DappRadar has announced that it is taking measures to eliminate bots from its statistics. The site analyzes user traffic and transaction volumes experienced by over 1000 decentralized applications on EOS and Ethereum.
This new development will allow the site to provide more accurate data, according to a recent Tweet. The announcement implies that bots have mainly been affecting major dApps, specifically EOS-based gambling apps:
We have started excluding bots from DappRadar statistics (DAU) for several dapps (BetDice,EOSPlay,Eos Win). It is our priority to provide clear and correct data.
— DappRadar (@DappRadar) October 10, 2018
DappRadar also warned developers not to use smart contracts that give away free tokens, as these can quickly be drained by bots:
“So far we have seen that freebies on the blockchain is a NO-GO. Most of the ‘FREE 0.1 EOS for newcomers’ end up in thousands of bots draining your smart contract’s funds.”
Inaccurate data is a problem faced by many data aggregators. Since most blockchains are publicly visible, they often strive to provide extensive and detailed data.
However, when it comes time to interpret information, data aggregators may overlook nuances that exist in reality. Bots are just one problem: crypto whales and user-entered data also cause issues for data aggregators.
Bots, in particular, can distort data by performing a large number of actions in rapid succession, or by posing as a large number of users. In the case of DappRadar, bots do not reflect each dApp’s true popularity and are unlikely to translate into actual users.
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Displaying accurate data is undoubtedly a good thing, but DappRadar’s announcement leaves a lot to be desired in terms of transparency. The site has not given a full explanation of how they identify bots, nor have they detailed their data collection practices.
This may be due to the nature of the site. Market scanners that report inaccurate data have been heavily criticized by their user bases, and some have given extremely detailed explanations of their practices. However, dApp trackers are under somewhat less pressure since dApp data is not generally used to make investment decisions.
DappRadar’s statistics are of more interest to developers who are creating competing applications. Users, meanwhile, are usually concerned about whether an application is trustworthy and resistant to attack — something that statistics cannot guarantee.