Decentralized Applications: What's Now, What's Next | Summary and Q&A

August 29, 2019
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Decentralized Applications: What's Now, What's Next


Decentralized applications (DApps) are transforming the financial landscape by offering programmable money and open financial tools to improve accessibility, reduce costs, increase transparency, and enable new possibilities for global payments, credit, lending, decentralized exchanges, gaming, and digital collectibles.

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Key Insights

  • 🌐 Sixty-five percent of the world's population lacks access to payment systems, highlighting the need for decentralized payment solutions to increase global financial inclusion.
  • 🤑 Blockchain technology has the potential to reduce crime, corruption, and the costs associated with traditional money transfers, while increasing safety, transparency, and accountability.
  • 💨 Layer one and layer two solutions are being developed to address the scalability issues of blockchain payments, paving the way for widespread adoption.
  • 🏦 DApps like MakerDAO have the potential to democratize access to credit by extending it to individuals traditionally overlooked by banks or lenders.
  • 💱 Decentralized exchanges offer enhanced security and transparency compared to centralized exchanges.
  • 👾 Blockchain-based games and digital collectibles not only have immense potential for revenue generation but also enable new ways for creators and players to interact and benefit from their engagement.
  • 💻 Resource tokens and projects like Filecoin are leveraging blockchain to effectively allocate computing resources, reducing costs and increasing reliability.


hi everyone I'm excited to be here to talk a little bit about decentralized applications which as Katie mentioned is something that occupies an enormous amount of my thought space probably too much but the idea of a decentralized application can't really be understood unless we begin with a smart contract so smart contracts are systems which move v... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What are the main limitations of blockchain payments?

The main issues with blockchain payments are the speed and volume of transactions, associated costs, token volatility, and user-friendly interfaces. However, ongoing developments in layer one and layer two solutions aim to address these limitations and enhance scalability and usability.

Q: How does the MakerDAO project enable fair access to credit?

MakerDAO allows users to deposit collateral in the form of Ether and receive the stablecoin DAI as a loan. This on-chain collateralization process makes it easier to price risk, extending credit even to individuals who wouldn't typically be serviced by traditional lenders.

Q: Why are decentralized exchanges important in the financial landscape?

Decentralized exchanges eliminate the need for centralized intermediaries, reducing the risk of hacks and manipulation. They offer a transparent trading environment and enable peer-to-peer or peer-to-smart contract trading, revolutionizing how assets are traded.

Q: How do blockchain-based games align incentives between participants?

Blockchain-based games eliminate middlemen and allow the value generated by gamers to be shared between the creators and players. This aligns incentives, creates new monetization opportunities, and enhances the gaming experience.


In this video, the speaker discusses decentralized applications and their relation to smart contracts. They explore three categories within the decentralized finance space: open financial tools, infrastructure, and gaming and digital collectibles. The speaker highlights the limitations of current blockchain payment systems, the potential of decentralized lending through projects like MakerDAO, the benefits of decentralized exchanges like Uniswap and 0x, the innovation in infrastructure with resource tokens like Filecoin, and the emergence of blockchain-based gaming and digital collectibles.

Questions & Answers

Q: What are smart contracts?

Smart contracts are systems that move value according to a set of predetermined parameters and rules. They enable programmable money.

Q: What are the three categories within the decentralized finance space?

The three categories are open financial tools (including payments, credit, and lending), infrastructure (with a focus on resource tokens), and gaming and digital collectibles.

Q: Why is there a need for decentralized payment systems?

Sixty-five percent of the world's population does not have access to payment systems. Even in accessible areas, payment systems can be cost prohibitive. Digital transfers of value have the potential to reduce crime, corruption, and expense while increasing safety, transparency, and accountability.

Q: What are the limitations of blockchain payments?

The main issues with blockchain payments are the speed and volume of transactions, associated costs, token volatility, and hard-to-use interfaces. Visa processes thousands of transactions per second, while Ethereum and Bitcoin can process only a few transactions per second.

Q: What solutions are being developed to improve blockchain payments?

