DApps or Decentralized Apps are a relatively new concept that runs on the paradigm of the app with a decentralized back-end. As such, DApps are analogous to traditional software, the only difference being that they are built on decentralized networks. Therefore, to understand what DApps are, it’s essential to know the functioning of Blockchain.
Blockchain is a decentralized system that helps record transactions in an immutable manner. The most common example of Blockchain is a cryptocurrency, where each unit is mined and traded with authorization. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Many game-changing blockchain use cases are found to be functioning, saving organizations fortunes across industries, primarily healthcare, retail, and finance sectors.
- DApps are apps with a decentralized back-end, powered by Blockchain
- A Dapp functions just like traditional apps, except they are open-source, decentralized, and blockchain-protocol compliant.
- The cost to develop a DApp depends on a variety of factors, including the industry, complexity of the features, and resource costs.
How DApps Function on Blockchain?
As mentioned before, DApps are basically regular apps with a back-end functioning on Blockchain. Usually, that’s smart contracts, which enable the app to function as per the protocols and maintain decentralization. So when a transaction occurs in a DApp, it is checked according to the smart contract conditions and authorized by the parties added via a peer-to-peer network, and once they’re met, the permanent changes are applied to the app that remains unchangeable throughout its lifecycle.
In case any of the above-mentioned conditions are not met, that is, the changes don’t meet the conditions mentioned in the smart contract or someone in the network doesn’t authorize the change, the entire transaction becomes canceled, and the app remains in its original state.
The hash-enabled cryptographic architecture of the app also prevents it from making any illegal/unauthorized changes in the app. That is, without following the proper procedure, no one can simply meddle with the app to make undesirable changes. This makes DApps more robust, irrevocable, and immutable than any traditional app.
Other than the more secure and permanent back-end changes, Blockchain also eliminates middlemen when it comes to user-to-user communication. There is no single database on a server that could give one single user the entire authorization; rather, the entire app is managed on a decentralized network, which means when a user has to communicate with another user on the network, there is no censorship, and the communication remains public for all the other users present in the network.
Some of the more important and popular examples of such DApps include – NFT trading marketplaces, Web3 blogging platforms, Metaverse games, and blockchain token exchanges.
It is clear that when it comes to DApps, no transaction, change, or communication is simple. Rather it involves the entire network to remain active, which can be very resource-consuming. In fact, this is one of the major limitations of DApps – high gas costs- the costs associated with the execution of every transaction on the Blockchain. This is why most DApps are not completely decentralized, as they have to have off-the-chain storage capabilities to store bulk data. These data storages are required to be centralized databases to optimize the entire operation and keep the gas-costs low.
Key Features of DApps
With that kind of functioning, DApps have these unique, distinguishing, and inexorable features-
The major difference that distinguishes DApps from apps is that they’re decentralized. These apps function on Blockchain and thus have no central authority to manage the back-end. Rather every transaction and change is run through a peer-to-peer network before getting executed.
In DApps, decentralization comes along with autonomous governance. Since there is no central authority to manage the app, it remains open-source, where every change is a result of consensus, and the base code remains available to the users all the time.
As mentioned above, any involvement in DApps involves gas costs. It is necessary for them to be incentivized for their efforts and investments. DApps manage that by generating tokens as proof of value and distributing these cryptographic tokens as rewards.
DApp’s stakeholders must agree on a cryptographic algorithm to show proof of value. For example, both Bitcoin and Ethereum currently use Proof of Work as their consensus protocols. However, the latter is planning to shift to Proof of Stake in the next few years.
As such, all these features affect the back-end of the app. On the front-end, users may not even recognize whether the app is DApp or a traditional one. In fact, it is this smooth functioning of DApps that makes them so popular and easily adaptable.
Advantages of DApp over Centralized Architecture
As mentioned above, DApps are easy-to-adopt because of their similar functioning in the back-end, but then what makes them so important or advantageous over the traditional apps to even consider this change. In this section, we’re exploring the major advantages of DApps over traditional apps.
The decentralized nature of the apps makes them far more secure than regular apps. Since every change has to go through the consensus, the app remains tamperproof and unalterable throughout its lifecycle. Moreover, since even the authorized changes are recorded on the Blockchain, this makes DApps safe from any other kind of potential sabotage.
