Ethereum has grown into the most active blockchain hosting a thriving decentralized application (dApp) ecosystem. Here we explore some of the most widely used dApps and tokens that have been built on Ethereum and helped drive adoption.
Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
DeFi applications aim to recreate traditional financial services in a decentralized architecture, including:
An automated decentralized exchange that enables trustless ERC-20 token trading. It pioneered the liquidity pool model.
Issues DAI, a decentralized stablecoin whose value stays near $1, and allows users to take collateralized loans.
An open lending protocol where users can lend and borrow a variety of crypto assets with algorithmically set interest rates.
A DeFi lending platform that allows users to earn interest by supplying crypto assets into lending pools or borrow assets.
Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)
DAOs are organizations and communities that operate through rules encoded on the blockchain. Popular examples include:
Governance decisions for the Maker protocol occur on-chain through the MKR token.
Ongoing development of Uniswap is managed by its community under a decentralized governance model.
This DAO was spun out of a Gnosis project and continues dxExchange development through collective voting.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)
NFT platforms use Ethereum to authenticate unique digital assets like artwork. Top markets include:
The largest general NFT marketplace for buying and selling tokens tied to digital art, music, videos, memes and more.
NBA Top Shot
Officially licensed NFTs of NBA video highlight clips have seen huge popularity.
A gaming dApp where NFTs representing unique collectible creatures called Axies can battle and breed.
Stablecoins maintain a steady pegged value, commonly $1 USD. Leading Ethereum-based stablecoins:
One of the most widely used and traded stablecoins pegged to the US Dollar.
USD Coin (USDC)
Developed by Circle and Coinbase, USDC has emerged as a regulated and transparent stablecoin.
Unlike reserves-backed stablecoins, DAI maintains its peg through overcollateralized lending and algorithms.
Finally, some of the top tokens by market capitalization native to Ethereum include:
- Chainlink (LINK) — Decentralized oracle network providing data feeds to blockchain apps.
- Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) — ERC-20 token equivalent to Bitcoin created via custodians.
- Polygon (MATIC) — Scaling solution using sidechains anchored to Ethereum.
Together these projects represent just a sample of the diverse applications being built to expand Ethereum’s functionality and user base. The ecosystem continues to rapidly evolve and expand.