The proliferation of distributed apps (dApp) may have a bottleneck and access problem and hinge on the terms of service on the Google Play and Apple’s stores. The marketplace, which ranks general apps and allows for unprecedented visibility, may be close for crypto projects.
Recently, Google Play blocked the MetaMask wallet app, citing access to potentially fraudulent investment schemes. Other dApps have difficulty appearing in search results, and the jury is still out on which ones would be eligible. It may turn out the dApp space is not immune to centralized attack points, and can actually be censored from digital storefronts.
As Cuy Sheffield, crypto chief at Visa commented, app stores may break the narrative of success for decentralized platforms.
1/ One area that seems under discussed in crypto is the impact decisions from Apple and Google will have on the opportunity and adoption of decentralized applications within the iOS and Android operating systems which could determine success of the smart contract platform thesis
— Cuy Sheffield (@cuysheffield) June 15, 2018
Wallets are agnostic technology
Wallets are agnostic technology. However, it is possible some of those tools can give access to crypto-based finance, which can be inherently dangerous or dishonest. Some dApps and token platforms present activity that may be disguising a Ponzi scheme.
Recently, simulated mining has also taken over some of the networks, affecting leading platforms like Ethereum, EOS, and TRON. The Ethereum network can, in theory, rely on the MetaMask wallet to send ETH tokens to the HEX scheme, a simulated mining technique that generates a new token.
The dApp space initially relied on desktop users and other early adopters that were comfortable with crypto technology. But the decision to reach a wide array of users has created the drive to spread dApps to the mobile store.
Mobile store presence has also created problems of faked wallets, which end up stealing private keys or coins outright. Despite the growth of dApps, the overwhelming influence and control of both Google and Apple may stop the growth of dApp users.
In 2019, statistics show a growth of dApp users, with gambling and DeFi the biggest sources of growth. Gaming is also up, but the contentious nature of crypto lending and the legality of gambling dApps may curb growth.
Gambling Still Leads Dapp Growth
Despite growth in all dApp areas, gambling remained the leading cause for gaining users and coin transfers.
The growth of dApps finally took off in 2019, giving hope that at least some of the platform projects took off. While Ethereum (ETH) revealed growth across all categories, the leading interest was in gambling dApps.
Based on the analysis of Ryan Selkis, gambling was once again the “killer app” for the crypto space.
🎲 2019 was a big year for gambling dApps
— Messari (@MessariCrypto) December 30, 2019
One of the reasons for growth includes the TRON platform, which hosts the most active gambling dApps. Among them, WINk (WIN) stood out, as its tokens were distributed in an IEO through Binance.
Using tokens to gamble adds a layer of anonymity. The presence of gambling dApps in Asia also taps into a wealthy, highly addicted marketplace. The sector harnessed the rising online casino technologies, while also offering a much faster, anonymous payment tool.
Gambling dApps have also competed for taking the top spots and increasing visibility. It is uncertain what part of the activity is driven by bots, to grow statistics. Currently, 888TRON is the most active gambling dApp, but the chart always changes. The TRON network still sees its top 10 dApps only in the gambling category, which facilitates robust token transfers.
In 2019, the EOS platform turned out to be unsuitable for some dApps. EOSBet, one of the most active gambling environments, decided to migrate as EOS resources were consumed by EIDOS simulated mining. TRON, on the other hand, managed to survive, as its resources are allocated in a different manner.
Distributed apps go into the new year with some optimism, but also a big hurdle. App storefronts have decided to target those startups as potentially breaking the terms of service, especially if related to finance or gambling. Dapp’s growth has also differentiated between successful and failing platforms.
In 2019, previously hyped platforms actually failed to carry distributed apps. Tezos shows almost no transfers, Cardano is still mostly in testnet mode, and Hedera Hashgraph crashed due to faulty tokenomics, with its network breaking down and shutting down some of its Council Nodes.
Dapps are no indicator of token price success, but they are an encouraging use case for crypto assets.