Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Decentralized apps 101 – learning about blockchain-based apps for the first time





Decentralized applications, or dApps, offer similar services to normal apps, but they are made on blockchain technology that gives users more control over their data, as it eliminates the need for intermediaries. As a result of this independence, one can quickly learn how to buy ETH, accommodate amounts in their digital wallets, and conduct transactions with cheaper fees than usual, among other advantages. Today, hundreds of dApps exist on Ethereum and other blockchains, and in the future, the number is expected to increase even more. 

What is a decentralized application?

Decentralized applications are distributed and open-source software applications that run on decentralized networks. The terms might be complex, so to understand better, we will give you an example with a popular app like Instagram. You probably have the app installed on your phone, and you can watch content and post whatever you like on it. However, the application is controlled by an authority who can delete your posts if they violate the community rules or for other reasons. But, if Instagram were created on blockchain technology, then the app would be decentralized, meaning nobody would own it. So, if you posted something there, no one could delete it, not even the creators.

Here are the requirements of dApps.

  • Open source: Decentralized applications must be open source and freely available to all users. The changes that want to be made in the structure of an app should be taken if the majority agrees with it.
  • Decentralized: dApps should be created on a decentralized platform, increasing transparency and security.
  • Protocol: Decentralized applications should have a protocol to demonstrate proof of value. This will ensure that others will be able to verify the value of a particular process.

The history of dApps

Bitcoin is the first blockchain network, but the technology has evolved since the first currency was launched, and now blockchain platforms are used for more than financial transactions. This is why, when Vitalik Buterin thought about the creation of Ethereum, he considered something much bigger, more like a decentralized way of life.

Buterin envisioned a blockchain where users would have control over the operations instead of enterprises. This is why Ethereum is based on smart contracts, which are immutable, and any party can transact without the need for an intermediary.

2014 was the year when a report was released defining the characteristics of dApps. The paper classified three types of layers of dApps.

The most common platforms to create dApps

Many blockchain platforms are used to create dApps, and these are the most popular ones.

  • Ethereum. Ethereum is one of the most popular open-source and decentralized blockchains. It is home to plenty of innovative solutions, including over 2,500 dApps. Ethereum is the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, being surpassed only by Bitcoin. Ethereum also has its own digital currency, ETH or Ether.
  • NEO. Many call NEO the “Ethereum killer” or “the Ethereum of China”, and it allows developers to create decentralized applications and deploy applications with the help of smart contracts. This blockchain platform aims to create a smart economy, offering better scalability options than other networks. At the moment, NEO is less popular than Ethereum, and it only has around 100 dApps.
  • TRON. TRON is a new alternative integrated into the blockchain technology compared to NEO or Ethereum. Still, it has become a popular choice, and some say it might even become an important competitor for Ethereum. TRON is especially popular for gambling sites and gaming applications, and there are about 1,500 dApps created using this platform.

Some popular examples of dApps

Over the years, there have been many dApps created. Still, not all of them benefited from that much attention from the public. But that is not the case with all of them, as several dApps are very popular. Here are a few of them.

Crypto Kitties

CryptoKitties is a fun app used mainly for entertainment. On the app, you will have the possibility to buy kitties, breed or sell them by using cryptocurrencies. It looks like cute cats are popular everywhere, even on blockchain networks, as CryptoKitties has increased Ethereum transactions by 10% in the past.

OpenSea

OpenSea is the biggest NFT trading platform, with over 2.4 million active users. Here, people have the possibility to exchange their collectables and create, buy and sell NFTs.

WINk

WINk is a popular dApp for the gambling games market, as it has everything, from sports betting and poker to dice games. WINk is based on TRON, and the winners will benefit from getting WIN tokens, which can be exchanged later.

IPSE

InterPlanetary Search Engine, or IPSE, is a search engine created on blockchain technology. A big advantage of this type of engine search is that it guarantees better privacy and security while scrolling on the Internet.

Blockchain Cuties

Similar to CryptoKitties, Blockchain Cuties is also a popular dApp. Apart from kitties, this app allows users to create more animals like puppies, lizards, and bear cubs. Blockchain Cuties is accessible for many blockchains, including NEO, Ethereum and TRON, unlike CryptoKitties, that only favors Ethereum.

Final words

Decentralized applications are important innovative technologies that people can use today. They act like the traditional apps but provide more in terms of feature set. We have to thank cryptocurrencies in a great measure for the creation of dApps, as digital assets have made it possible for several new technologies to appear in the market. Ethereum is one of the main cryptocurrencies that changed the crypto game and made it possible for people to benefit from something other than traditional transactions.

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