Do they really want our money?

Keir Finlow-Bates
3 min readAug 4, 2022


Last month I hauled Microsoft over the coals for their appalling user account system. Today it is the turn of Sony.

Here’s a simple task — buy a €4.95 mod for a game on the #Playstation that your son really wants for his birthday.

First — 🎧 sony .com or 🎮 playstation .com? Let’s try the former. A helpful message says, “Log on with one of your accounts”. There you already have the first problem: I have three.

Why do I have three accounts? Because these corporations set things up so you end up with lots of accounts. More “users” for their marketing statistics I suppose.

I pick the wrong one at first (it’s for my oldest son), go through the whole login procedure, and then pick the right one.

The login procedure involves:

🦉 picking an owl out of a panel of cartoon animals
🔑 entering my password
📲 entering a code texted to my phone

Then I’m on a website that has a “login” button. I click it, and it turns out I am logged in, it’s just that the site hasn’t dynamically updated.

Now for payment.

To add funds I need to click on my 👤 profile icon, and select “Payment Management”. I know this, because I had to Google it the first three times I used the site.

Wallet balance — too low. A debit card number and a credit card number 💳. I click on one of those.

Wrong choice. That’s for deleting or updating the card details. I need the unobtrusive white button on a white background in the middle of a column of ten web components, the rest of which are colorful. They really don’t want me to spend money.

Now I get an almost identical panel, but this time I do need to click on a credit card. I do so, and it’s off to a “Verified by Visa” pane.

For which I need my phone and the verification app. And my PIN. What was it for my online purchases card? Time to check on Lastpass.

There we go, PIN entered.

Oh — the image you see below turns up after a three minute wait. I try it again, and it’s the same outcome. And my balance isn’t increased. Not for now, anyway. Who knows — perhaps tomorrow I’ll have an extra €10 there.

This worked before, so I wonder what went wrong. I guess I have to leave my office and go to the PS4 console.

There it turns out I can directly purchase the mod pack, because at some point I added my credit card details. Gotta remember that — they’ll need deleting later on.

Entering a password (which I look up on Lastpass) is a pain with a 🎮 Dualshock controller, but I manage it.

Then it’s off to my bank verification system. I need my bank user ID. It’s handily stored in Lastpass. I enter that with the Dualshock.

Back to my phone, where the authenticator app is asking for my PIN. I tap the screen five times, entering it.

It’s approved! The boy has his mod pack!

⏳ And I have lost 30 minutes of my life, and entered three passwords, five pin codes, two texted codes, and completed two CAPTCHAs.

Yet people say that #crypto and #blockchain are complicated…

About the author

Parenting is a joy

Keir Finlow-Bates is a blockchain researcher, smart contract developer, inventor, and writer. He lives in Finland with his wife and eight children.

If you found this article insightful or educational, you’ll love his book, Move Over Brokers Here Comes The Blockchain, which explains blockchain through the use of analogies without oversimplifying the topic.



Keir Finlow-Bates

CEO and co-founder of Chainfrog Oy, a Finnish startup researching and developing advanced blockchain technologies.