Compared to Gaming and Gambling Dapps, DeFi Is Still Behind

A closer look at the data shows that decentralized applications are struggling to gain traction, and DeFi is not the main use case.

Jan 3, 2020 at 9:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:54 a.m. UTC

Despite the ongoing hype surrounding the growth and popularity of decentralized finance (DeFi) applications last year, gaming and gambling remain the most popular use cases for blockchain apps. 

According to blockchain analytics site Dapp.com, there are approximately four times as many users for both gaming and gambling decentralized applications (dapps) than DeFi across seven different smart contract platforms as of Dec. 31.

CoinDesk - Unknown

The growth of DeFi applications was primarily concentrated this year on the ethereum blockchain.

According to Dapp.com, over 75 percent of DeFi applications are active on ethereum, while the second most popular smart contract platform for DeFi is EOS, with 11 percent of active DeFi apps. 

Looking just at ethereum, the growth of DeFi over the year is more apparent. At several points throughout the year, DeFi apps beat out gaming and gambling apps in terms of number of users.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Beyond these three dapp categories, the number of users in the entire dapp ecosystem across 10 different smart contract platforms, including ethereum, has declined. 

Data from blockchain analytics site DappRadar shows that the number of dapp users has shrunk 62 percent from a high of 110,000 in May to 41,000 at the beginning of December. Even the number of active dapps across these 10 blockchain platforms has decreased from 529 to 370. 

CoinDesk - Unknown

In spite of the growth in popularity and discussion surrounding DeFi this year, the data suggests the dapp ecosystem is still struggling to gain traction. 

According to DappRadar communications director Jon Jordan, the little activity that was generated this year by dapps was concentrated in a handful of projects. 

“18 percent of the active dapps on ethereum accounted for 99 percent of [total dapp ecosystem] value. … A very small number of dapps accounts for the vast majority of dapp value on ethereum. In that context, the number of dapps running on a blockchain is irrelevant,” Jordan said in an email to CoinDesk. 

Strong optimism

Taking a step back, it would seem the year’s downward trend follows a longer decline in new dapp adoption seen since late 2018, according to blockchain analytics site State of the Dapps. 

CoinDesk - Unknown

Even so, many in the crypto industry still believe in the potential for blockchain technology to serve as the infrastructure for a new internet.

Muneeb Ali, CEO of blockchain startup Blockstack, is confident that the “Web 3” use case for blockchain will one day attract hundreds of millions of new users. 

“We started focusing last year on getting real applications on our platform. The next challenge? Getting, say, a million users on these applications. No one has that yet in crypto,” Ali said in an interview with CoinDesk in November. 

It’s an optimistic and ambitious goal shared by the CEO of Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), Charles Hoskinson, who is also building a general-purpose blockchain platform called Cardano specifically for new DeFi applications. 

According to Hoskinson, the industry simply needs more time to develop the appropriate technology for dapp development and execution. 

“I look at the five to ten-year horizon," Hoskinson said during an interview with CoinDesk in September." No one has reached adoption or scale yet. It’s still very early days."

The Festival for the Decentralized World
Thursday - Sunday, June 9-12, 2022
Austin, Texas
Save a Seat Now

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
Sequoia's Guide to Surviving the 2022 Bear Market

Venture capitalists have gotten increasingly frantic over the last few months.

Venture capitalists have gotten increasingly frantic over the last few months.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
NFT Art Museums Are a Good Idea

The metaverse turns galleries global, and helps fund the arts. This article is part of “Metaverse Week."

The metaverse turns galleries global, and helps fund the arts. This article is part of “Metaverse Week."

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
How the US Can Establish Itself as a Crypto Leader

Regulators have an opportunity to map out thoughtful, strategic policy on stablecoins and beyond.

Regulators have an opportunity to map out thoughtful, strategic policy on stablecoins and beyond.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
No, the UK Is Not Going to Make USDC and USDT Legal Tender

For “legalize” read “regulate.”

For “legalize” read “regulate.”

CoinDesk - Unknown