26 July 2020
Ethereum is an impressive blockchain-based platform that introduced the world to the revolutionary concepts: smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps). The combination of these two have enables Ethereum to deliver against the core fundamentals of openness to developers, security, and scalability.
What are DApps?
Decentralized applications are digital applications that exist and run on peer-to-peer networks such as blockchain. They are like normal apps and offer similar functions.
However, unlike conventional apps, dApps are not controlled and managed by a single authority. They come with several advantages that make them better than normal apps.
Decentralized applications have common noticeable features:
1. Open Source:
A dApp should have an autonomous governing system, and all changes should be decided by the consensus of the majority of its users. Its codebase should be available for scrutiny.
All operational records of a dApp should be stored on a public and decentralized blockchain to avoid centralization pitfalls.
Validators of the blockchain should be incentivized by being rewarded with cryptographic tokens. This is to enable them to keep working.
The application community must agree on a cryptographic algorithm to show proof of value. Bitcoin and Ethereum, for example, currently use Proof of Work (PoW).
How Do DApps Differ from Conventional Apps?
Several factors differentiate DApps from conventional apps. The primary difference is that decentralized applications are not hosted and delivered from a single source, which is how the current online model works where a central business or organization own and operate the service they deliver to you. Common examples of conventional applications are Google, Facebook, Twitter, Uber, and Airbnb.
DApps run on a decentralized blockchain enabling them to enjoy all the benefits of blockchain technology. The apps enjoy top-notch security due to decentralization and encryption, immutability, which hinders data manipulation, and transparency, which boosts trust.
Benefits of DApps:
Decentralized applications are just that, decentralized. They have no single authority in control. The cons and vulnerabilities of centralized systems are completely eliminated.
2. Open Source:
This feature encourages the widespread development of the DApp ecosystem. Developers can easily build applications with greater utility with more opportunities for collaboration across the blockchain community.
3. Automated Incentives:
The validators in the network are given rewards and commissions for the work they do. This process is automated, and once the work is done, the funds are transferred to the respective parties without any human intervention.
4. No downtime
Operating on peer-to-peer networks ensures DApps continue to work even if parts of the network go down. Users don’t have to suffer from inconveniencing downtimes.
All the major decisions that need to be made in the network are taken care of by a consensus protocol. The consensus is a general agreement between two or more parties present in the network.
Flaws of DApps
Blockchain has always been marketed as a technology that can’t be hacked. However, witty hackers have found weaknesses in open-source smart contracts. Where do these weaknesses come from? Human error when developing the smart contract – not blockchain.
Given that many DApps are going through such rapid development, the developers who responsible for their creation are often laser-focused on presenting the underlying code and technology in an effort to improve its functionality. In this instances, they are not yet ready for mainstream attention as the underlying potential is perfected by the blockchain community.
Platforms for Developing DApps
Ethereum is an open-source blockchain-based platform that was first to show people the true potential of blockchain. The platform introduced concepts like smart contracts and DApps to the crypto space. It allows developers from all over the world to create and deploy DApps on the platform.
Ethereum has its own coding language, Solidity, which enables developers’ code smart contracts. Smart contracts serve as the blueprint of DApps.
Examples of Ethereum-based DApps include Golem, Augur, and BAT, among others.
EOS is a blockchain-based platform that enables the creation of dApps. The platform that has been dubbed the Ethereum Killer attempts to solve problems like speed, scalability, and flexibility, plaguing the blockchain ecosystem.
EOS involves several validators who verify transactions based on a “Delegated Proof of Stake” consensus algorithm.
Examples of EOS-based DApps include Sense Chat, Everipedia, and Newdex, among others.
Launched in 2017, Tron is another blockchain-based decentralized platform that allows developers to create decentralized applications and share media content. Similar to EOS, Tron also functions on a Delegated Proof of Stake consensus algorithm.
Examples of Tron-based dApps include TRONbet, Fishing Master, and TRONlegend, among others.
Ethereum has certainly sparked the dApp revolution. Still, some other Smart Contract platforms are trying to break through into this expansive industry. EOS and Tron are providing promising services for companies to build their dApps on their platforms. There are already great DApps in existence.