There are two main solutions being worked on: layer one solutions, which are new blockchains designed to process higher volumes of transactions, and layer two solutions, which are built on top of existing platforms to enable higher transaction volumes. Additionally, projects are focusing on user-centric design to improve the overall payment experience.

Q: How does MakerDAO enable credit and lending in a decentralized manner?

MakerDAO is a project that allows users to collateralize their assets and borrow stablecoins. By depositing collateral (like Ether), users receive stablecoins (like DAI) that can be used as working capital. This provides access to credit for users who may not be able to get it from traditional banks.

Q: How much value has MakerDAO issued in self-loans?

In their first year and a half of existence, MakerDAO has issued $200 million worth of self-loans. This shows real-world utility and usage within the decentralized finance space.

Q: What limitations does decentralized lending currently face?

Currently, there are more lenders than borrowers in the decentralized lending space. However, as more people participate in decentralized lending, the market is moving towards equilibrium.

Q: What are the advantages of decentralized exchanges?

Decentralized exchanges enable peer-to-peer or peer-to-smart-contract trading, eliminating the need for a centralized intermediary. This reduces the risk of hacking and manipulation. Examples include Uniswap and 0x.

Q: How does Uniswap operate and improve the trading experience?

Uniswap allows market makers to contribute liquidity to a smart contract, creating a more efficient order book. Takers pay a small fee to trade with the smart contract, providing a better trading experience for both sides.

Q: What is 0x and how does it contribute to decentralized exchanges?

0x is a decentralized exchange protocol that enables trading of Ethereum-based assets on the blockchain. It creates a shared network of liquidity for different participants to plug into, improving liquidity in the decentralized exchange space.

Q: How are compliance and regulation being addressed in decentralized exchanges?

Compliance and regulation have not been prioritized by decentralized exchanges in the past. However, more projects are starting to take compliance seriously by implementing Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks.

Q: What are the main areas of innovation within the decentralized finance space?

Apart from payments, credit, and lending, there is a lot of innovation happening in infrastructure and gaming and digital collectibles. These areas are leveraging blockchain technology to create more efficient resource allocation and unique digital assets.

Q: What is the concept of resource tokens in decentralized finance?

Resource tokens allocate scarce computing resources, such as processing power and storage, with real-world value. They create a competitive marketplace and improve reliability by eliminating a single point of failure. Examples include Filecoin.

Q: How does Filecoin utilize unused computing resources?

Filecoin aims to leverage the unused memory space on computers worldwide by creating a competitive marketplace for computing resources. This reduces costs and improves reliability by eliminating reliance on centralized intermediaries like AWS.

Q: How does blockchain technology benefit the gaming and digital collectibles market?

Blockchain technology allows for the alignment of incentives between gamers and game developers, eliminating middlemen. It enables the creation and ownership of digital assets with real-world value. Examples include the game Fortnite and the concept of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Q: What are non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and their significance in digital collectibles?

NFTs are unique, provably scarce digital assets that are tracked on a blockchain. They allow for ownership of one-of-a-kind items in the digital realm. CryptoKitties was an early example that highlighted the need for infrastructure improvements in the scalability of blockchain-based games.


Decentralized applications, powered by smart contracts, are transforming various industries. In the decentralized finance space, open financial tools, infrastructure, and gaming and digital collectibles are seeing significant innovation. Blockchain technology has the potential to improve global payment systems, facilitate decentralized lending, provide secure and efficient decentralized exchanges, enable resource allocation, and transform the gaming and collectibles market. Compliance and regulation are becoming more important in the space, and user-centric design is a key focus. The future of decentralized applications holds endless possibilities as talented technologists and developers continue to build and innovate across industries.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Smart contracts are the backbone of decentralized applications, enabling the movement of value according to predetermined rules.

  • Open financial tools, infrastructure development, gaming, and digital collectibles are the main categories currently experiencing significant activity in the DApp space.

  • DApps have the potential to revolutionize global payments, democratize access to credit and lending, provide greater security in decentralized exchanges, and create innovative opportunities within the gaming industry.

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