While cryptocurrencies and digital assets are looking increasingly mainstream in 2021, decentralized applications (or dApps) are still on the periphery. Built entirely on blockchain technology, these applications represent a departure from the way digital platforms currently operate. They have no centralized owner or manager and they operate on smart contracts rather than legal contracts.
In 2021, some of these dApps have attracted a staggering number of users and immense capital. The decentralized web could be on the horizon. Here are the top three most popular dApps of 2021.
Less than three years old, Uniswap is already one of the most popular dApps on the decentralized web. The platform serves as a decentralized finance protocol that is used to exchange cryptocurrencies. In other words, it’s Coinbase without the central authority.
Despite the downturn in crypto valuations, Uniswap still manages to facilitate transactions worth $2 to $3 million every day on its network. At the time of writing, the dApp has over 52k users and over $9.18 billion in inflation-adjusted Total Value Locked.
Pancake Swap is a decentralized exchange much like Uniswap. However, this protocol is built on the Binance Smart Chain. It also incorporated many of the popular features of the Ethereum-based, including community governance, the ability to farm liquidity provider tokens and a bizarre food-based name.
At the time of writing, Pancake Swap appears to be one of the most popular dApps in the industry, with over 345k users and roughly $13.4 billion in inflation-adjusted Total Value Locked.
The boom in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) created a new segment of the market that attracted a lot of users. Many of these platforms are far less popular than they used to be when NFT-mania was at its peak, but are still active enough to be considered top-performing dApps.
AtomicMarket – a smart contract that makes it easy to build NFT marketplaces – is one of the most popular at the moment. With over 27k users at the time of writing, this platform is more popular than NBA TopShot, which only has 19k users.
Even the most popular and noteworthy dApps on this list only have tens of thousands of users. Meanwhile, startups and tools built on the traditional (centralized) web easily attract millions of users within a few months of launch. This highlights the fact that dApps are nowhere near mainstream yet and may have plenty of room to grow.