Ethereum is hailed as the platform which will bring about a brand new age of design, functionality and creativity in the digital realm. As Vitalik would say, “DApps” were to be the future of the internet. They allowed developers to build a platform to provide useful services for users. We are now seeing this come to pass, with the emergence of decentralized marketplaces which are more trustworthy than their central counterparts in terms of remaining feeless and free from censorship. This is all happening on Ethereum’s blockchain. It allows for unprecedented levels of innovation, free from censorship and third party influence.
Dappradar.com provides a list of dapps currently active on the Ethereum Network. The network has over 600 dapps, and a total of 14511.06 Ethereum is currently being transacted by users. This traffic is mostly centralized within a few dapps. The Ethereum platform has seen a proliferation of ICOs that were looking to fund all kinds of projects. However, the majority of these ICOs never gained any adoption. They are now pretty much dead. These projects were mainly criticized for making bad design decisions or creating a product that was too specific. For clarification, I would say that a Dapp such as CryptoKitties which had a solid start is a bit of novelty. It’s a trading card-game with some pyramid scheme elements.
The majority of dapps which have been adopted commercially are related to the trading of crypto assets. They also have the advantage of being easy to use. The simplicity of the design and not having to use native tokens made it easier for users to accept. While these numbers are small compared to those of centralized apps, it is important to keep in mind that the technology behind decentralized blockchains was still in its infancy. New technological advancements that improve transaction speed, scalability and user experience will be made as new technologies are developed. We should also expect to see an increase in the number of users as new technological achievements improve scalability, user experience, transaction speeds etc.
After the introduction, let’s take a look at the 5 most popular dapps on Dappradar.com, sorted according to their user base.
IDEX, a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange run by Aurora Company, was created in 2012. The exchange allows real-time trades of Ethereum tokens, and ERC-20 tokens. It has just recently reached 150 thousand users. It is the most popular dapp in the Ethereum marketplace, with 3123 users active within the past 24 hours. In the same period, 8500 ETH were exchanged on the Ethereum platform and nearly 20000 transactions took place. These numbers may be lower than usual due to this article being published on the weekend.
Decentralized exchanges, or DEXs, allow users to trade tokens while maintaining control of their private keys. This is becoming more and more important as a result of centralized exchanges being hacked and having internal vulnerabilities. IDEX, a smart exchange based upon Ethereum contracts, is a great replacement for EtherDelta.
ForkDelta, ranked second, is both a decentralized app and a decentralized trading platform. Its users can trade Ethereum tokens as well as ERC20. Its name suggests that it was a fork from the EtherDelta Project. Arseniy Ilvanov, its owner and founder, cited EtherDelta’s departure from “the original spirit of the [project]” as his main motivation for creating ForkDelta. The current statistics are 1920 users per day, with 4326.95ETH being traded and 6135 transactions.
ForkDelta shares a centralization element with IDEX. They both use a centralized ordering system. The two teams see this weakness as well and want to move as quickly as possible towards decentralizing these parts of their operation. ForkDelta must send the majority of its fees back to EtherDelta because it is currently tied to EtherDelta’s smart contract. ForkDelta, on the other hand, is doing well and aiming to achieve various roadmap goals.
Bancor is the bronze-winning Ethereum app for today. The 1192.74 ETH that 510 users traded daily in 1217 transactions was enough to earn the third position. The name of the app is a reference to J.M.Keynes’ proposed Bancor currency that was intended to be used as a unit in multilateral clearing systems for international trade. This is what’s known as a “market maker” Dapp, which allows users to buy or sell smart tokens for prices similar to those on the major exchanges.
Bancor is similar to traditional exchanges, but it doesn’t connect buyers and sellers. Instead, users can buy or sell the BNT tokens, which provides a smart contract-based mechanism for liquidity. The platform provides liquidity for the crypto community with a Bancor Wallet that allows users to purchase ETH using debit/credit cards. Over 90 tokens are currently active (and more will be added in the future) and there are over 4000 trading pair.
Remember the dapp that let you buy images of bad computer algorithm-generated cats and then feed, breed, trade, or even sell them? It’s the same app that at one time was so popular it caused Ethereum to slow down. CryptoKitties is the name of this dapp, and even though its hype has waned, it’s still very much alive. The dapp was a hit with the older generation who grew up breeding Tamagochis, cleaning them up and feeding them. As a result of this, CryptoKitties took up 20 percent of Ethereum’s computing power. The popularity of this dapp was such that many imitators were created, like Tron Dogs and EtherBots. PepeDapp was the latest imitation to be released. It is a dapp that lets users trade Pepe memes.
Arthur Camara, the creator of Cryptokitties, had envisioned that one day ERC721 Tokens would replace his art. This craze was never going to be around for long as user numbers have dropped dramatically (some estimate that the network is down 97% since its peak levels). This is partly due to the fact that the CryptoKitties game runs on a website not related to smart contracts, causing the numbers of users shown by Dappradar. This smart contract recorded 417 users today who traded assets worth 23.37 Ethereum in 3581 transactions.
POWH 3D will be the final dapp of today. It is a platform that allows users to exchange Ethereum tokens for P3D. The tokens have a unique twist. Every time someone buys P3D on the network every P3D owner receives Ethereum based on how many P3Ds they currently hold. The dapp offers users “free Ethereum” for holding P3D tokens.
When you buy 5 P3D or more tokens you automatically qualify as a Node Master (yes, you’re a master node). You are given your unique master link that you can use to promote. You receive 33% from all the fees that would have been paid into the P3D contract if they had purchased it through your master-node. An article on scamorno.com claims that this is active income from PoWH3D. The percentage increases if you have more P3D coins.
This project has been called a “pyramid scheme” by some people, and that’s not far off the mark. The project started as a 4chan joke (the abbreviation is “proof of weakness hands”) to show how pyramid schemes operate. It was so popular at one time that there were around 2000 users active daily. With 269 users active, 2.54 ETH has been exchanged in 385 transactions. It’s never a good idea to invest in projects that are similar to pyramid schemes. You may be buying during the peak of the hype and lose money because no one will come in to cover your “mining fee”.