Bitcoin Basics

An in-app education framework to turn bitcoin-curious users into confident investors with accessible financial literacy

Lead product designer
Cash App, 2021 - 2023
Product, content design, research, data science, engineering, customer support

The problem

Bitcoin purchases were one of the top revenue drivers across all of Cash App. Despite the bitcoin tab attracting millions of visitors per month, only 2% actually bought bitcoin. The team’s goal was to increase bitcoin conversions and drive adoption by new users.

The original bitcoin home screen that new users would see

Foundational research

I partnered with research to explore Cash App’s bitcoin onboarding to understand the first-time customer journey. Cross-functional team members joined in to engage with customers and build empathy. This included interviews, surveys, and prototype testing.

A diagram of the old UI of the Cash App bitcoin home screen with call-outs from customer research sessions.


  1. Only one third of Cash App customers grasped the basics of bitcoin.
The rest perceived it as expensive, risky, and confusing.
  2. The interface heightened fears of price volatility, used technical jargon, and emphasized buying bitcoin over understanding it.
  3. Customers were curious about bitcoin, but needed to understand it before they were ready to buy it.


Educating our customers about the fundamentals of bitcoin will give them the confidence to start investing and will position Cash App a source of accessible financial literacy.

Motion graphics I modeled and animated for an internal presentation

Product strategy

Cash App’s mission is to provide economic empowerment for all, but with a lack of financial education within the app, we were falling short of a key opportunity.

As a product team, we created a strategy to develop an education platform that could exist alongside our robust set of bitcoin features to enable new customers to feel confident investing in bitcoin.

Design process

We knew customers wanted educational content, but we didn’t yet know what format would be most effective for this type of content. We planned to run a second round of research to narrow down which design patterns were most compelling and effective for motivating customers to make their first bitcoin purchase.

Defining the learning style

I led an exercise with research participants to explore different content formats that could be used for educational purposes.

Early content type explorations

How did education rank among other modules?

In one research exercise, customers built their own bitcoin applet home screen from their choice of pre-designed modules. Education (colored tiles) was by far the most used and talked about as the most compelling.

Experimental modules from a drag-and-drop exercise conducted with customers

Refining content types

Customers preferred micro-learning over longer articles and other formats. It was important to for the content to live on a surface that felt familiar, interactive, and accessible to users. Cards were a nod to traditional studying, but felt too much like rote memorization. Quizzes provided a fun interaction, but made some users worry about getting the answers right. The story format hit the mark.

UI explorations of card stacks, an end-of-lesson quiz, and stories (the crowd favorite)

Telling the story

In partnership with content design, we established a storytelling approach that would achieve clarity and simplicity through both the visual design and language choices.

Integrating illustration

To de-risk the creative workload, I sourced illustrations from the existing Story of Bitcoin microsite that were emotive, humorous, and non-technical.

Where it would live?

I explored different navigation patterns for users to find the educational content. A dedicated education hub could provide the most functionality, but wasn’t as quick to access as showing content on the main bitcoin surface, alongside the other primary functionality.

UI exploration of a chapter detail screen with flowchart showing new customer journey to buying bitcoin via education

Reframing the bitcoin home screen

The previous bitcoin applet home was cluttered with jargon, focused too much on the price of bitcoin, and made customers feel forced into buying before they understood the fundamentals of bitcoin. I redesigned the screen to focus on Cash App’s low-risk, $1 entry-point, and a clear path forward to learning.

Before (left) and after (right) UI designs of the bitcoin applet home screen


These numbers are based on Q1 2024 rollout at 10%

Bitcoin basics successfully onboarded over

2 Million

new customers to bitcoin through an educational and confidence-building experience.

Bitcoin customer conversion rate



Bitcoin customer conversion rate



Average lessons completed


per customer

Lesson completion rate


per customer

Designing for content at scale

I leveraged Newsroom, powered by Google Amp to build lesson content in a way that made it easy for anyone to update, add to, and integrate into the native Cash App client.

Editing a Bitcoin Basics story in the Newsroom web client

Broader impact across Cash App

Bitcoin Basics spearheaded a company-wide initiative focused on enhancing financial literacy efforts.

Possible lesson titles based on cross-team critique visibility