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The Blockchain Industry’s DApp Ecosystem


17 Feb 2020

Blockchain & Crypto

The blockchain industry continues to grow, with more and more of us beginning to recognise the profound impact the technology will have. Whilst blockchain technology is still relatively in its primitive stages, it will soon to be an integral extension that will underpin how we interact with one another. And though we are witnessing blockchain strengthen its foothold in the mainstream arena, we are only really just scratching the surface with what is possible with the technology; the best is still truly yet to come.

As it stands, the general perception of blockchain technology itself has long been synonymous with cryptocurrencies. We’ll explore this further in a later piece, but for now, we will specifically focus on three specific blockchain platforms in Ethereum, TRON, and EOS, and what they currently offer to the space.

But first, let’s start with the basics.

So, what is blockchain simplified?

Blockchain technology allows information to be distributed on a network; it is available in the public domain and accessible at any time. Blockchain is also the technology that underpins digital currencies, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and TRON and represents true ownership of value.

Sets of information are validated and subsequently stored on a distributed ledger where this information becomes immutable; it cannot be changed in any way. The blockchain’s immutability positions the technology as a front-runner in terms of trust, certainty, and security. What’s more, considering the trust and certainty associated with the technology, it is much more cost effective as it removes the need for intermediaries. It is important to note that different blockchains confirm and record transactions at different speeds.

The information is constantly updated by a network, is stored in multiple locations, and updated instantly. The fact that the blockchain is decentralised means it is much more difficult to hack as the information stored exists in millions of places, and is updated simultaneously; to change one piece of information will require changing it everywhere.

What is a “DApp”?

DApps, or decentralised applications, run exactly as programmed apps, albeit they have the ability to function without the possibility of censorship, downtime, fraud or any other third-party interference.

There are many categories of DApps, which can be adopted into real-life uses, including:

  • Exchanges
  • Gambling and high risk
  • Games and marketplaces
  • DeFi (decentralised finance)

In this growing industry, who are the main players?

Undoubtedly the most popular blockchain, Bitcoin first launched in 2008; an apt solution to the huge financial crash that year. So whilst Bitcoin must be considered as a main player, as introduced, we will focus on the following:

  • Ethereum
  • EOS
  • TRON

DApp analysis firm, DappRadar, looked into the aforementioned blockchains, acknowledging that the performances of each can provide an insight into the direction of the DApp ecosystem. According to DappRadar, daily active users of both Ethereum and TRON have experienced growth between January 2019 to January 2020, while EOS is facing a 61% decrease.

As Ethereum and TRON continue to show positive trends in terms of growth, it was in fact Ethereum that demonstrated the most growth, with TRON leading in terms of daily active unique wallets.

Below, DappRadar have identified the most popular categories by daily active unique wallet split.

Credit: DappRadar.Credit: DappRadar.

For Ethereum, daily active wallets has seen an overall increase of 82% (between January 2019 and January 2020), with the number going from 9,264 to a 30-day trailing average of 16,840 daily active wallets.

As you can see, Ethereum’s most popular category is in “Games and Marketplaces”, which has increased 163%. Games on the Ethereum blockchain are undoubtedly benefitting from such a large and active community, as Brave Frontier Heroes recorded 1,240 daily active wallets on the first day.

Credit: DappRadar.Credit: DappRadar.

Despite getting off to a positive start in 2019, high congestion on the EOS network caused by the EIDOS airdrop has ultimately resulted in a constant drop in daily active users; at the beginning of 2020, daily active unique wallets have dropped to almost 12,000.

The “Gambling and High Risk” category saw a total decrease of 29%, with Gamblr, Dice, and EOS Royal most affected by the dip. Once again, however, “Games and Marketplaces” lead daily activity, with the top three DApps driving the blockchain’s growth, EOS Dynasty and Prospectors recording 3,751 and 2,300 daily active unique wallets, respectively.

Credit: DappRadar.Credit: DappRadar.

Last, but by no means least, is TRON; the blockchain native to our very own IGGalaxy. Daily active unique wallets on the network have increased by 33%, as TRON’s daily active user wallets increased to nearly 20,000.

Despite this, you will see that “Gambling and High Risk” DApps are most popular, with 888TRON recording in excess of 2,600 daily active unique wallets. Unlike the other two blockchains, “Games and Marketplaces” unique wallets have decreased by roughly 7%, which points towards evidence that TRON is yet to expand its DApps outside gambling.

TRON’s best could still be yet to come…

Considering TRON is still in its infancy, having gained independence from Ethereum in 2018, it is no surprise that gambling and high-risk DApps hold the majority share. However, TRON’s acquisition of file-sharing and streaming platform, BitTorrent, and a recent partnership with Samsung could see TRON begin to move away from gambling and high-risk DApps; in this instance, it is likely we will see a greater adoption of TRON and TRX.

Blockchain x Gaming

As blockchain technology stands to potentially permeate almost every industry, the notion of blockchain gaming promises many benefits to the gaming industry.

This past Tuesday, our co-founders attended an event hosted by BlockRocket Tech and Blockchain Manchester, who discussed the current state of blockchain-based gaming.

Looking at the current video games industry, game developers and publishers create their games around the players with the intention of creating fun, enjoyable and entertaining products. Blockchain-based games, however, are not focused on this. Whilst blockchain games do in fact attempt to balance the traditional aspects of gaming, these games provide new economic models, supported by blockchain; this essentially creates a different dynamic.

Furthermore, players of blockchain-based games are likely to be more focused on the monetary incentives associated, as opposed to top-quality graphics and in-depth storylines. Without a doubt, these type of games are more targeted towards members of the crypto community.

Ethereum led the way in 2019, but will TRON’s gaming audience make ground this year?Ethereum led the way in 2019, but will TRON’s gaming audience make ground this year?

On the whole, blockchain games can be very clunky, and the same can be said for DApp browses (a decentralised browser used to access DApp). The overall consensus was that although blockchain undoubtedly does have a space in gaming, finding the balance between monetary incentives that blockchain gaming offers, and ease-of-use for the end-users is paramount. In fact, this is where we may see TRON’s partnership with Samsung flourish.

Here, we have condensed very broad topics in blockchain and blockchain-based gaming. The ultimate aim will be to revisit aspects of this article, to provide our community with a greater insight to the industry at large.

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