The cryptosphere is drowning in dApps; dApp users not so much. There are signs that this imbalance is starting to shift, however, thanks to support from an unlikely blockchain ally. Samsung’s integration of crypto-friendly applications, including an array of decentralized apps, has given the ecosystem an unexpected boost. Now the onus is on dApp developers to push out products that can leverage this springboard to drive broader consumer adoption.
Samsung Goes DApp Happy
When the specs for Samsung’s new smartphone, the Galaxy S10, leaked earlier this year, crypto heads were delighted. The handset would come with a built-in hardware wallet, including a separate enclave for storing private keys. In March, the phone launched with support for ETC and ERC20 tokens, together with four dApps: CryptoKitties, gaming platform Enjin, beauty community Cosmee, and payment service CoinDuck.
Now, the South Korean tech giant has doubled down on its blockchain foray, integrating two new dApps in the form of Jupiter and Mars. The interstellar pair are the product of TrustVerse, a South Korean company whose protocol handles digital assets along with a user’s entire online digital identity, ownership, and work via smart contracts. All of the company’s products are named after astronomical bodies, making Jupiter and Mars fitting additions to the Galaxy. The former TrustVerse dApp provides digital analytics, while the latter is a password wallet equipped with QR code functionality.
The Quest to Create a Killer DApp
Despite the success of early breakthrough dApps such as CryptoKitties, the decentralized universe has yet to conjure a killer dApp: an application so brilliant as to lure ordinary smartphone users to download in their droves. Nevertheless, there is evidence that the quality of dApps is improving, as is their reach, thanks to the support of hardware manufacturers such as Samsung and HTC, whose Exodus 1 phone ships with the Opera crypto browser, complete with built-in dApp store.
The definition of what constitutes a decentralized app remains fuzzy, with many sites that record dApp usage counting any sort of application built upon base protocols such as Ethereum. As a result, MakerDAO is ranked as the second most popular dApp according to tracker site DappRadar.com, for instance, despite its use being almost entirely limited to desktop. Ranking popularity by transaction count is also problematic, due to the tendency of free or ultra-low-cost transactions on EOS and Tron skewing the data. EOS gold prospecting game Prospectors is currently the top ranked dApp according to DappRadar, with Tron gambling dApp Wink, whose token recently listed on Binance Launchpad, ranking third, with 2,700 daily users.
Hardware Support Is the Key to DApp Adoption
DApp aggregators show a number of applications on the leading smart contract blockchains recording thousands of daily users, although these are largely limited to gambling and gaming. These are use cases for which cryptocurrencies are ideal, but it would be stretching the truth to say that gambling dApps are the embodiment of the Web 3.0 vision. Whatever the case, increased access to dApps, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Samsung, and to consumer-friendly dApps such as Mars and Jupiter, can only help to raise awareness, and with it adoption.
Samsung is on course to ship 45 million units this year, with the Galaxy S10 leading the charge. While only a fraction of these users will investigate the built-in dApp store, its very presence spreads the gospel of crypto, further normalizing it as a lifestyle choice. There are also macro trends to factor into the equation that may hasten uptake of decentralized applications, such as the never-ending spate of data leaking scandals, rampant deplatforming by social media giants, mass censorship, and the growing acknowledgement of the need for greater privacy.
As for Samsung, its flirtation with blockchain tech is showing no signs of abating: in the months to come, the tech giant will be adding crypto support to its budget phones. This week, it also added support for BTC to its Blockchain Keystore. HTC, meanwhile, has bold new plans for enhancing its Exodus 1 smartphones with further crypto integration. What started out as little more than an experiment, with manufacturers trialling crypto wallets, has grown into a movement that seems set to stay.