Ethereum is one of the most popular blockchain projects on the planet. Even outside the crypto space, Ethereum is often seen as a huge achievement in the technology world. Proposed in 2013, Ethereum came to life back in 2015. Since its first day on mainnet, Ethereum has successfully attracted everybody’s attention because it enables the creation of decentralized applications (also known as DApps). Since it got popular back in 2016 and 2017, it has become the go-to DApp platform.
At the present time, there are more than 2,800 DApps live on Ethereum. But obviously, not all of these DApps have active users and developments. That being said, some of them have successfully proved that Ethereum decentralized apps can compete with more centralized and mainstream financial applications. And considering Ethereum is still very young, it is fair to say that in the foreseeable future, this trend will only get better. So, what popular apps are currently being developed on Ethereum? Let’s find out together!
The most popular DApp on Ethereum is MakerDAO. It is also one of the most actively developed applications in the blockchain space. Basically, MakerDao is a decentralized lending facility, but it fully utilizes the power of Ethereum blockchain. MakerDao runs on a smart contract, which is the reason why so many users trust its lending platform.
The idea of MakerDao is that you can submit collaterals (such as Ether) and the platform would issue you a decentralized stablecoin called DAI, which has been natively designed to always follow the value of the US Dollar at 1-to-1 value.
DAI is different from more popular stablecoins such as USDC, PAX, or TUSD. Other stablecoins are able to peg their value to the dollar by proving that they have real dollars in their companies’ bank accounts. The bank accounts are then audited by third-party auditors. The most popular stablecoin, Tether, even takes it one step further. Tether never actually proves that it has the real dollars in the company’s bank account. They are only able to keep their operation by making all the crypto traders believe that each token is worth 1 dollar.
DAI, on the other hand, operates very differently from all these centralized (yet more popular) stablecoins. DAI successfully maintains its peg through some type of algorithms that use the over-collateralization concept. These days MakerDao is seen as the most successful example of DeFi (decentralized finance), and it is one of the most active applications that is being developed on Ethereum.
Another popular DApp that is still being actively developed on Ethereum is Kyber Network. For your information, Kyber Network is a platform where you can instantly trade and convert digital assets and crypto tokens with a high level of liquidity. The idea is to solve the liquidity problem in the decentralized exchange space.
The concept here is that Kyber Network can easily aggregate liquidity from different platforms and use them to power instant and secure token exchange in the decentralized ecosystem. They are hoping that more people would trade more in decentralized exchanges rather than trusting their money in centralized businesses where things can go wrong (i.e. with security issues).
Kyber Network itself has become more popular in recent years. While previously they were not able to get more than $1 million worth of daily trading volume, this year, they have been doing decently with $2-3 million worth of daily trading volume on average.
Another popular application that is still being developed on Ethereum is dYdX. It is a decentralized open exchange. The concept is similar to all the decentralized exchanges that come before it, but it takes the concept of DEX (decentralized exchange) one step more advance. With dYdX, you can trade, borrow, lend, and manage margin positions.
All of these features did not seem possible back in 2017, but now dYdX has proven itself its capability to interact with smart contracts and still provide all these finance-related features. It is like a marriage between a traditional DEX and a crypto lending platform.
It has over $3 million daily trading volume, which is still not high compared to top centralized exchanges, but its achievement is surely much better compared to the majority of applications in the blockchain space.
Another top Ethereum-based DApp that is worth to be mentioned is Compound.Finance. Compound.Finance is an interest rate protocol that solely depends on algorithms to unlock a world of open financial applications. In other words, Compound.Finance is a DeFi application.
While Compound.Finance is not as popular as the apps mentioned above, It still manages to get $3.2 million worth of daily trading volume. Its main purpose is to be used as “earn interest” applications or ecosystems – which is gaining popularity when the crypto market generally goes up.
There’s also Aave, which is another popular DeFi lending protocol built on top of Ethereum. Aave has been around since a while ago, but it was known as ETHLend at the time. After the rebranding, it looks like the efforts have successfully come into fruition. Nowadays Aave has over $800,000 worth of daily trading volume.
And yes, just like other Ethereum-based DeFi applications, you can also lend and borrow cryptocurrencies through Aave. Typically, people like to borrow stablecoins on Aave as margin traders do not want to “gamble” too much with ETH price when they already have to trade on leverage.
The popularity of Aave and other DeFi protocols have shown that Ethereum has matured compared to a few years ago.
Ethereum is the most popular DApp platform, and there are many apps currently being developed on top of it. Apart from the popular apps I listed above, there are also gambling applications like dice2.win and TKN and games like HyperSnakes and MegaCryptoPolis.
While in 2017, a popular crypto game called CryptoKitties had successfully taken the world by storm, but the crypto space has changed quite significantly since then.
At the present time, the majority of the non-financial applications are not really popular, and they have low levels of the trading volume. As of now (in 2020), the world of Ethereum applications is typically controlled by finance or trading-related DApps.
If this trend keeps on growing, the likes of MakerDao and Kyber Network might be able to compete with their centralized alternatives one day. And when that happens, we can finally celebrate the true success of decentralized blockchain platforms like Ethereum.