2020: 10 DApps to Celebrate

Will Brealey
Jan 6 · 6 min read

Keeping up with Ethereum developments was a full time job in 2019.

Here are ten incredible dApps that made significant steps towards a decentralized future:

  1. Maker
    Decentralized system created the world’s first stable coin, Dai.

Maker’s transition to Multi Collateral Dai (or Much Cooler Dai) brought the project increased security and users the option of locking up ERC20 tokens instead of Ether. The first to be supported was Brave browser’s Basic Attention Token (BAT), with the community set to vote on others in the new year.

Even better, the system now allows users to lock away Dai and earn interest with the Dai Saving Rate (DSR), another variable that can be adjusted to maintain Dai’s dollar peg.

Alongside the successful MCD transition, Maker had a fantastic 2019, maintaining $1 Dai despite huge falls in Ether’s market price. They also raised $27m from Dragonfly Capital and Paradigm.

A notable mention here has to go to DefiSaver, a suite of tools for vaults that includes automatic CDP rebalancing, letting users sleep easy without worrying about liquidation.

2. Argent
Decentralized wallet with secure storage and user-friendly features

Argent launched their mobile wallet, bringing a secure and user-friendly experience with just a few taps. Non-custodial, Argent ensures your funds are safe, even if you lose your phone.

As well as security, the app provides a free ENS name making it easy for your friends to send funds without long 0x addresses (yourname.xyz.eth). Another benefit is that the platform covers the gas cost of your transactions, so you an use the Ethereum network for free.

The wallet’s integration with Compound allows users to earn 4% on their savings, putting banks to shame, and you can also swap tokens at the tap of a button.

European Argent users can buy ether directly with fiat.

3. LoopRing
3000 transactions per second, today

LoopRing’s 3.0 brought scalability to decentralized exchange. Previous DEXes had costly transactions and failed to attract enough users to provide liquidity. Using LoopRing’s zkRollup, WeDex exchange has been able to scale to 1400 transactions per second, all without users having to trust a third-party with their funds.

It’s only available in China currently, but the English version is expected to drop this January.

4. Synthetix
Decentralized synthetic assets

Users who lock away their SNX are able to mint and gain exposure to synthetic versions of a kaleidoscope of assets, from Gold, Bitcoin, Tesla, and Apple, to Japanese Yen, Swiss Franc, and Euro. The project is now working with ChainLink to decentralize price feeds, and was recently successfully audited by Sigma Prime.

2019 was a year of explosive growth for Synthetix, seeing their market valuation shoot to $180m, and V2 of the Mintr dApp, complete with a UI overhaul and support for multiple languages.

5. Chainlink
Decentralized oracles

ChainLink is focusing on one of the key issues facing decentralized blockchains: provably secure inputs and outputs. ChainLink’s steady and uncontested progress in this area saw it grow in value through 2019, while Ether and other assets fell by as much as 90%. They integrated with a large number of decentralized projects, including LoopRing andSynthetix, as well as enterprise systems like Google’s GCPcloud.

6. Axie Infinity
Raise, battle, breed and collect provably unique NFTs.

Like the mythical chimeras of ancient Greece with the body parts of lions, snakes and goats, axies come with an endless range of body parts, each upgradable and linked with a specific battle move.
2019 saw the launch of Axie Infinity’s community alpha, as well as its release on both mobile and desktop - making it the first multi-platform blockchain game application to hit the market.

Gaming in the fantasy land of Lunacia is a smooth and immersive experience, but the best part? Players can earn as much as 0.04 ether per hour battling their axies, with the earned love potions instantly available to sell on Uniswap. Is this the future of gaming, today?

7. Tornado Cash
Anonymous Ether Mixer

One of the biggest criticisms Ethereum has faced is the permanent public record, with spending histories there for everyone to see, forever. A transaction as small as buying a cup of coffee revealed your entire balance to the world.

This all changed in 2019 with Tornado.Cash. Users’ deposited Ether gets mixed, anonymised, and sent to a clean address. Aside from being 100% anonymous, it’s also fully non-custodial, so you can use the service with no third-party risk. The project was recently audited, and now allows deposits of up to 100 Ether, as well as accepting Dai and other ERC20 tokens.

8. Uniswap
Instant decentralized token swaps

Connect your Metamask, choose your input, output, press swap. Done.

Using Uniswap really is that simple, and it gained widespread popularity in 2019 with its smooth and simple service.

The project was criticized in 2019 for turning away users from 10 countries, including Cuba, Syria and Zimbabwe. What many critics failed to realize however is that only the frontend was blocked, and users can still access the backend contract from wherever they are in the world.

9. Ethereum Name Service (ENS)
Human-friendly addresses.

For new users, copying 40 hexadecimal digits into the address line for the first time was an unnerving process. Thanks to ENS, they no longer have to. With the name service users can send and receive Ether and tokens using just a simple, memorable name.

2019 saw a huge increase in the number of features available.
- ENS domains can now resolve to TOR addresses.
- 35 wallet integrations.
- users can use their ENS to receive, Bitcoin, XRP, and DOGE and much more.

10. Kyber
On-chain liquidity

Kyber incentivizes liquidity, allowing fast transfers between tokens across a wide range of platforms. Anyone can contribute liquidity, earning rewards for supporting token swaps across the huge network of wallets and exchanges.

2019 saw $400m traded across over 500,000 transactions, and the project’s transition to Katalyst saw an increased focus on rewarding holders of KNC and expanding the Kyber network.

Bonus: Sablier
Second by second cash streams

Sablier supports real-time payments. No more waiting for pay-day, users can watch their earnings stream into their Sablier account by the second.

The project is aiming to eliminate the outdated payday model, which leaves employees waiting till the end of the month to receive a single cent of their income.

It’s not perfect yet, employers have to pay all of the wage upfront right now. The team are working on a solution, as well as automatic withdrawal to your Ether wallet.

Wrapping Up

Thanks if you made it this far. With growth like this in the Ethereum ecosystem I can’t help but be bullish as we move into the next decade.

I’ll be putting out regular articles on DeFi and the Ethereum community throughout 2020, so be sure to subscribe!

If you’d like to, you can support my work at activism.eth or follow me on Twitter @w_brealey

Will Brealey

Written by

writer travel ethereum

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