Signs of Life in the dApp Market

tl;dr: The dapp market, though still small, is growing. Gambling and betting is taking the lead hinting at future disruption.

Ten years ago, there was no such thing as the Apple App Store.

By the end of that year, 2009, there were “over 65,000 mobile apps built on iOS and they generated $4.2 billion in revenue.” (source: Gartner)

Today, the App Store generates over $22 billion in revenue, 5x what it did ten years ago.

I bring this up because of the growth of the dApp market, of decentralized Applications-those that run on blockchain-based smart contract platforms.

Can dApps Restore Our Faith? – Data Driven Investor

Last year, according to a recently released report by, was the “Year of the Dapp” and they contributed $6.7 billion throughout 2018.

Now, it’s not an “apples to apples” comparison (pun intended) because a fair amount of Dapp (or dApp) usage for currency exchanges, but that’s not to say nothing is happening.

Because something certainly is and I want to put it in context.

The date of the Ethereum ICO was August 17, 2015, not even four years ago, and today there are more than 1,000 applications running on it.

It was an IDEA and these applications were, literally, impossible. Today, an ecosystem is taking shape right in front of our eyes…if only we can see it.

The big challenge for all of these is usage. The numbers are not there at all. There’s too much friction to get onto dapps and they are pretty slow when you do get on, but they are there.

Perhaps even more impressive is what is happening in both EOS (which I have covered here) and Tron.

At the time of this writing, the top 24 dapps are running on one of those 2 blockchains.

Almost all of them are gambling are betting games and while the numbers are paltry compared to centralized alternatives (less than 10k people per day), there are two things I see that are worth noting.

  • the number of dapp users is growing. A few weeks ago, I shared a report that showed about 10k dapp users per month. Now, the top 5 dapps have 30k users per day with $100k of transaction volume.
  • we are witnessing the earliest stages of the disruption of the online gambling and betting industries because of the “provably fair” nature of these games.

Imagine what happens to these markets when it is not a total PITA to actually get on them and use them.

Imagine what happened to the Internet when AOL sent out CDs to everyone.

Perhaps this is all confirmation bias for my crypto thesis, but what I love about blockchain is that you can verify all of the numbers for yourself.

I hate this part of the cycle. It’s kind of lonely and people doubt you.

All around, there’s evidence of massive change coming, it’s just not obvious.

In ten years from now, we’ll be talking about the global dApp store and everyone will know what it is.

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