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The Best DApps Running on the Ethereum Blockchain

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Image Credit: Luis Gomes/Pexels

DApps are everywhere now, and for good reason. They are cheap, run on decentralized smart contracts, and need little manual intervention. Here are five of the best DApps you can start using right now.

1. CryptoKitties

No list of Ether DApps is complete without CryptoKitties. The now infamous game that brought the network to its knees at its launch in November 2017.

Part game, part crypto collectible app, but very addictive, this DApp has some serious high-rollers involved. This community lets you buy and sell virtual cats, which get stored on Ether’s blockchain. You can imagine the consequences when thousands of users flock to play this game during a demanding time for the network.

A mysterious user paid 600ETH for one (yep, one) CryptoKitty. Considering you can buy a house or a luxury car with that much Ethereum, it’s safe to say that whoever owns this cat is a crypto-baller.

The popularity of CryptoKitties has waned recently, with less than 1000 weekly users. Still, it’s a fun game, with beautiful artwork. Take a look at Gavin’s piece on crypto collectables if you want to learn about other fun collectable games.

2. Maker DAO

The Maker DAO is currently one of the largest DAPPs running on Ethereum. With over 20 thousand active users weekly, Maker’s popularity endures. Founded in December 2017, Maker comprises of a decentralized stablecoin, collateral loans, and community governance.

The Dai credit system uses the MKR governance token, which is worthy of its own coin study. It’s a stablecoin that lets you lend or borrow money, and is open to all, regardless of your credit rating or if you have a bank account. It’s an asset-backed currency.

Maker DAI gets pegged to the US Dollar. This maintains the stable price of $1, but here’s where it gets interesting. It’s pegged to the Dollar through Ethereum. This avoids the risk of the custodial party going bankrupt or refusing to redeem tokens, but it still ties DAI to the volatility of cryptocurrency. The loan side of DAI works like a Bitcoin-backed loan. If the market is doing well, with both Ethereum and DAI appreciating, you can withdraw more money from a crypto-secured loan, which in turn appreciates and the cycle continues in a positive loop. Should the market take a turn for the worst, you are liable to pay the difference.

3. Local Ethereum

Local Ethereum is a decentralized, peer-to-peer website that lets you buy and sell Ethereum. It’s decentralized, and you keep control of your private keys. You need to put your Ether in an escrow account, but this is trust-free and runs as an Ethereum smart contract.

Using this DApp is simple. Start by browsing the buyer or seller listing on their website. Once you’re happy with the buyer, seller, and price, start the trade and lock-in the price. Once you’re ready, the seller puts the Ethereum in the escrow account and you pay them outside the network. Once the seller confirms payment, the Ethereum gets released.

Local Ethereum supports a huge variety of payment methods, including PayPal! You can even login with your hardware Ethereum wallet, including the Ledger Nano S. With roughly 1000 weekly users, you’ll soon find a buyer or seller for Ethereum and what better way to make the trade than with an Ethereum DApp.

4. Ethlance

If you’re looking for work or looking to pay a contractor in Ethereum, then Ethlance is the best place to start. This is the cryptocurrency version of Upwork, the successful freelancer hiring website. The big difference here is that Ethlance takes 0% commission on all contracts.

Ethlance lets anyone use their system, with no limits on experience, age, the total number of postings, or joining fees. All you have to pay is the Ethereum gas fee associated with each operation (posting a job, claiming a job and so on).

While this website doesn’t have a huge variety of jobs, new contracts are often posted. Most of the jobs listed right now are computer science-based. These slim offerings may be a sign of the marketplace right now, there are few people paying for jobs with Ethereum, but that will change in the future, as cryptocurrency usage continues to climb.

Ethlance is very cheap, easy to use, and it has a nice looking website as well. Why not take a look the next time you’re after work or a contractor?

5. Gnosis

Gnosis is a decentralized market prediction app. Gnosis lets you create, trade, and hold brand new tokens which you can create, but these are all tied to smart contracts, and then only payout under the correct conditions.

Say you wanted to bet on the outcome of the UK’s departure from the EU. You could create a Gnosis collateral token, with the conditions required to pay set to Britain leaving the EU with a deal by a certain date. If these conditions get met (or the deadline expires), the smart contract will keep or release your tokens.

This is a simplified example, but there’s no limit to the predictions you can start making right now on Gnosis’ network. This kind of financial predicting used to be only available to large financial institutions and at a great expense. Gnosis hope to make this available to all for a few cents.

What’s Your Favourite DApp?

These five projects represent a fraction of the ever-increasing DApp space. While we don’t have room to feature every project, there are plenty of new and exciting DApps launching all the time. Are you involved in developing a DApp, or do you have a favorite you think should be on the list? Let us know on Twitter @blocksdecoded.

Joe Coburn
Joe is a former software developer with a degree in computer science from the University of Lincoln, UK. As a writer at MakeUseof.com, Joe has seen his work shared by Adobe, the Arduino Foundation, and Lifehacker. Joe has collaborated with Anker, BenQ, iStock, Ledger, Ultimate Ears, and many more. Joe loves all aspects of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, particularly the technical details.
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