According to the website, State of the Dapps, which tracks crypto apps usage and transaction volume, there are approximately 3,500 decentralised apps (dapps) currently working on the Ethereum blockchain.
What sets these apps apart from traditional mobile and web-based apps is that they aim to give users more control over the data that runs through the apps. Regular apps like Robinhood or Twitter are managed by a central entity, who ultimately have the final say in how their customers’ data is used and secured, and this can cause issues with data breaches and, in the case of Twitter, censorship.
The promise of Ethereum lies in its foundational principle of “smart contracts”, which enable the automatic execution of transactions based on a set of predefined rules. This system makes decentralisation possible across all types of industries, and it is the usage of Ethereum based Dapps that will ultimately decide the success or failure of the Ethereum blockchain.
Today, we’re looking at three interesting uses of Ethereum by looking at Dapps that cater to those categories. These Dapps and the other 3,500 currently in development are the very reasons so many analysts are optimistic about Ethereum as a long-term investment, and why many traders are jumping aboard the ETH train.
Rent and Loan Computer Storage & Power (Filecoin)
Consider for a moment something you probably don’t usually give much thought to – all that spare computer power and storage you’re not really using. Ever thought about renting it out to people who can make use of it. That’s now possible thanks to Ethereum.
The idea is similar to renting out a spare bedroom on Airbnb, or putting your car up on a rideshare service. The Dapp Filecoin can match those looking for computer storage with those who have extra computer space to rent out.
To simplify this concept a little, think of a web storage service such as Amazon Web Services, where all the data is stored on Amazon’s centralised cloud. In this example, it’s Amazon that dictates the terms, including the price of the services it provides.
On the other hand, with a project like filecoin, anyone with surplus storage space on their computers can become part of the filecoin network. By renting out space on the network, they will become miners of the token Filecoin (FIL).
Filecoin is the token that people will use to pay for storage and get paid for renting out storage. Users can then later exchange these FIL for other cryptocurrencies (like bitcoin) or convert them into fiat currency like the US dollar.
Meanwhile, projects like Golem are creating a peer-to-peer market for renting out your computer’s excessive CPU power to other members of the network.
Social Media – Akasha
Akasha is a social media platform that is the brainchild of the co-founder of ethereum, Mihai Alisie.
The platform aims to be a censorship-proof online publishing site that carries over many of the features found on traditional social media platforms, with Twitter, in particular, providing much of its current inspiration.
Another feature of the platform is set to be a mechanism for rewarding high-quality content with cryptocurrency such as ether. This is similar to the rewards system currently found on platforms like Reddit and Twitch, where users can send small amounts of money to content creators instead of simply liking or upvoting the content.
Akasha lays out its purpose on its website as follows:
“We called for brave people to help us test the idea of a decentralised social network, built with Ethereum and IPFS, to be censorship-resistant by design.
Now, even if we don’t know everything from the start, we know something – basic human rights such as freedom of expression and privacy must be part of the solution(s). Otherwise, they’re not good solutions.”
In addition, developers working on the Akasha project claim that it has no central point of failure that can take the platform down, and will not suffer from bandwidth issues that could affect the performance of the service.
The people behind Akasha believe that people deserve a better social media model that’s not dependent on corporations, and that’s exactly what they aim to provide.
Gaming – CryptoKitties
Cyprokitties is perhaps the most famous ERC20 based game which promises to let players “collect and breed digital cats”.
Built by Vancouver-based design studio AxiomZen, the game is essentially a digital version of Pokemon cards. Like most viral sensations, it blew up fast. In only a few days after its launch, around $1.3M has been transacted, with unique NFT cats being sold for up to $115,000.
Like any good viral sensation, prices are volatile, and the price of a particular cat can rise and fall in an instant. Collectors of the unique digital cats hope to make a return by reselling or “breeding” their rare felines, or else risk being stuck with a virtual kitten for life.
Since the game is played on the Ethereum blockchain, there is no central organisation managing the game. This means that players literally own their cats, and nothing can happen to alter that reality. CryptoKitties is decentralised, and will live on the ethereum blockchain forever.
There you have it. Three interesting use-cases that are currently active on the Ethereum blockchain. Do you believe in the power of smart contracts to change the way we develop apps?
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