Few blockchain platforms would even dream of a 4,600% increase in their number of dApps. But the decentralized sharing network Steem (STEEM) now has those bragging rights, for last month anyway.
More than forty decentralized apps – dApps – went live on the Steem platform in December, up from only one that went online the month before. Data collected by the blockchain statistics site, State of the ÐApps, found 46 new dApps online last month. Social features formed the lion’s share, but there were also ten new media dApps as well as a handful of gambling games.
Steem is a content platform that pays creators and curators in cryptocurrency. There are three different types of tokens: Steem Dollars (SBD), a USD-stablecoin, STEEM tokens and Steem Power. STEEM tokens, tradeable on exchanges, are rewarded to creators and curators.
STEEM tokens were one of the big winners in the market today. Individual tokens are up by 6.2% in the past 24 hours, according to CryptoCompare. There has also been a significant increase in trading volume today, with more than $2.5M worth of STEEM tokens changing hands in the past 24 hours.
2019: The year of dApp development
The good news isn’t just restricted to Steem. December was a record high for the number of dApps live on blockchain platforms featured on State of the ÐApps. In total, 179 new decentralized applications went online in December, up from the 141 in November. Ethereum (ETH) saw the biggest increase with 105 new dApps added to its network; 40 were online gambling features.
Industry figures suggest this is a promising sign cryptocurrency is moving away from price speculation and towards concerted efforts to develop practical use-cases. Vladislav Dramaliev, Head of Digital Marketing at æternity, believes it also indicates that the community is alive and well.
“The current proliferation of decentralized apps is proof that this community movement is alive and well,” Dramaliev wrote in an email to Crypto Briefing. “This movement has seen users abandon the trading desks in favor of coding terminals, as they seek to influence the direction of blockchain projects…2019 is expected to be the year of the commercially successful decentralized app, and with the number that are being developed every day, this is looking more and more likely.”
Echoing similar sentiments, Robert Vigilione, the President and co-founder of Horizen, said the increase in dApp development activity meant cryptocurrency was maturing. He said: “We have the basics maturing to a point that we can now have more viable services, and hence, we saw exactly such a proliferation at the end of 2018. Expect 2019 to be a year of continued dApp development as they take advantage of improving infrastructure and a rapidly-growing marketplace.”
Steem dApp growth beat EOS
EOS saw 26 dApps added to its platform, a little better than it did in both November and October and down from its all-time high of the 56 that went online in September. There were 20 fewer dApps added to EOS than Steem in December.
However, EOS handily beat Steem and every other platform in the number of users. EOS dApps have over 45,000 users per day, more than double the number of the next runner up, Ethereum, with 17,000.
A decentralized restaurant review and a travel blogging and advice platform, as well as a polling application, were among some of the new dApps added to Steem. A decentralized adult content website, Dporn, went live at the weekend, in the first week of the new year.
Steem has had its problems. Its flagship feature, the online blog site Steemit, faced criticism last year for becoming a hub for ICO hypers and scammers. Poor user experience led to a drop in active users and a corresponding decline in the value of Steem tokens.
Steem’s new year’s resolution could be to diversify. Rather than depending too much on one ‘killer dApp,’ the platform can have its basis covered with an aggressive application expansion.
Whether it will continue to outpace EOS remains uncertain. But on another note: Dan Larimer was formerly CTO and ‘visionary’ for Steemit before jumping ship to EOS’ lead developer, Block.One, in April 2017.
Did he back the right horse?
The author is invested in digital assets, including ETH which is mentioned in this article.