Ethereum dApp Roundup Part 2: Essentials
dApps are becoming increasingly popular regarding usage and sheer volume. In the second of this series, BTCManager will highlight some of the more prominent ones of the bunch, with the first installation discussing the ten dApps users can’t live without.
With Ethereum making the concept of dApps or decentralized applications, a likely avenue for developers to create value for the community, nearly 2,000 have been built since the platform’s inception. Each one looks to improve upon an existing function or introduce entirely new use cases. With so many to comb through, here are ten essential dApps every user should have in their toolkit.
What is it: Mobile crypto wallet enhanced with ERC20 capabilities.
Who is it for: Crypto-enthusiasts looking for a secure wallet with additional high-level features.
Originally known as Toshi, Coinbase Wallet was the world’s first mobile dApp browser when it launched just a little over a year ago. Since then, it has evolved into an offering that can manage not only ETH and ERC20 tokens but also ERC71 collectibles.
The wallet also can receive airdrops and ICO tokens, and users can even buy and sell from decentralized exchanges (DEXs) directly through the app. Coinbase has even announced that the wallet will support BTC, BCH, and LTC deposits and withdrawals very soon.
What is it: Browser-based bridge, allowing users to access dApps without a full node.
Who is it for: Users looking to access Ethereum’s decentralized network from any computer.
Metamask is similar to the first pick in that it allows users to easily interact with the offerings built upon Ethereum’s platform. In a sense, it’s a meta-dApp of sorts and helps users easily use other applications. Users can use Metamask by downloading the appropriate browser extension for Chrome, Opera, or Firefox, or through our next pick on the list, Brave Browser. Kevin Serrano of ConsenSys told BTCManager the following about the platform:
“Cryptocurrency is still an intimidating and fairly raw technology. If we are ever to reach true adoption, we have to make the tech trustworthy and accessible enough for normal people to use. In that sense, MetaMask accomplishes both of those goals by lowering barriers of entry (no need for a separate browser or dedicated node) and helping secure users (allowing users to review transactions, blacklist functionality, and an isolated extension environment). Perhaps this model may become outdated in the future, but as of now, MetaMask strives to continue, generally, to make BTC a more user-friendly environment.”
Who is it for: Users looking for a browser with class-leading speed and privacy, while offering the first viable way to support content creators through integrated micropayments.
What makes Brave a dApp isn’t the remarkable browser for users surfing the web. And while it touts comparatively faster speeds against Chrome and Firefox on desktop and 8x speeds on mobile, what truly sets it apart is the browser’s integration with their native Basic Attention Token (BAT).
Content creation hasn’t had a sustainable revenue model since the inception of the internet, and Brave allows users to give back to their favorite creators.
If users choose to activate Brave Payments, BAT can be given on a fixed contribution (one-time or repeated) or even automatically distributed based on how much time you spend on sites.
What is it: An Ethereum protocol relying heavily on smart contracts to allow anyone to run a decentralized exchange.
Who is it for: Traders looking to exchange the widest amount of assets, with liquidity that only increases as more applications are built upon the protocol.
With the dizzying amount of tokenized assets already recognized (as well as the ones yet to come), traditional exchanges won’t be able to accommodate the various needs and characteristics of each one.
0x works in two major ways: as an exchange and as a protocol to allow others to run their exchanges. These exchanges built upon 0x, known as relayers, are connected to 0x and enable users to quickly access any order book of any exchange connected through the protocol. Hey
Applications go beyond merely trading tokens and include decentralized loans, collectibles, and prediction markets to name a few.
What is it: A decentralized and autonomous crypto asset management system.
Who is it for: Crypto investors wanting to manage and invest in digital assets with a system built from the ground up for cryptocurrency.
While everybody would love to become a millionaire through investing in cryptocurrencies, simply not everybody is cut out to spend hours picking coins or merely care enough to do the due diligence.
