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FOMO3D — the polarizing exit scam and social experiment game on Ethereum — has plummeted in volume and daily active users since its high-profile entrance into the mainstream and highs of more than 10,000 daily active users in late July earlier this year.

FOMO3D is an excellent case study of the cyclical nature of many dapps on Ethereum. Once they launch, many dapps — particularly gambling dapps — spike in user activity and transaction volume before slowly fading into irrelevant user numbers.

A Consistent Trend

Ethereum dapps have a severe user retention problem. According to DappRadar, only 1 dapp on Ethereum — IDEX — has more than 750 daily active users. Out of the remaining top 10 dapps by active users, 7 of them have less than 500 users. This trend is further demonstrated by StateofTheDapps, whose 30-day user metrics reveal that only 3 dapps have more than 5,000 users total in the last 30 days.

FOMO3D not only produced an interesting experiment in greed and the hype surrounding ICOs (and altcoin investing in general) but is the prototypical example of a dapp that explodes in popularity and then quietly dies out. At its peak, FOMO3D had over 10,000 daily active users and volume of more than 41,000 ETH, making it one of the most popular dapps in Ethereum’s history. Since that late July peak, there was an additional spike in users (~6,200) following the end of the first round of the game where someone actually won the 10,469 ETH in the pot.

The current user numbers in the last 24 hours are 85 with a 7-day volume of 3.79 ETH.

The game was viewed through a polarized lens of being either a pyramid scheme (the logo is even an upside-down pyramid) or a well-designed decentralized and transparent social experiment. Interestingly, a user did eventually win, and SECBIT provides some extensive analysis of how the winner cleverly manipulated the smart contracts of the game to win the pot.

Team JUST — the developers behind the game — even stated their appreciation for how the user was able to win the game, denying that the fund was hacked or stolen.

Regardless of its fascinating history, FOMO3D only has a pot of 95 ETH now and has dismal user numbers. This may change for FOMO3D since its limited user numbers are more a consequence of reduced greed for a small pot than scalability concerns faced by other dapps with poor metrics.

The top dapps on Ethereum with any meaningful numbers continue to be gambling dapps and decentralized exchanges like IDEX and ForkDelta. Not surprisingly, another controversial gambling/Ponzi scheme game called 333ETH recently peaked in users (~3,000) before dropping to just over 500.  

Games and other dapps continue to face a high-barrier to user retention as user numbers remain endemically low. Scaling solutions on the horizon may eventually change that, but there is not much to be excited about right now with the state of dapps. At least projects like FOMO3D offer a fascinating case of the meteoric rise and falls of dapp popularity.

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