dApps: Applications That Nobody Needs
Main page Opinion, Ethereum

The world of cryptocurrency and blockchain is smaller than it seems. When comparing the market for cryptocurrencies and the traditional financial one it becomes clear - we are still in a sandbox. One example that demonstrates the scale of the tragedy is dApps, or the decentralized applications. The phenomenon is rather interesting, there are thousands of applications, but only a handful of enthusiasts use them.

A decentralized application - a program that runs on top of a blockchain, using its power to store data, create smart contracts or work with derived tokens. Bitcoin is the first and a very special case of such an application. The cryptocurrency works on top of the blockchain. Distributed ledger essentially provides a transport and a database for the coins.

Almost all such solutions are based on the Ethereum network, which makes it easy to build programs on a blockchain. Standard dApp - CryptoKitties, a popular game where one can create and sell virtual cats. Top tear technological advances like Augur, a prediction platform also running off the ether blockchain. If we exclude these two popular examples and look at all the others, of which there are a lot of, it gets sad.

Today, numerous catalogs are helping users to plunge into the world of applications based on a blockchain - which is logical since the constantly emerging products need to be somehow systematized. At your service are the dApp.com, dAppList, dAppStore or StateofdApps. Looking at these sites you can quickly assess what is popular among the audience today. The numbers are laughable. Tens, hundreds of users at most. And even then, in questionable categories like gambling or financial pyramids. So we can confidently say that distributed applications exist, but nobody needs them yet.

The third most popular example is the decentralized exchange Idex, which today looks more like a prototype, rather than a working product and the numbers confirm this. Every day, the exchange is being used by a little more than a thousand people with weekly trading volumes of 22,000 ETH. Similar numbers are seen all around. The ForkDelta and GammaDEX exchanges serve 800-900 people daily. Traditional crypto exchanges are used daily by hundreds of thousands of people. It isn’t even worth comparing the two to be honest.

Other examples, such as the ability to create your own domain, where the ethereum network is used as the DNS, are interesting only from the point of view of experiments and the expansion of one’s own horizons. Using this is simply not feasible - in most cases, those projects are in the stage of deep development, or they have no practical application. It almost impossible to find living people who regularly use decentralized applications. This is not surprising, except for cats and other virtual monsters whose ownership is fixed by the blockchain market, there is nothing to be offered.

The statistics coming out of the cryptocurrency world, although do not flood us with an obscene number of zeroes, they are pleasing to the eye: today more than 25 million wallets are open, the Binance exchange reported about 9 million people willing to trade exchange. Coinbase is adding25,000 users per day. These are clear numbers that show market prospects. What does the dApps statistics show? They are used by a select few.

The main problem of all decentralized applications is the blockchain over which they work. Ethereum has already gone down once, under the influx of those who want to buy a virtual cat, and a chance that such an event may repeat of such an event is possible. As the introduction of fast protocols is constantly delayed, transactions may suddenly become expensive. You can imagine that a popular application will fall or become expensive to use - but the fate of such a decision is obvious - it will not work for a long time.

It’s not just ether that we have, other blockchains can be used. Some other popular ones are NEO and EOS. There have solved some issues related to the stability, scalability, and speed of transactions, but statistically, they still don’t account for much. The number for applications on alternative platforms are at the same level. Having just hundreds of users is a drop in the sea.

If you dream and imagine that the whole world is made up of blockchain - then of course applications that use its capabilities are the future. In our decentralized and hierarchical-free world, this is how it should be. But in order for this to happen, ethereum must be 100 times bigger and faster. But this is not the most important thing for the world right now, at least not today, but maybe tomorrow, compatible solutions that build upon the shortcomings of its predecessor, can surpass it. It’s unknown when this will happen, but neither during this or the next year will deliver any kind of a meaningful application.

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