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10 decentralized apps to try in 2021

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DappRadar

A new year brings new opportunites

Decentralized apps (dapps) quickly rose to prominence in 2020 as the driving force behind the decentralized finance movement.

But whilst most of the focus over the last few years has been on cryptocurrencies’ ability to create overnight millionaires, a lot of people seem to have missed the most fascinating part of this new technology — blockchain. Blockchain is what powers cryptocurrencies. But its capabilities extend beyond its use with digital currencies into more hands-on use cases.

Decentralized apps allow users to get tangible functionality from their cryptocurrencies outside of trading. Although it can be argued that the earliest dapps were simple extensions of trading with gamification and increased UX features. Moreover, Decentralized apps allow regular people to interact with the blockchain and reap the rewards of a decentralized system.

Rewards such as true digital ownership, cross-platform exchanges, passive income through interest and lending as well as an ability to make an income through the play-2-earn model.

In essence, a dapp is just like an app. It provides the user with functionality and a useable front end. Smartphones are arguably pointless without the array of apps that run on them and in 2021 it is becoming more and more apparent that blockchain has the same issue. For all its wonders and technological advancements ‘average Joe’s’ still, struggle to find a way to interact with technology that will soon enough become commonplace.

With that in mind, here are 10 dapps to get you started on your decentralized journey in 2021.

Uniswap

Compared to the graphical spaghetti offered by most decentralized exchanges, no wonder Uniswap quickly became one of the most popular Ethereum dapps

Aside from the different color schemes, the UI is very similar. But there are some subtle changes under-the-hood that are worth discussing. Before we do so, it’s important to note that Uniswap v1 remains live and isn’t going away anytime soon. Indeed, in the near future, it’s probably better to continue using it as it has deeper liquidity pools and is more robust as it’s been live for a longer period of time.

Rarible

Art marketplaces such as SuperRare, KnownOrigin, and Mintbase have boomed on Ethereum, in part as a direct result of the amount of value being generated through activity on DeFi dapps. 

In that context, it is perhaps fitting that Rarible, the newest art marketplace, has made its reputation by employing one key technique from the DeFi boom. Anyone selling or buying art on Rarible also earns some of the 75,000 RARI tokens which are distributed weekly to encourage activity.

Upland

EOS-based mobile game Upland is a property trading game with an exciting future roadmap that has been on a roll in recent months in terms of rising daily activity. Now available through the Apple App Store and Google Play. Upland combines real-world locations with blockchain-based virtual item ownership. Become a property tycoon today!

One great feature of Upland is that users are not asked to set up a cryptocurrency wallet. The developer takes care of that process and of course, users still hold their private keys.

Audius

Labeling itself the ‘world’s first decentralized music streaming platform’, Audius is designed to enable creators and musicians to have more flexibility, control, and freedom in terms of the audio they release and the communities they create around it.

One part of this is the just announced (and released) $AUDIO token, which eventually will enable creators to monetize their work in new ways as well as token holders to secure the blockchain, receiving a share of the network fees in the process. 

Token holders (and node operators) also participate in governance and get exclusive feature unlocks. 

More generally, however, anyone – creator or fan – can now simply set up an Audius account, either via browser or mobile, or PC download, and then get involved, whether that’s uploading audio or just checking out what’s hot, listening, liking and reposting. 

JUST

With DeFi exploding all over Ethereum, there’s also a rush from other smart contract blockchains to get in on the action. And that’s certainly the case for TRON, which following the launch of its Uniswap-inspired AMM JustSwap has also launched its MakerDAO-inspired JUST dapp. 

As with MakerDAO, JUST is all about locking collateral into a smart contract and using its value to mint a stablecoin as a loan.

For MakerDAO, users lock-in ETH (or various other ERC20 tokens) to mint DAI, while in JUST users only have the option to lock in TRON’s native token TRX, in return, minting dollar stablecoin USDJ.

NIFTEX

Simply put, NIFTEX enables the owners of high-value NFTs such as digital art, in-game items, or land parcels to sell off a minority share of that asset.

This is important because such high-value NFTs are generally hard to resell as there aren’t many people with either the inclination or the financial ability to spend thousands of dollars on such digital items.

NIFTEX enables the fractionalization of NFTs, which just means the NFT (which uses the ERC721 Ethereum standard) is locked within its smart contract, and a minority shareholding is created in the form of standard ERC20 tokens. 

In this way, someone with an NFT worth for example 100 ETH, could choose to turn 40% of that value into 400 ERC20 tokens each worth 0.1 ETH (or 4,000 tokens worth 0.01 ETH, etc). 

MEME

MEME takes the two hottest trends in blockchain – yield farming and NFTs – mashing them together in a highly innovative manner. 

Indeed, you’d wonder what the developers were smoking to come up with the concept in the first place. But – in the first place – the project started out as a joke in a Telegram group and then quickly gained momentum when everyone realized it was a great idea. 

Splinterlands

One of the best examples of how to integrate blockchain features with gaming, Splinterlands is a PVP experience in which two players select from the card collection to build a deck, with the actual battle being auto-played in a deterministic manner by the game.

That makes gameplay simple and fast, with the winner of each bout gaining ranking points and a small amount of Dark Energy Crystals, which is the game’s internal cryptocurrency. 

Onboarding is very simple, either through Hive or via the WAX All Access account, and users can buy card packs and other items using PayPal or by linking their Ethereum or Tron crypto wallets. 

Aave

In its simplest form, Aave, like Compound, allows users to deposit certain tokens and earn real-time interest from their deposits as other users borrow those tokens at a higher interest rate. 

However, Aave has also become known for its flash loans, which enable users to pay a small fee to borrow very large amounts of token value as long as they pay back the loans within the same transaction.

In this way, savvy users can access millions of dollars worth of tokens at the cost of tens of dollars; which has proved very useful to enable new ways of using many DeFi dapps profitably. 

1Inch

During 2020, the 1inch dapp more than doubled its daily activity, becoming one of the top DeFi dapps on Ethereum. Partly this rise has been driven by DeFi’s overall momentum, but 1inch has performed particularly well even within this category, thanks to its simple UX and smart features. 

At heart, 1inch is a decentralized exchange, enabling users to trade ERC20 tokens. The clever element, however, is the aggregation part, which enables it to leverage the liquidity of other DEXes such as UniswapKyber, and Oasis Trade.

This is particularly important when exchanging large token amounts as it reduces the price slippage, ensuring trades are optimized for the best price. 

Users can further improve the performance of their trading using 1inch’s CHI token, which reduces gas costs of transactions on the Ethereum blockchain

As the world of decentralized apps continues to expand and as new and more innovative offers come online it is worth keeping a close eye on DappRadar. Every week, our rankings highlight the newest decentralized apps, giving users an opportunity to track the number of active users and cashflow.

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