What are daily active users (DAUs)?


Learn more about the metrics used by DappRadar.

The DAU is a metric that shows the number of unique public addresses that transact with the dapps smart contract.  Most dapps rankings are based on their DAUs. The DAU is, therefore, a crucial metric in determining the performance of any dapp.

A recent assessment of the Loom smart contracting network showed that although it was recently launched, the number of unique addresses interacting with the Base Chain is on an upward trend. The number of dapps being accumulated also increased with raw data indicating that the number of dapps peaked in September when three were added.

Statistics from DappRadar reveals that from the 11 smart contracting platforms tracked, the most active dapps in terms of DAUs are from Tron. In the last week, five of the top 10 dapps were from Tron, three from EOS, one from Ethereum and one from WAX. The leading dapp, when ranked by DAUs, was EOS Dynasty

With the rise of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) as an alternative to banks, MakerDAO rise as one of the leading Ethereum based dapp marked by high DAU is no surprise. The number of active users is steady, and a rise reveals that demand is high.

MakerDAO shows an all-time high of 5,540 users occurred on 06.08.19.

Overly, in an industry report analysis of dapp performance in Q1 2019, it was found that Tron’s dapps cumulatively had 300,000 active users. The proliferation of gaming and gambling applications drew most of them.

A glance at Tron’s top 10 performing dapp reveals that gambling and gaming-focused projects were dominant. WINk, a gambling project, had over 21 million TRXs in their smart contract. Ethereum exhibits more diversity with exchanges, DeFi, and games more common. 

Nonetheless, and this can’t be overlooked, the number of daily active users visiting the top 10 dapps in all the 10 tracked protocols is less than 10,000. For comparison and context, this is extremely low, and not in the same competition frame as Facebook or Twitter with millions of DAUs. Going by this dismal “audience”, it is clear that dapps are unfortunately far from mainstream adoption.

There are games, yes, and gambling applications-in their hundreds, true, but their successes are directly determined by how the underlying blockchain performs. Take DeFi dapps for example, some are providing solutions to real-world problems but are slowed down by Ethereum’s low throughput and scalability.

No sooner do they attract users, than transaction fees rise discouraging use. Coupled with complex user interfaces by some dapps, general lack of technical know-how, high latency in decentralized exchanges and low sequential performance, it could take several years before network effect kicks in and the world shifts to using dapps.

Decentralized applications are roughly two years old. They are relatively new concepts, and that is why even if they are struggling with volumes and activity, we expect developers to fine-tune them, improve UI, and ease of use overcoming business and adoption troubles with time.

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