Can Google and Apple Destroy the Dapp Ecosystem?
App store rules may curb the distribution of crypto-related apps, especially when considered potential hidden financial schemes.
The proliferation of distributed apps (dApps) may have a bottleneck and access problem, and hinge on the terms of service on the Google Play and Apple’s stores. The marketplace, which ranks general apps and allows for unprecedented visibility, may be closing for crypto projects.
Recently, Google Play blocked the MetaMask wallet app, citing access to potentially fraudulent investment schemes. Other dApps have difficulty appearing in search results, and the jury is still out on which ones would be eligible. It may turn out the dApp space is not immune to centralized attack points, and can actually be censored from digital storefronts.
As Cuy Sheffield, crypto chief at Visa commented, app stores may break the narrative of success for decentralized platforms.
Wallets are agnostic technology. However, it is possible some of those tools can give access to crypto-based finance, which can be inherently dangerous or dishonest. Some dApps and token platforms present activity that may be disguising a Ponzi scheme.
Recently, simulated mining has also taken over some of the networks, affecting leading platforms like Ethereum, EOS, and TRON. The Ethereum network can, in theory, rely on the MetaMask wallet to send ETH tokens to the HEX scheme, a simulated mining technique that generates a new token.
The dApp space initially relied on desktop users and other early adopters that were comfortable with crypto technology. But the decision to reach a wide array of users has created the drive to spread dApps to the mobile store.
Mobile store presence has also created problems of faked wallets, which end up stealing private keys or coins outright. Despite the growth of dApps, the overwhelming influence and control of both Google and Apple may stop the growth of dApp users.
In 2019, statistics show a growth of dApp users, with gambling and DeFi the biggest sources of growth. Gaming is also up, but the contentious nature of crypto lending and the legality of gambling dApps may curb growth.