Introduction to DApps
You’ve likely seen the news of many Fortune 100 companies looking into Decentralized Applications, otherwise known as DApps. Why are developers of so many top companies suddenly excited about DApps? Well, they are based on the blockchain technology, which provides the infrastructure for a new and innovative market of decentralized, open, and tamper-proof applications. Because DApps connect users directly with the application, many concerns over trust and security matters are removed. So what is DApp exactly?
What are DAPPs?
A decentralized application, DApp, is an application that is run by many users on a decentralized network with trustless protocols. It means more uptime, less downtime and costs. DApps are designed to avoid any single point of failure. They typically have tokens to reward users for providing computing power.
Initial Coin Offering (ICO) or ERC-20 token was the first smart contract built on Ethereum. After that, more and more DApps were created.
This provides reassurance to developers and users that the system will work efficiently without the risk of downtime and protects the users of the system from server failures, and from data losses, including those from hacks and security breaches. Because the application isn’t powered from a single source, and there is no server to take down, DApps can’t be shut down.
Therefore, they have some attractive attributes for companies, countries, and enthusiasts around the world. A few of these are listed below:
The code is open-source and autonomously managed. This means anyone can work on the application, and the application takes care of itself without a maintenance team or central server being used. Most applications we use today are downloaded or hosted on a cloud server for ease of access. DApps are decentralized by making use of the blockchain. Many folks are bullish on Ethereum simply because developers choose it for development of their decentralized applications.
Records and data are stored using blockchain, providing trustless interaction and avoiding any single point of failure.
DApps use cryptographic tokens to reward users providing computer power. Therefore, costs are shared and evenly distributed among users based on their activity levels.
Tokens are generated through a cryptographic algorithm.
What does DApps do?
We discovered the potential of DApps but what can they do for us? Decentralized applications can do many things. So, people are banking on decentralized applications to take over the computer world, much like the internet did late in the last century.
A decentralized application is not controlled by any one node or server. So, the chances of the system going down are very small. All users of the system would have to be down as well. The application itself runs off all nodes in the system.
This decentralized, shared responsibility is attractive to businesses as well because it substantially lowers costs to the organization itself. Instead, the cost is paid out per transaction using tokens to reward those using their computing power to facilitate the system’s transactions.
The most known DApps right now
An example of a DApp is Golem. Golem allows anyone with idle computing power to sell it to a pool. This program is built on the Ethereum blockchain. The supercomputing power is then used for massive calculation software such as 3D rendering projects for major movie titles. Blockchain technology is a huge emerging market. The blockchain allows us to share and distribute openly, a tamper-proof version of the truth through consensus infrastructure.
Power Ledger allows people to trade surplus energy to those in need of some extra power. The process avoids going through a central, inefficient supplier of energy.
The quest for the killer DApp is still afoot. A killer DApp would be something like Microsoft Excel in the accounting and the business world at large. Businesses are racing to develop the next Facebook but on the blockchain.
Look for the decentralized applications rankings here.
Who else creates DApps?
Anyone with the desire to learn can create a DApp. Many developers are demanded to create the tools needed for this new decentralized world. In fact, over 250,000 developers currently build applications on Ethereum protocol. Tron, the 10th largest cryptocurrency and a DApp building platform, is built on Ethereum (upd. TRX migration to its own blockchain occurred at 25th of June).
Ethereum developers designed its blockchain technology for smart contracts. A smart contract is a type of transaction with requirements before the release of funds. How do they work? An example of the typical DApp is a smart contract built on Truffle:
Send $5.00 from John to Sam if:
1. Sam account balance < 5 LTC
2. Date = Jan 1, 2019
According to this smart contract, it is placed on the blockchain but does not execute unless the “arguments” or requirements are met. In this case, $5.00 is sent from John to Sam if Sam’s account balance is less 5 LTC on January 1, 2019.
How to create your own DApp?
There are many resources available on the web to start learning how to develop a DApp. Truffle is an Ethereum development framework by ConsenSys. It’s one of the most popular options to begin. Another, Populus, is a smart contract development framework for the Ethereum blockchain.
The future of DApps
Decentralized applications are poised to change the way customers and businesses interact. Many services will switch to a decentralized system as their competitors take advantage of blockchain technology. One reason is efficiency and lower operational costs. DApps will change the way we verify identity, vote in elections, send money, and do business in general. It’s an exciting time to be in the development stage of decentralized applications.
Becoming a DApp developer you will work with the latest technological advances in a new industry. Demand for blockchain developers to create DApps are and will be overwhelming as more businesses and individuals join the blockchain. The high cost and security risk of centralized server applications makes DApps attractive for the future.