DApps on Cardano: a short overview of a multi-faceted blockchain

erable°
4 min readDec 20, 2021

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For a blockchain to attract users, decentralized applications (dApps) must be built on it. Are any dApps being built on the Cardano blockchain? Or is it a “ghostchain”, as its detractors claim?

Here we’ll explain why Cardano is absolutely not a ghostchain!

With daily transactions increasing by 3000% in the past year, one million wallets staking, strong support from IOHK and Emurgo, and financing from the Catalyst Cardano program, more and more dApps are coming to this dynamic blockchain.

The number one website to find out everything about Cardano dApps is Cardanocube. Let’s check out some of the dApps listed on it…

Wallets, the gateway to the Cardano universe

To start using a blockchain, you need a wallet to interact with dApps. Cardano has loads of reliable wallets — from classic ones like Daedalus, Yoroi Wallet, and AdaLite Wallet, to reputable hardware wallets like Trezor and Ledger.

These ADA wallets provide unique opportunities to delegate funds to stake pools, so you can participate in the safety and governance of the network and be rewarded for it (at an annual rate of 4–6% — see simulator).

Moreover, they allow you to contribute to an Initial Stake Pool Offering (ISPO) — an innovative way to raise funds on Cardano. (For more info on this, click here, and check out our upcoming articles!)

Once your wallet is connected to the Cardano network, the fun begins! For example, you might want to start token swapping…

Having ADA is good, being able to exchange it is better!

What is a blockchain these days without its own DeFi ecosystem? Well, not much… That’s why DEXes (decentralized exchanges) are coming to Cardano. The tastiest of all is SundaeSwap.

Cardano doesn’t just want to implement new iterations of Uniswap. It aims to enable users to experiment with new generations of DEX, such as Maladex, a research-oriented DEX that leverages the possibilities of the Haskell language. And if you’re a yield farmer, you can rest assured that farming is also part of the game, with yield aggregators like Geniusyield enabling you to optimize your rewards!

So Sunday traders can quietly do their token swapping, but what about smart traders who want to maximize their profit through leverage, or buy real world assets?

Borrowing, liquidation loans, and synthetic assets are all here…

The Cardano ecosystem offers lending and borrowing services that operate like Aave does on the Ethereum blockchain. Liqwid.finance lets you lend and borrow your favorite cryptos. MELD offers crypto and even fiat lending and borrowing. And Indigo Protocol allows you to gain exposure to synthetic assets to diversify your portfolio.

Fans of NFTs and synthetic assets will be happy to hear that, thanks to projects like Paribus, they’ll soon be able to use these assets as loan collateral. And speaking of NFTs…

NFTs, memecoins, and marketplaces galore

It’s not just DeFi that every blockchain needs. Gotta keep up with the hottest new game in town — NFTs. Can you mint NFTs on Cardano? Of course you can! Just use Tokhun.io, then sell your creation on jpg.store, Genesis House or CNFT.io, the current marketplace leaders.

But are you worried about losing the copyrights to your NFT? Well fear not! Artano lets you easily customize your NFT’s copyright agreement. This customization also covers royalties: you can set a royalty fee and the terms of distribution. When you sell your art, a portion of the profits can go directly to your community or an NGO.

dApps, dApps, dApps everywhere!

We’ve only scratched the surface so far. There are Cardano DApps for every use case!

Do you want to transfer data from the “real world” to the blockchain? No worries. You’ve got oracles like Wolfram Alpha and Charli3, and Chainlink users will be happy to hear they can use it on Cardano too!

Do you want to connect with people? Build the telecoms of tomorrow with World Mobile, and reserve your first domain name on Ada Handle and Adadomains to create a truly decentralized and censorship-resistant network.

Are you convinced that every blockchain needs a strong stablecoin? Take a look at Djed which is backed by COTI, a decentralized payment platform for Cardano’s ADA Pay. Unlike Tether, Djed is an algorithmic stablecoin using the Cardano blockchain and its community, which means it’s more decentralized and transparent. You can also check Ardana, which defines itself as the First All-in-One Stablecoin Ecosystem built on Cardano. They just raised $10millions!

Are you concerned about the shortage of adequate and affordable housing in the world today? Then you’ve got to check out the Empowa project!

Do you worry about transaction privacy? Get your hands on Spinada Cash. Tired of giving your identity data to centralized entities? Atala PRISM solves this!

Did you always want to explore the metaverse, but feel like you missed the early bird opportunities on other blockchains? Then check out CardanoVillage: using Cardano architecture, this space is going to explode with opportunities across multiple continents for several years to come!

As you can see, the Cardano ecosystem, although still in its infancy, is already teeming with ideas and dApps. Some are generic, others are specific to the Cardano architecture. There are tons of projects in the making, but they still need support and incubation… Did someone say Cardashift?

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Written & Designed by Gaétan Lajeune & Anaïs Bouchet

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