Since there is no centralized server controlling and powering the app, there is no downtime associated with them. DApps are managed on fully distributed blockchain platforms, so as long as the platform remains active, there is no question that the DApp to become non-operational because of unforeseeable situations.
The open-source nature of a DApp allows everyone on the network to scrutinize the code. Furthermore, every interaction with the app remains recorded, which makes the app completely transparent for all authorized users.
As long as a user has access to an Ethereum node (running one if necessary), the user will always be able to interact with a DApp without interference from any centralized control. No service provider, or even the owner of the smart contract, can alter the code once it is deployed on the network.
Since there is no centralized server to sabotage, DApps remain immune to most of the known cyberattacks. The immutability of records, transparency of code, encryption in communication, and resilience in availability, make DApps well-protected against any kind of fraudulent activities, which makes them the perfect solution for domains like governance, finance, security, and healthcare.
How to develop a Decentralized App?
Blockchain-powered DApps are offering hitherto-unknown solutions to age-old problems of digital apps. So it’s no wonder that you would want to invest in the development of one. That being said, the development of DApps majorly includes Blockchain, which slightly complicated the development process in the absence of an experienced developer. This is why we suggest you take help from an experienced DApps development company to ensure the smooth functioning of your app. Matellio has years of experience in blockchain development and can help you with the entire process, which is chronologically briefed below-
Identify the objective
Just like any other app, with DApps, you need to be sure of its objective and what problem it’s going to solve for your organization. In other words, what is the use case of the proposed DApp? If the objective and the functionality are something where a decentralized app would not make any difference at all, it will be ideal for you to start with the traditional apps instead since the former can involve lots of costs. However, if security, decentralization, and immutability are some of the features your app idea can benefit from, then DApp would be the right investment for you.
Create a Proof-of-Concept
Again, since DApps can become a big investment, POC becomes a necessary preliminary step in the app development process. Here you will validate the feasibility of the app idea and understand its significance for the resources it will utilize. Here, you will also figure out the features, functionalities, and user categories of the app to further simplify the app wireframing in the latter stages.
Select a Blockchain Platform
A DApp runs on Blockchain, and if by this step you’re sure about the app features, the resources it will utilize, and the roles associated with it, it’s time for you to select the blockchain platform to develop and run your app on. Since almost all the DApps are currently running on Ethereum, it can be the ideal choice for you, but eventually, it depends on your requirements and research as to which of the platforms would be ideal for you. You can consult an experienced DApp developer to figure out the same.
Select the Tech Stack
You must choose more secure programming languages like Java. Building the app in Java will also allow you to run your DApp on a virtual machine, in this case, the blockchain platform. This way you can easily run it on a variety of operating systems without investing in manual conversion. Other than Java, for simpler DApps, you can do with the programming languages like Go, Python, and even C++.
Develop the DApp
Once you’ve picked the blockchain platform, it’s time for you to start developing the DApps. The development process would majorly be taken care of by blockchain app developers, but the key point here to notice is to keep the app testing. Since the way DApps function on the back-end is unconventional, debugging in real-time remains arduous at best. This is why it is important to keep testing the app as you develop every component of it to keep the development process smooth and well-optimized.
Once the app is developed and well-tested, you’re all set to deploy it for users. When launching a DApp, you have to be really careful since the immutability of the app will make it difficult to make any changes post-deployment, and error-full code thus deployed will remain forever in the records of the app. This is why testing and validation are extremely important when it comes to DApp development.
When it comes to newer technologies, their reception is mostly doubtful; Decentralized Apps are no exception to this rule. Mostly, it is the complexity and the effectiveness of these applications that raise concern around their investments and wide-range adoption in the industry to ensure long-term benefits for businesses. That being said, DApps have already proved themselves to be a great tool. As mentioned above, these are already on the path to becoming hundreds of billions of dollars in the market before the decade ends and are considered to be the most effective solutions to resisting censorship and encouraging mass collaboration.
The apps will also allow people to communicate and transact online more securely. As such, they have already established their importance, and it would be no wonder if you are already looking to invest in them. In fact, if you want your solutions to be future-proof, it is suggestible to start investing in DApps development right away. And if you’re still confused, there’re always experts to consult your ideas, challenges, and opportunities with. In fact, you can book a 30-minute free consultation call with our experts right now. They will discuss your plans with DApps and explore the market opportunities with you to finally give a free quote. Just fill out this form and get started with your DApp development journey right away!
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