Remember when virtual cat game CryptoKitties collapsed the Ethereum network? The feline frenzy in 2017 saw gaming fanatics spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on digital cats with zero tangible utility. Now most of them go for about $1.21 (0.0045 ETH).
CryptoKitties Paralyzed the Ethereum Blockchain
Back in the day, the number of users flocking to the game was so intense that it took more than 15 percent of all transaction traffic on the Ethereum blockchain. Not only did this slow down transactions across the board, but it also thrust Ethereum’s scaling issues into the limelight.
Now that the hype has died down, CryptoKitties now has just a handful of active daily users. 257 in the past 24 hours to be precise. What went wrong?
Cute Cats and Dice Games Just Don’t Cut It
One glance at DApp Radar is enough to get a pretty clear picture of the state of DApps right now. It’s not just the Ethereum blockchain, either. Tron, EOS, and IOST all suffer a similar fate.
Of 2,200 DApps monitored on the site, only one had over 10,000 active users in the past 24 hours. An EOS DApp called ADM that lets its 16k+ users “get candy free on the web.”
If the value proposition of that isn’t immediately obvious to you, it seems you’re in good company. While developer platforms were hoping to breed DApps like smartphone apps and decentralize the internet, they forgot about attracting users.
With so much interest in the gaming market, there are some 2.3 billion gamers worldwide. These are users with access to high definition graphics, virtual reality, surround sound, and other sophisticated gaming elements.
Let’s face it, the average user doesn’t care enough about decentralization to download a cumbersome blockchain-based operating system and use an inferior product. Trading cats and rolling dice aren’t appealing enough to most users.
Blockchain Platforms Are Not Ready for Users
Then, of course, there’s still the very real problem of scalability. Even if a gaming DApp came along to rival the CryptoKitty fad and convinced users to take the extra steps to play it, the network couldn’t support them anyway.
CryptoKitties once sold a cat for $170,000. Now, the average feline goes for around $1, with the most expensive currently at $15. That’s a rather unfortunate value drop for its owner.
The User Experience Needs Improving
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, if DApps are hoping to attract more users, they need to make it easier for users to get on board. But it’s still entirely chicken and egg.
Gaming DApps need more users to be successful, DEXs need more users to be liquid… But the underpinning platforms don’t scale to accommodate them yet.
Will the previous hype of Cryptokitties ever return? Share your thoughts below!
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