A decentralized app is an open-source software application that operates on a blockchain or P2P network of computers. Although dapps look and feel like regular applications, the way they work is entirely different as they are built on decentralized protocols without any need to involve Big Tech intermediaries. Without decentralized apps, it would be nearly impossible to bridge the giant gap between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0.
A dApp is more difficult to build than a regular app since its developer has to consider blockchain specifics. Once it gets deployed, changing an app is incredibly difficult, so it’s vital to fix all vulnerabilities and bugs before the launch.
There are thousands of dapps, from cryptocurrency exchanges to web browsers. Curiously, most of them run on Ethereum. You can find Ethereum-based dapps for such industries as NFT, Gambling, Gaming, DeFi, etc.
Why do developers prefer building dapps on this blockchain platform? Here is a list of major reasons:
In the early years of the blockchain revolution, Ethereum used to be the only network that allowed the creation of dapps. Things have changed, and despite the benefits of Ethereum described above, more and more developers are starting to look for other blockchains that are faster and cheaper. These alternatives include:
TRON – a popular network that processes around $12 billion worth of transactions daily. Used mostly for building DeFi and gambling apps.
NEO – a developer-friendly platform that runs on the dBFT consensus mechanism and can handle up to 10,000 transactions per second.
Ontology – a highly scalable network focused on digital identity and spurs the growth of cross-chain dapps.
EOS – also known as Ethereum killer, this platform supports multiple programming languages and has various tools that help software engineers build full-fledged dapps.
In short, a dapp is a broader concept than a smart contract. A smart contract is an on-chain element of a dapp. Smart contracts are digital contracts that automatically execute transactions once predetermined conditions are met. Dapps typically use smart contracts as their backend, i.e., authorize transactions and connect to the blockchain. Smart contract code is not the only code of a dapp. Dapps also have off-chain code that doesn’t interact with the blockchain.
Smart contracts make apps decentralized as they are controlled only by the logic programmed in each contract.
Dapps are here to stay even though the digital landscape is rapidly changing. They have the potential to change the way we work and communicate.
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