Decentralized applications are built upon a blockchain network and provide users with more capabilities and functionality — similar to traditional applications, which we use every day. So then, what are the main differences between the two?
Imagine your smartphone without any additional applications, such as Facebook, Gmail, Angry Birds, and alike (for the purpose of this example, let’s exclude the fact that you can use some of these with your browser). It would only come with the pre-installed applications, such as camera, messages, and phone book. Would you still pay $1.000+ for such a phone?
My guess is, probably not. Such traditional applications are an integral part of our devices, as they provide more functionality and usefulness to their users. Decentralized applications (Dapps) are very similar, however, they are built upon or involve a blockchain network. They go by two main categories:
As you would imagine, financial apps involve transactions or management of money. Examples of such apps would be cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, smart-contract apps, etc.
Whereas, non-financial apps deal with non-financial contracts (a “no s*** Sherlock” statement, I know). Here are some examples: supply-chain management, online voting, land and vehicle registrations, food tracking, real-estate, etc.
As mentioned above, the main difference between traditional and decentralized applications is the fact that unlike traditional apps — that connect to centralized servers to provide their products or services — decentralized apps connect to server nodes on a decentralized network. Most of Dapps are built on the Ethereum network which has proven to be most convenient for developers of such apps. Developers also use several Dapps browsers to connect to and interact with their own decentralized applications, such as Parity, Mist, MetaMask, and others.
I believe that decentralized apps have an important role when it comes to the blockchain and DLT technology. Looking in the future, I can see great improvements and new developments in this area, not just for developers of such applications but for users as well.
We tend to naïvely trust the majority of our everyday applications with sensitive information, such as our personal data, private conversations, and passwords, all of these being stored on a centralized system. But one of the main advantages of blockchain is security — and it is here that I see the future of Dapps. Either new decentralized apps will be created and overthrow the current, centralized ones, or current applications will adopt the new technology and be built upon DLT for safekeeping of personal data.
This article is a part of our Blockchain 101 series. See all articles or jump to:
Blockchain 101 | Part 1: What the Heck Are Permissioned and Private Blockchains?
Blockchain 101 | Part 2: “FCD3 6880 ADD7 FB45?” or “What the Hell Are Hash Functions?”
Blockchain 101 | Part 3: What Makes Bitcoin Secure? Hint: Merkle ?
Blockchain 101 | Part 4: Biggest Threat for Blockchain: 51% Attack?
Blockchain 101 | Part 5: The Story Behind the Byzantine Consensus
Blockchain 101 | Part 6: Just How “Smart” Are Smart Contracts?
Blockchain 101 | Part 7: Let’s Talk about Dapps
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