Melonport allows users to create their funds, define rules for managing assets and allocations, and enable other users to invest in funds. Managers, of course, enjoy the performance of their fund and set a management fee to earn revenue from others invested.
The front end of the platform is hosted on IPFS, and the backend is managed by Ethereum smart contracts, giving Melonport an unparalleled efficiency in an $85 trillion industry.
Ethereum Name Service
What is it: A distributed naming service to bring human-readable addresses to the blockchains.
Who is it for: Anyone that doesn’t like long strings of digits and numbers.
Humor aside, Ethereum Name Service (ENS) allows users to register a unique name bound to their wallet. This allows a user to give out an address like “alice.mywallet.eth” instead of the usual 20+ character string of digits and letters that we’re all used to.
Smart contracts ensure everything works as intended, with names available for registration through an auction process handled by the blockchain. Twelve applications that support this name service are shown on their website including mobile wallets, desktop wallets, and exchanges.
What is it: A viral Ethereum collectible so popular, it’s made headlines for slowing down the entire Ethereum network.
Who is it for: Users wanting to play with adorable cats or looking to make a profit from breeding rare cats.
While the other dApps on this list have been for work, CryptoKitties reminds us that dApps can be for play too.
Users can buy and sell kitties on the market. Generation 0 kitties are released by the team every 15 minutes, with a max supply of 50,000 ever being created. Their price is determined by the average price of the last five CryptoKitties, with an additional 50 percent added on top of that.
Lower generation kitties have more value due to their ability to breed faster and their shorter “cooldown” period. The game has proved wildly successful and can make users a pretty penny if they play their cards right.
What is it: First smart contract exchange supporting real-time trading and high transaction throughput.
Who is it for: Traders looking to exchange on a platform in real-time with high-liquidity, low fees, and extreme security.
IDEX is an exchange built upon the 0x protocol mentioned above and allows traders to start trading without an account instantly. Funds don’t move unless signed by the user, so the exchange cannot trade, withdraw, or make any other transactions without your consent.
If the servers were ever to go down, users would even be able to withdraw their funds after a certain period directly from the smart contract. IDEX combines the efficiency of a centralized exchange with the security only fund in decentralized ones.
What is it: “A prediction market protocol owned and operated by the people that use it.”
Who is it for: Users looking to leverage “wisdom of the crowd” or to make money from predicting events.
While oracles and clairvoyance are something we wish we all had, technology has given us the second best thing: Wisdom of the crowd.
The wisdom of the crowd involves taking as large and diverse a group as possible and asking them the same question. The average of their answers tends to be far superior to any individual, including expert opinions. Augur takes this concept, decentralizes it, and allows users to use the protocol to make their prediction markets on virtually anything.
Users are incentivized to make their best guesses through the native currency REP. Correct predictions return staked REP plus a reward while incorrect predictions result in a loss of stake.
What is it: A way for businesses and individuals to have a secure and verified identity to use across the internet.
Who is it for: People or companies looking for a way to conveniently prove they are who they say they are as well as mitigate against identity theft.
While anonymity and privacy are trending in cryptocurrency and the technology sector, identity theft and fraud has been on the rise as well. Not knowing who the party you’re working with can sometimes be unwanted, and in those cases, Civic is there to help.
“For a dApp to be essential, it must be easy to integrate into our daily routines. Identity is a fundamental part of our day-to-day lives, but the concept of identity and how we prove who we are is rapidly changing. The key is figuring out how to transition the concept of identity to the modern world. Today, most identity verification systems are centralized, copy-driven, and exposed to a large number of risks and attacks. The need for secure, trusted digital identity is essential to helping people regain control over their personal information, and Civic is creating the platform that makes that possible.”
Users of the application save time from having to sign up and reverify themselves for every application that they use, while businesses save on costs and can approve new users faster.
While there are countless other dApps suited for individual needs, this roundup captures some of the most popular and applicable dApps for the widest range of individuals.