In brief

  • A new report finds that dapp usage is on the rise.
  • EOS, Tron, and Ethereum account for 99% of dapp transactions, and volume has increased tenfold over the last year.
  • Ethereum-based DeFi projects have grown by 778%, according to DappReview.

Despite the chaos in the markets over the last several months, 2019 was a good year for decentralized applications (dapps)—and especially for the emerging DeFi sector.

A new report issued by analytics site DappReview shows that the number of dapp transactions that occurred in Q1 of 2020 increased tenfold over the same period in 2019. A transaction volume of just under $8 billion over more than a dozen blockchains took place in Q1 of 2020—an increase of more than 82 percent. 

And it’s the three leading smart-contracting chains—Ethereum, EOS and TRON—that are leading the charge. The three networks account for 99% of all dapp transactions, according to DappReview.

But it’s Ethereum-based DeFi projects that really stand out from the pack. Transaction volume across these dapps has increased by nearly 800% over the last year, said the report. Most of these DeFi projects make use of ERC-20 tokens rather than the blockchain’s native ether (ETH).

Overall, the transaction volume of ETH-based dapps exceeded $5.6 billion, a jump of more than 650%. More than 80% of this volume came by way of ERC-20 tokens, specifically those used within exchanges and finance apps. These dapps accounted for transaction volumes of $2.34 billion and $2.95 billion, respectively, according to DappReview.

Not to be left out, the Tron blockchain network has had a sizable presence in the dapp ecosystem, the report noted. But transaction volume across the network has slipped. Volume on the network fell by about 73%—from $1.57 billion to $411 million—between the first quarters of 2019 and 2020. The casino gaming dapps which dominate the Tron network saw a steep drop in transaction volume, accounting for just $379 million during Q1 of 2020.

The same is true of EOS. The transaction volume of EOS dapps between the first quarters of 2019 and 2020 fell 11%, according to the report. Like TRON, EOS sees most of its dapps devoted to casino activity, though transaction volume in this area fell nearly 75%.

The blockchain saw a huge surge, however, in its exchange dapp transaction volume, which spiked more than 226% to become one of EOS’s largest areas for dapp activity. Other smaller blockchains that contributed to the report data include NEO, IOST and ICON.

DappReview also noted that most volumes dropped in March following the general market decline driven by panic related to the coronavirus pandemic. The general casino dapp volume, for example, saw a dip of more than 64% between the first quarters of 2019 and 2020. In addition, just over 250 dapps were launched in Q1 of 2020—a 60% drop from Q1 of the previous year—while crypto addresses associated with dapps fell by 22%.