Odds are you’ve probably heard of dApps given their recent surge in popularity. But although they’ve grown significantly in recent years, many people still don’t fully understand what they are or the benefits they provide.
What is a dApp?
To put it simply, a dApp is a decentralized application. That means that it is built on a decentralized peer-to-peer network such as the blockchain instead of being hosted on a centralized server.
The majority of dApps are built on Ethereum due to its smart contracts that allow actions to be executed automatically when the agreed-upon conditions are met. Smart contracts do not need to be verified by a third party, which is in line with the decentralized approach of dApps.
It should be noted that the frontend (i.e. the user interface) of dApps can be built using any code language – just like normal apps. It is the backend that will run on a decentralized network.
Benefits of dApps
Are you wondering why there’s a need for dApps in the first place when conventional apps work just fine? The fact of the matter is that dApps actually have several key benefits that make them very attractive:
- Censorship resistant
Because dApps have no centralized authority, they are more censorship resistant. There is no centralized authority that can block or restrict access to submitting transactions or reading data from the blockchain.
In short, dApps give more control to their users. It is the users that can determine how a dApp evolves and changes can only be performed via consensus.
- No downtime
Conventional apps often end up going down because they run on a single centralized server and have a single point of failure. Due to the fact that the smart contracts at the core of dApps runs on blockchain it does not have a single point of failure and is resistant to server failures as well as malicious denial-of-service attacks.
The only way for a dApp to fail is to bring down every single node in its network – which is virtually impossible.[adsense]
- Better data integrity
The data that is stored on the blockchain is immutable and transactions cannot be faked or forged. The data shared by dApps is transparent and accessible to the public on the distributed ledger.
Suffice to say, the data on dApps is safer and more protected in a fashion and it is difficult to hijack or alter it maliciously.
Because of these benefits, more and more dApps have started to emerge in recent years. It is safe to say that the best cryptocurrency app is likely to end up being a dApp – but the potential of dApps extend far beyond cryptocurrencies alone and already there are dApps for social media, marketplaces, gambling platforms, and more. Based on the current trend, the popularity of dApps is likely to continue to grow over the next few years. However there are still challenges that it needs to face before dApps can truly become mainstream.