTES will rise. Most important, it will drive the most important thing for any product or service: user adoption.
The features that Byteball offers should be cheaper / more efficient than similar existing products. The current features are neither, although I think the flight delay insurance service is the best shot so far (by the way I think insurances in general is a great use case for decentralized crypto products). Consider the sports betting service. When you bet against the bot the offered quotes are worse than the quotes on any commercial online betting site. So what is the use of the service? The whole premise of blockchain technology is that you can cut the middlemen and thereby reduce costs and be cheaper. So why are these Byteball quotes so terrible?
Some feautures are extremely hard to use. For example the peer to peer sports betting. I like the idea in general and was curious to try it out. What I had in mind was a sort of a peer to peer betting exchange where you can offer and accept bets. So you can see per match what bets other people are offering. You can then accept the best offer or you can place a better offer. Something like that. I was wrong and the execution of the p2p betting function is devious. First you have to connect with your peer via the chat feature in a Whatsapp like way (invite and accept). Byteball calls this adding a device. After adding your peer you start a chat and ask your peer to send his wallet adress. You can then click on the adress and make and offer a contract. When making the contract you have to know some things beforhand, which makes the process even more cumbersome. You need to know the feed name and in order to know the feed name you have to search through the sports betting bot first. You also need to have an agreement with your peer about the amount of GBYTES both of you want to bet on, otherwise there is no sense in offering the contract. Finally, when you made it till this stage and you made the bet with your peer, it's also unclear how to collect your GBYTEs when you win the bet. If you are familiar with how smart contracts work you know that a smart contract has it's own wallet and it makes sense that you have to transfer your gains from that wallet to your own wallet. Regular users won't understand this and wonder how they will get their GBYTEs.
The user interface is challenging to put it mildly. Let's again take the peer to peer sport betting as example. Below some screenshots about the chat with your peer before starting the bet. Is it for a new user clear that he can insert his wallet adress via the three dots in the left bottom corner? And what about when you receive a wallet adress, how clear is it that you can click the adress to get to the popup and offer a contract?
And then the fun really begins with drawing up the contract! See the next screenshots. The upper part is relatively straightforward to understand, although the way things are formulated are far from dummy proof. But it basically asks for your and your peer's bet deposit and that you can get your deposit back if the peer doesn't make his deposit. The lower part is completely incomprehensable for first time users. What is an oracle, what is a feed name, what is meant by expected value, etc? I understand that this is the general format for any smart contract on the platform, but using these generic terms makes it almost unusable for general users. An existing contract looks like the following contract. Can any non technical user understand what the contract says? Really terrible right?
I know what you might think. The product is in development and these are relatively easy things to improve. That may be but why deliver a product that is practibly unusable for a regular user. What is the point? The developers only scare away the sparse users that actually want to try to use the product. Anyway, I gave up and dropped out.