‘Does TRON have more dapps than EOS?’ isn’t the wrong question. It’s just not a good question

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What are you measuring and why?

At present, there’s a rumbling competition over the number of dapps running on TRON and EOS; two smart contract blockchains still hoping to put a dent into Ethereum’s crown as the best dapp ecosystem.

Now, depending on your crypto allegiances, you might feel this is broadly equivalent to two bald men fighting over a comb.

But as your most trusted source for dapp data, at DappRadar, we think the discussion of what’s going on in the dapp ecosystem is never a waste of time.

First things first

But first to frame the debate.

This being the world of public blockchains, anyone can launch a dapp on any live blockchain; always assuming they have the technical ability and some tokens to stake.

In that context, the question of which blockchain has the most dapps does seem relevant. Developers aren’t going to waste their money and time making and launching a dapp if they don’t think it will generate some sort of reward, most likely financial.

So it stands to reason the blockchain with the most dapps must have something going for it, right?

Looking at the raw figures, DappRadar is tracking 474 dapps on EOS and 414 dapps on TRON.

However, because DappRadar tends to be more strict about the dapps it tracks than other sites, in this case it’s also worth cross-checking with other sources.

For example, Dapp.com tracks 464 dapps on EOS and 460 on TRON, while Dapp.Review tracks 618 dapps on EOS and 578 on TRON.

Given all these data sites mainly rely on developers to submit details of their dapps and then filter those results to weed out obvious outliers — something that also highlights each site’s philosophy when it comes to curation — this is quite a range of numbers.

The obvious headline, though, is no-one yet ranks TRON ahead of EOS in term of the number of dapps they track.

But let’s filter that answer for quality

Of course, developers can be incentivized to launch dapps. As with most blockchains, EOS and TRON both have formal developer programs to help — and even pay — developers to support their platforms.

This is certainly the case for EOS and TRON. EOS raised $4 billion in its ICO and has various specific funds available for developers. Most notably it’s partnered up with various VC funds including Galaxy Digital and SVK Crypto, which have access to hundreds of millions of dollars. Similarly the TRON Arcade fund was set up with up to $100 million to encourage game developers to support TRON.

Given this situation, it’s important to attempt to do more than look at the raw numbers and try to add a filter for quality

Maybe a sensible metric would be to consider the number of dapps running on each blockchain that have more than 100 daily active wallets?

At time of writing, DappRadar was tracking 51 EOS dapps with more than 100 DAUs, compared to 22 on TRON.

In comparison, Dapp.com tracks 49 EOS dapps with more than 100 DAUs, compared to 27 on TRON. (It’s impossible to pull such data from Dapp.Review.)

But maybe 100 DAUs is too low a threshold? If we set the bar higher: dapps with 1,000 DAUs or more, DappRadar is tracking 8 on EOS and 7 on TRON.

That’s a much closer comparison, so we’d need to dig deeper and look at the type of dapps.

Unsurprisingly gambling dapps are popular on both blockchains. DappRadar tracks three gambling dapps on EOS with more than 1,000 DAUs and four on TRON.

But the big difference between the two blockchains is gaming.

EOS has three games with over 1,000 DAUs, while TRON — despite the best work of TRON Arcade — has none.

It’s this sort of deeper analysis which demonstrates our original question about how many dapps are running on a blockchain isn’t the most useful or significant.

Most things in life are nuanced and that’s especially the case when it comes to blockchain data.

Put another way, the question of whether there are more dapps running on TRON than EOS becomes much less relevant if removed from the context about the number of dapps running on each blockchain that have a strong user base.

In that context, EOS appears to sustain a deeper ecosystem in terms of the total number of dapps and the number of dapps across the full range of categories with high user levels than TRON. But neither blockchain is significantly out-performing the other.

And to put the entire dapp ecosystem into context, DappRadar is tracking more than 1,580 dapps on Ethereum, of which two had more than 1,000 DAUs and 22 had more than 100 DAUs at time of writing.

Does that make EOS and TRON ‘better’ than Ethereum? Maybe, maybe not. But that’s another article for another time.

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