update 18 August 2021

5 Blockchain Platforms That Will Dominate the Dapp Ecosystem in 2020

Decentralized applications (dApps) have brought a significant change in the field of blockchain tech. They are a new type of software application that does not undergo downtime and is not owned by any central authority. 

In recent months, Dapps have been making inroads in various fields like gambling, technology, education, finance, and other areas. 

Ethereum (ETH) was the first blockchain that unlocked Dapp’s true potential by allowing developers worldwide to create unique apps on the platform. Many other blockchain networks joined in with time, resulting in a robust and exciting Dapp market that shows increasing growth potential.  

This guide looks at the top blockchain ecosystems dominating the market and examining what we can expect from the industry’s top Dapp projects.  

Ethereum

Ethereum has, without a doubt, been the leading network for developing Dapps since it’s launch. The ambitious blockchain network has set a new record of daily active unique wallet count user base, increasing 82% this year, compared to Jan. 2019. 

The platform has now reached a daily average of about 16,840 users with a total transaction volume of Dapps hitting $5.64 billion in 2020 Q1, an increase of 652% compared to the last years Q1 the latest Dapp Market report published in April 2020.  

Decentralized finance (DeFi) has been making waves over the last several months, and Skirmantas Januskas, CEO of DappRadar, is particularly delighted with the explosion in DeFi Dapps on Ethereum. 

The primary driver of growth on ETH is MakerDAO, a decentralized credit service that runs on the blockchain platform. MakerDAO led the DeFi category with an average of more than 350 daily active users, followed by Compound with over 240 users. 

In 2020 Q1, the ETH ecosystem was very diverse, with Dapps in categories like Games and Casino maintaining the last year’s level. Finance and Exchange Dapps, on the other hand, gained massive growth over the previous three months. 

TRON

TRON has seen a rise in 2020, with a user base that has grown 33% so far, hinting that TRON may take the lead in daily active users. Moreover, activity across all TRON Dapps was up 18% during Q1 of 2020. 

According to the latest DappRadar report, drivers of this substantial growth included new gambling Dapps such as Play Royal and Xdapp, with previously popular TRON gambling apps such as WINk and 888TRON maintained their audience.

The TRON blockchain has always compared itself to Ethereum, and Justin Sun, Founder of TRON, even considers his platform superior to Ethereum in terms of privacy, scalability, and dApps. 

Moreover, TRON continues to break records to gain new users even during the novel Coronavirus pandemic, with the blockchain network registering its highest daily increase of new accounts on April 19th. 

In the coming months, the TRON network may well scale new heights with the forthcoming launch of its 4.0 version, maybe even beating Ethereum as the platform of choice for the development of Dapps.  

However, while TRON’s total of daily active unique wallets has increased steadily, this growth is concentrated in one category — Gambling & High-Risk. This selective growth shows that the TRON project still doesn’t appear to be maturing as a blockchain for Dapps in other groups.

EOS

EOS secures and scales thousands of transactions per second with the main aim of providing a complete operating system for Dapps via services such as authentications, cloud storage, and server hosting.  

EOS started 2019 positively, but the 2nd half of last year was a slow downhill ride. The EIDOS airdrop sparked network congestion, which impacted general Dapp usage.  

Consequently, total daily active unique wallets across all EOS Dapps have dropped by 8% in Q1 2020 compared to December 2019, while the EOS user base in the Gambling and High-Risk sector has also decreased by 29%. 

That said, the EOS project has held on to the number 3 spot in terms of most active Dapp blockchain ecosystems as per DappRadar’s latest ranking.  

The project will likely rebound within the coming months, with the most popular Dapps on EOS currently being in the Game & Marketplace categories. 

Case in point, exchange Dapp’s transaction volume has managed to jump from $386 million to $1.2 billion in Q1 2020 to become the most significant sector on EOS despite all the difficulties mentioned above.  

NEO

Over the past few years, the Chinese-centric NEO blockchain hasn’t seen much activity, but Q1 of 2020 saw the launch of some promising Dapps, which kick-started growth.  

Launched in March 2020, mobile game NEOFish has quickly become the most popular NEO Dapp with more than 1,000 daily active unique users. The result was a big jump in activity, marking NEO as one of the leading Dapp development platforms to keep an eye on in the coming months.  

Moreover, Switcheo pumped equity into the project on January 28th, 2020, and pledged to support the Neo ecosystem by allowing users to pay trading fees on Switcheo Exchange using GAS tokens instead SWTH tokens. 

NEO’s growth trajectory looks bright, but just how high the project will go will be determined by the popularity of NEOFish in upcoming months and whether more interesting Dapps will join the Neo ecosystem. 

IOST

IOST is a revolutionary blockchain network that utilizes Proof of Believability (PoB). As of 2020 Q1, there were 34 active Dapps on IOST, of which Game and Casino are the two main Dapp categories. 

The total transaction volume of IOST Dapps reached an impressive $10M in the initial three months of 2020, with daily transaction volume peaking at $701K in Jan.16, mainly driven by Casino Dapp, iPirates. 

The platform uses Proof of Believability and hosts dozens of Dapps. Still, only 3 of them — IOST Ball, Virus Battle, and XPET — have found any significant audience with more than 100 daily unique active wallets.  

However, the platform shows promise as a significant Dapp development project in the future, mainly because all three best performers on IOST maintained their audience during Q1 2020.   

Author’s Thoughts

Decentralized application use has seen impressive growth in the last year, according to The 2019 Annual Dapp Market Report, with transaction volumes, active users, and active Dapps showing a steep upward curve. 

So far, there have been some surprising occurrences in terms of the performance of top blockchains. For example, daily active wallets for Ethereum and TRON have increased dramatically, while EOS faces a decrease in daily active users. 

That said, this year promises even more impressive growth for Dapps with applications in various sectors such as gambling, finance, and entertainment. 

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The five blockchain ecosystems examined above are actively developing practical Dapps that are worth keeping an eye on in 2020.

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