The world of Web3 hosts a multitude of decentralized platforms that users can interact with, known by the abbreviation dApps.
These differ from one another based on the purpose for which they were developed, the number of active users, the total value locked within smart contracts, and the profits they generate from users’ transaction fees.
Let’s see in this article which dApps are the best known and most profitable.
The dApp platforms most used by DeFi users
Among the most widely used platforms in the DeFi world are dApps that serve as decentralized exchanges (DEX), credit/debt marketplaces, so-called CDPs (collateralized debt positions) used to mint stablecoins, and liquid staking applications.
In the coming years, new use cases will most likely emerge in the world of decentralized finance and consequently, there will be dApps with different mechanisms from those we know today.
In any case, for now those we have just mentioned represent the categories with which users interact the most.
Going into more detail, let’s try to identify which are the individual dApps with the most followings and which are daily queried by the DeFi industry community.
To do this, we refer objectively to the metrics of “unique active wallets” (UAW) on a monthly basis, i.e., the number of users who have performed at least one transaction on that protocol in a month, and the TVL.
The latter tells us how much money is locked inside the smart contracts of the platform in question and is an indication of its importance in the market.
Currently the decentralized protocol with the most UAW is Stargate Finance, an omnichain asset transfer protocol that uses Layer Zero technology.
This platform in the last month had about 2 million interactions from users’ wallets.
The large volume of transactions is probably due to the airdrop narrative of LayerZero and Starknet in which trading on Stargate is one of the main eligibility criteria.
Following the applications with the most UAW in the past 30 days are Uniswap v3, Pancakeswap V3, and Iskra.
However, looking at the ranking of dApps with the most TVL we find the names of Lido, a liquid staking platform, with a value locked of $13.18 billion, MakerDAO, CDP with $6.88 billion, and Aave, a credit/debit platform with $5.45 billion.
It is worth noting that the top 5 protocols for TVL are projects developed mainly on the Ethereum blockchain, which remains the preferred network for users to develop smart contracts and in general to develop solutions from the DeFi world.
The dApps that generate the most revenue from platform fees
Turning now instead to an analysis of the most profitable dApps, we can distinguish 3 platforms that have generated far more fees than their competitors in the last 30 days.
In first position we find Uniswap, a leader DEX for decentralized trading, which generated $67 million in fees in the last month.
Right behind appears Lido, which in addition to being the dApp with the highest TVL also enjoys high profitability with fees generated equal to $55 million.
In third position is Pancakeswap, a decentralized marketplace of reference for the BSC ecosystem, which has generated fees of $37 million in the past 30 days.
Following this are many other projects that have a very interesting business and generate profits, but are far behind the 3 we just mentioned.
However, among them it is worth mentioning GMX, Convex Finance, Aave, Level Finance, TraderJoe, Blur, Sushi, Curve, and MakerDao.
When analyzing dApps in the DeFi world in terms of profitability, attention should also be paid not to confuse platform fees with the actual “profit” produced.
In fact, many dApps have high maintenance costs of their services, while others manage to survive with little cost to bear.
However, this graph proposed by The Block is quite explanatory of the representation of the dApps with more revenue and therefore more profitable.
It is very interesting to point out that all decentralized applications made much more money from fees during the year 2021 than in 2022 and 2023.
In that year, both TVL and fees by Web3 dApps recorded values that were on average 3 times higher than today.
Stargate Finance: a gateway to the world of Web3
Stargate Finance undoubtedly represents the most interesting dApp of the moment as well as a platform with the most following at the transaction level from the community.
Stargate being one of the central dApps of these projects, everyone thinks that the use of the omnichain communication platform can be taken as an example to determine eligibility for these airdrops.
As a result, the activity and number of transactions executed on this protocol, which is primarily used to transfer assets from one blockchain to another, is exploding.
In detail, the chains supported by Stargate are Ethereum, Optimism, Arbitrum, Avalanche Fantom, BNB Chain, Polygon, and Metis, while the tokens with which interoperability transactions can be performed vary from network to network.
Fees are in line with other competitors offering similar services such as Multichain, Celer Bridge, Synapse, and Hop protocol.
In the last month, Stargate produced a transaction volume of $2.3 billion, lower only than the “Polygon PoS Bridge” with $4.1 billion, which only allows the transfer of assets from Polygon to Ethereum and vice versa.
Considering bridges that support more than two networks, Stargate represents the top-of-the-line solution in the market as well as the best access gateway for the Web3 world.
It is possible to monitor Stargate’s DAO activity and new proposals on platform developments on the official Snapshot page.
STG has a current price of $0.69, a capitalization of $136 million, and a circulating supply of about 20% of the fixed maximum.
Although the tokenomics of the token are not the best, we could expect STG’s price to increase in the long run should the Stargate platform be used consistently in the coming months/years as well.