Five years on, what’s next for Ethereum?


What’s in store for the leading dapp protocol

Even if Vitalik Buterin had planned it himself, Ethereum could not have experienced a better fifth birthday party. 

After plenty of obstacles and setbacks, the first smart contract blockchain is now powering ahead. 

The number of daily transactions looks set to break the 1.4 million record set in January 2018 soon, and while the price of ETH isn’t anything like its all-time peak of almost $1,500, it is at a two-year high. 

And perhaps more significantly, the case can be made that activity through the dapps running on Ethereum has strongly influenced the rising ETH price, which has had a knock-on effect on all other crypto prices. 

Also for the first time, the market capitalization of all ERC20 tokens is higher than ETH, which is the token unpinning the entire ecosystem

The DeFi tail is now wagging the entire crypto market dog, so to speak.

But maybe that’s the line you’d expect DappRadar to advocate. As our name suggests, while DappRadar is chain agnostic, it is dapp maximalist. 

Simply put, this means DappRadar thinks that over time, the most valuable element of the blockchain sector won’t be the blockchains themselves but what runs on them. After all, which company is more valuable now – Cisco Systems or Amazon?

That’s good news for Ethereum, of course, which despite high gas prices, is building on its already strong developer community by attracting a large amount of value, ironically including from non-native assets such as Bitcoin and gold, which are being wrapped and synthesized into Ethereum-friendly tokens.

Such momentum makes it much harder for other smart contract blockchains to compete but that doesn’t mean Ethereum’s future is secure.

The success of DeFi dapps has been spectacular but the resulting high gas prices have hit other dapp categories – notably games and non-financial dapps – hard. 

A huge drop in Ethereum gaming activity due to high Gas prices

Unless Eth 2.0 (or sidechains like Matic) launch quickly and find widespread adoption, that’s a massive opportunity for new blockchains such as Cardano, Flow, Polkadot, Near, Flux, Avalanche, Hedera Hashgraph, Harmony, Dfinity, etc.

Indeed, Eth 2.0 remains the biggest long term obstacle to Ethereum celebrating its tenth birthday in a similar style. Akin to rebuilding an airplane while in flight, the update is already delayed and it will take years (if ever) to fulfill its undoubted potential. 

So, in that context, while Ethereum looks certain to retain its dominance in the dapp ecosystem for the coming months, it’s merely won its latest battle. There can be no complacency. The war rages on.

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Dapp Digest: June 2020

All the hottest news from the world of decentralized applications.
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