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Decentralizedd Apps

What are DApps in Blockchain?

Estimated read time: 6 minutes
Aran Davies

Aran Davies

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DApps in blockchain have revolutionized distributed business models. Decentralized apps (DApps) are unique applications that are hosted on decentralized blockchain networks.

Decentralized applications have specific characteristics, and developers need to follow certain practices to develop blockchain DApps. A number of decentralized apps have made a name for themselves proving that is an exciting space that has a great deal of potential.

What are decentralized apps?

DApps in blockchain are ostensibly similar to any relative web or mobile app. However, this relates more to their front-end, while under the hood as part of their back-end, are decentralization and smart contracts.

Smart contracts: What they are

A smart contract is a self-executing computer program that automatically enforces and executes the terms of an agreement between parties. It is designed to facilitate, verify, or enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract without the need for intermediaries or centralized control.

Smart contracts run on blockchain platforms, which provide the necessary infrastructure to execute the code in a secure and decentralized manner.

Key features of smart contracts include:

  • Automation: Smart contracts automate the execution of predefined actions once certain conditions are met. They eliminate the need for manual intervention and reduce the possibility of human error.
  • Transparency: The code and logic of a smart contract are visible on the blockchain, providing transparency and ensuring that all parties can verify the contract’s terms and execution.
  • Trust: Smart contracts are executed on a blockchain, which is a decentralized and distributed network. This eliminates the need to trust a central authority, as the consensus mechanism of the blockchain ensures the validity of the contract.
  • Security: Blockchain technology ensures that smart contracts are tamper-proof and resistant to unauthorized modifications. Once deployed, the code cannot be altered without the consensus of the network participants.
  • Efficiency: By automating processes, smart contracts can potentially reduce the time and costs associated with traditional contract management and enforcement.

Smart contracts find various applications across industries, including finance (e.g., for automated payments and financial agreements), supply chain management (e.g., to track and verify product movement), healthcare (e.g., for managing patient records securely), and more.

One of the most well-known platforms for creating and executing smart contracts is Ethereum, but other blockchain platforms also support smart contract functionality in various forms.

Key characteristics of DApps

DApps have the following key characteristics:

  • DApps often have open-source code.
  • A DApp must run on an underlying blockchain network. The blockchain network is a decentralized network.
  • The back-end of a DApp uses smart contracts.
  • You need the majority consensus of the users of a DApp before you can make any change to it.
  • Decentralized apps use a decentralized blockchain for data storage, and they use cryptographic standards for this.
  • DApp must have cryptographic tokens. Decentralized application developers must use established cryptographic standards to create these cryptographic tokens.
  • No one user of a DApp can have the majority of the cryptographic tokens.

There are a few blockchain development platforms to create DApps, however, the vast majority of DApp developers use the Ethereum blockchain development platform. The reasons are as follows:

1. Security

Ethereum is as secure as Bitcoin, the most famous blockchain network. It uses a peer-to-peer (P2P) network where every user has equal access. No central authority manages Ethereum, and no centralized entity can control the network.

Ethereum transactions are protected by security features like digital signatures, cryptographic hash functions, data encryption, and the “Proof of Stake” (POS) consensus mechanism.

2. Development tools

The Ethereum blockchain development ecosystem provides useful development tools. The following are a few examples:

  • EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine), the runtime environment to execute smart contracts and DApps;
  • Ethereum crypto token standards like ERC-20 and ERC-721 for creating cryptographic tokens;
  • Programming languages like Solidity and Vyper for smart contract development;
  • Web3.js, a notable Ethereum JavaScript API;
  • Remix, an IDE for smart contract development;
  • MetaMask, a software wallet used for Ethereum blockchain development;
  • The Truffle Suite of Ethereum development tools;
  • Ropsten, a test network to test smart contracts.

3. Ethereum development guides

The Ethereum project team provides extensive Ethereum development tutorials. Other industry experts and experienced developers also provide many Ethereum development guides.

Examples of DApps

As a glance through DappRadar demonstrates, there are many DApps. The following are a few areas where DApps have already made their mark:

Blockchain-based games involving NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens)

Several DApp games have become very popular over the last few years. Many of them enable players to collect and trade digital assets. These digital assets could be trading cards or characters in the game.

The Ethereum platform offers an effective way to tokenize unique entities. Developers create NFTs to tokenize unique digital assets. NFTs are cryptographic tokens, however, they are different from Bitcoin or Ether. NFTs are unique and indivisible. That makes them ideal for tokenizing unique digital assets. CryptoKitties and Axie Infinity are two well-known DApp games involving NFTs.

Decentralized credit services that help borrowers get loans easily

Traditional banks and financial institutions have complex processes to approve loans, therefore, many people can’t get loans from there. DApps like Aave use distributed ledger technologies to bring lenders and borrowers together.

This Ethereum-based DApp makes the lending process simpler. Deserving borrowers can get loans, whereas lenders earn interest. Decentralized crypto lending platforms are examples of the DeFi (Decentralized Finance) apps.

DEXs (Decentralized Exchanges) for crypto-traders

DEXs are DApps, and they are DeFi apps too. Centralized crypto exchanges are well-known. They go against decentralization though, and decentralization is a key promise of blockchain. Hackers routinely target the centralized networks of these crypto exchanges.

A DEX (Decentralized Exchange) is a DApp that enables users to directly interact with other crypto traders. They can trade without intermediaries. Uniswap is a well-known DEX.

FAQs

1. Can I develop decentralized applications on a blockchain network other than Ethereum?

You can develop DApps using the TRON protocol, which uses the “Proof of Stake” consensus mechanism. EOS is another option. However, Ethereum is the most popular blockchain network for developing DApps. The Ethereum blockchain platform offers excellent DApp development tools.

2. Which was the first DApp game on the Ethereum blockchain platform?

CryptoKitties was the first DApp game built on the Ethereum blockchain platform. It was launched in November 2017. The game involves trading digital kittens, which are non-fungible tokens (NFTs). CryptoKitties became viral quickly, and it even caused network congestion.

3. Which are the most popular Ethereum DApps?

The most popular Ethereum DApps are Axie Infinity, Uniswap, Uniswap V3, ShibaSwap, and OpenSea. Axie Infinity is an NFT-based game. Uniswap, Uniswap V3, and ShibaSwap are DeFi apps. OpenSea is an NFT marketplace.


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