Today the total number of daily users of all dApps barely more than 50,000 people — it can barely compete with an audience of millions of popular computer games. The well-known EOS-dApp Endless Dice has 11,644 user, while the most popular dApp on Ethereum — My Crypto Heroes — all 2647 users. DeCenter gathered experts ‘ opinions on why the 2018 first became a year dApps.
Edition about games dApps The Crypto Collectors writes that «one of the most unique dApps today is for dApps dApps». So, on the official website of crypto-kittens there is a whole universe KittyVerse — applications that can «entertain» your seals. Among them — fighting the Battles toy Kitty, race Kitty Race and KittyHats with accessories.
But crypto-kittens who on the take-off phase was practically recorded in killer-dApps abruptly «snapped» after the December peak. «Instead of having to consider CryptoKitties as a game-collecting, we need to consider this as dApp, which for a short time allowed [to use] the only successful way to use crypto currency — speculation,» writes Yaoshang Ho, co-founder and CFO at Superlinear.
Transaction statistics for CryptoKItties from November 2017 to September 2018. Source.
In a recent interview with Charlie Lee, the journalist Vlad Costea called games dApps «proofs of concept» and compared them with the game «Freecell», which is taught how to use a mouse. Thus, the current dApps can be seen as a training phase, to when the market will enter mass killer-dApp, the user already knew where to poke.
Yin Wu, founder of Dirt Protocol, believes that the mechanism for the creation and launch blockchain-application is not working properly. Instead use a low-risk environment where there is iteration (one of the ways of data processing in which the actions are repeated many times) and training, blockchain-companies are trying to develop the «perfect product» from the first version. In the end, this leads to increased development time and unrealistically high user expectations.
She calls to see how to create a successful product traditional those companies and apply their tactics to the development of blockchain space. Wu identifies three main rules:
To develop a product, not a Protocol
Wu notes that users, in fact, nothing to do with technology. By themselves, the openness and decentralization for they have no value is a priority of the developers. Because it is impossible to achieve massive success just by one philosophy: decentralization is not the answer, and the way to achieve the goal. However, the purpose of mass need to the user use case.
In her opinion, the blockchain app needs to go back to basics and ask who the user is and what his problems. For example, at the time of the launch of Ethereum has existed for over 200 cryptocurrencies, but it has become «second cryptocurrency» because it offered something that no one had a standard ERC-20 for token generation on a single blockchain, smart contracts and, as a result, dApps.
«None of the crypto-economic incentive is not strong enough to overcome a missing use case,» writes Wu.
Don’t let users say what you do
«Some of the most important product solutions that seem obvious in retrospect, was controversial at the time. For crypto-projects active community can be either the biggest asset or biggest hindrance. Listen to your users, but filter the feedback. Do not give users what they want — give what they want,» writes Wu, citing the example of today’s popular products, which in the time of their launch sparked strong criticism, including the news feed on Facebook, all launches of Apple products that were considered too expensive to find success, and launched Netflix streaming, which the service has lost more than a million users.
Iteration is more important than the idea
Wu notes that in the crypto space there is a mistaken notion that the idea is the most important part of success. A result of the team focus on white paper and postpone launch. But a good idea is only the beginning. The high cost of failure makes the developers a long time to work without user contact: «the product development Cycle when creating smart contracts and decentralized networks are extremely slow because of the high risk of error [and pricing] (e.g., the attack on Parity). Instead of having to launch the product and Refine it based on user feedback, the team isolated and delay the receipt of important information from real users. Projects should start earlier and at a smaller scale. They should test the product on a small group of users, receive feedback and iterate,» believes Wu.
Many in the crypto-space marks yet another global and fairly obvious problem that can be solved only «natural» way — wait. «The number of users of cryptocurrencies today at about the same level as [number of users] of the Internet in 1994. For comparison, two of the first mega hit of the Internet era, Netscape and Yahoo! was founded in 1994 and 1995, respectively,» writes Yaoshang Ho, co-founder and CFO at Superlinear.
A graph of the growth of cryptocurrencies vs. growth graph of Internet users. Source.
In the discussion on Reddit, one user compares today’s development of cryptocurrency industry from an even earlier period: «I don’t think it’s right to call the crypto equivalent of the Internet in 1995. It’s the equivalent of “Internet” in 1986. BBSes, FIDO Mail, ARPANet, Compuserve, Quantum Link… Almost like today’s range of crypto-pieces,» — writes user under the name s1gmoid.
Yaoshang Ho cites several reasons due to which, in his opinion, none of today’s dApps never fired, and many of them are also associated with the «infant stage» of development of the industry, but in this case not in terms of adoption and in terms of the technology itself:
Ho quotes the words of Vitaly Buterin, which in April 2018 at a conference in Seoul said: «If you want to create a decentralized Uber or Lyft on the basis of Ethereum, you are doomed. Point.»
Problems with the management of Ethereum have already gone public, and one of the «killers Ethereum», EOS, was intended to solve, in particular, and this problem, but in the end he was faced with it already at the stage of launching.
Ho notes that the advantage of basic online services and mobile applications in front of blockchain applications that you can try them for free, at least in part premium — free version of a product with partial functionality. However, to use Ethereum-dApps, you must have the air.
«For the implementation of the transaction for EOS need at least 500 milliseconds. If your click on a web page requires the implementation of 10 transactions “in the background”, you have to wait 5 seconds. This is an unacceptable level of delays,» writes Ho.
Ho notes that when working with dApps the user bears a lot of responsibility. He should not lose the private key, it needs to take care of its security, to avoid being stolen, there is no «hot line», which could help to cancel fraudulent activity. So, Ho thinks that there should be developed the decision to divide the key between members of the community.
In General, this paragraph can be reduced to the idea that usability wins. «Convenience, user interfaces — the Goliath, who David always wins. We all could use cash instead of Bank cards, but sold for the convenience of the write-off of fractional amounts and no need to carry pieces of paper» — said Oleksandr Garkusha, co-founder of Modern Token in comments to DeCenter.
«Users don’t [do it] and not have to care about the blockchain or decentralization. All that plays a role is user experience. The user simply downloads and uses,» writes one of the participants of the discussion on Reddit.
Other difficulties Ho considered the problem of storing and sharing large files, which is inconvenient on the blockchain, the volatility and the problem of random numbers (namely that they are difficult to generate on the blockchain, whereas many types of games without this it is impossible to create).
Despite the lack of «your bitcoins» in the niche dApps, experts are optimistic about the future. «Another way to look at this list of problems is [to look at it as a] a list of areas ready for investment,» notes Ho.
Wu, in turn, refers to the dotcom bubble and notes that the period following the burst of the bubble showed that «bear markets — one of the best periods in order to collect talent and build.» And it is far not the first who expressed a similar view about the bear market.