Blockchain technology has enabled the decentralization of more than just money. While cryptocurrency is still the best-known use case for blockchain tech, it’s hardly the only useful application of the concept. A growing number of decentralized applications — DApps, for short — have helped to highlight the potential of blockchain for a wide variety of non-monetary uses. While the rest of the tech industry is focused on disrupting the traditional software model by moving services and applications to the cloud, DApps present an even bigger possibility. By decentralizing common applications, and creating tools that are both censorship resistant and lacking a single point of failure, DApps makers may just be on the verge of disrupting the disruptors.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at five interesting, useful, and promising DApps everyone should be paying attention to.
1. Golem: The world is filled with powerful computers, and most of the time — when they’re not being used to play games, browse the web, or render videos — these machines just sit around doing nothing. But what if there was a way to safely rent out your PC’s unused runtime to people who are in immediate need of serious processing power? That’s the idea behind Golem, a DApp that allows you to share your CPU/GPUs when you’re not using them, and get paid in Golem (GNT) crypto tokens. Running on the Ethereum blockchain, Golem is a decentralized supercomputer that anyone can quickly and easily rent access to.
2. Vevue: What if you could earn money by uploading original content to a decentralized social media platform? That’s the question Vevue’s founders have been working on for the last several years. In its current form, Vevue operates like a decentralized version of Google Maps, allowing users to upload short videos, leave reviews, and respond to community requests in exchange for small payments in bitcoin. It’s more a proof-of-concept than fully functional platform at the moment, but the idea has potential. This may change as the DApp evolves, however, putting Vevue in a strong position to become one of the first truly decentralized social media-driven content platforms.
3. KYC-Chain: Few topics create less enthusiasm within the cryptocurrency community than improved regulatory compliance tools. For the mainstream banking world, however, the idea of an out-of-the-box solution to Know-Your-Customer (KYC) regulations backed by an unhackable, immutable, public blockchain couldn’t be more exciting. Built on the Ethereum blockchain, KYC-Chain uses “trusted gatekeepers” to authenticate people and documents, reducing risk while keeping regulators informed.
4. EtherTweet: Imagine Twitter running on a blockchain. Got it? Good. You now have the basic concept behind EtherTweet. Running on the Ethereum blockchain, it’s a functional — if barebones — censorship-resistant microblogging service capable of sharing messages up to 160 characters in length. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s not hard to see the value of the idea, particularly for people in countries where social media censorship by government authorities is a part of daily life.
5. Brave: While not exactly a decentralized app, the privacy-focused Brave web browser does rely heavily on DApp systems running under the hood. The browser incorporates a built-in DApp for “blockchain-based digital advertising” using the Basic Attention Token (BAT). Brave blocks most online ads by default, replacing them with ads bought on the platform’s decentralized ad exchange. Users can fill their built-in BAT wallets by watching ads, or by exchanging other cryptos for BAT, and they can use these funds to support websites and creators directly. It’s an unusual — and highly controversial — approach to online revenue generation, but that hasn’t stopped Brave from earning glowing reviews.