Recently, blockchain and cryptocurrencies have captivated the world’s attention. The global blockchain market is anticipated to reach $69,04 billion by 2027, which is not surprising. Increasing demand is evident for distributed ledger technologies.
You’ve likely seen numerous media headlines containing NFTs, Bitcoin, and crypto-wallets. However, decentralized applications (DApps) may be a term you hear less frequently.
DApps will be the subject of discussion today. It is essential to understand what they are, their advantages and disadvantages, and whether or not your business requires them.
Professionals who wish to assist their companies in leveraging innovative technologies must remain current with the most recent developments. Therefore, let’s dive into the world of decentralized applications.
What Is a DApp?
Because the concept is still in its infancy, it’s difficult to explain concise DApps. However, we will do our best to present them understandably.
DApps are similar to conventional software applications but built on decentralized networks like Ethereum. Therefore, to fully comprehend the concept of decentralized applications, you must first understand their underlying technology, blockchain.
In a decentralized network, a blockchain is a digital ledger that records transactions and tracks assets. There is currently a plethora of game-changing blockchain applications across industries. It is a technology that has begun transforming the insurance, healthcare, and finance industries, but this is likely just the start.
The most well-known cryptocurrency is Bitcoin. However, when talking about DApps, Ethereum is the most common term. Since the majority of decentralized applications are built on this blockchain platform, this is the case.
In conclusion, DApps connect to the blockchain via smart contracts, as opposed to centralized data servers like traditional apps. A smart contract is the foundation of a decentralized application because it automates agreement execution between parties.
Platforms For DApp Development
As stated previously, most blockchain decentralized applications are built on the Ethereum platform. With over 3,500 DApps already created and close to 160k daily active users, these applications may soon become the norm.
DApp Key Features
Now that you have a general understanding of DApps let’s delve into the key characteristics that constitute them.
- Open Source. A DApp must be open-source and cannot be controlled by a single entity. It must be autonomous, and the source code must be accessible for review.
- Decentralized. It must store its operational records on a decentralized blockchain.
- Incentivized. It must be capable of generating tokens as proof of value and distributing them as network rewards.
- Protocol-compliant. Dapp stakeholders must agree on a cryptographic algorithm to demonstrate proof of value. Bitcoin and Ethereum, for example, both use Proof of Work as their consensus protocol. The latter intends to transition to Proof of Stake.
In conclusion, end users may be unable to distinguish DApps from conventional applications, as the primary distinction lies in the underlying blockchain protocol.
Examples of Decentralized Apps
Before beginning your DApp development, it is advisable to examine what already exists. State of the DApps is an excellent resource that provides data and statistics on all decentralized application-related topics.
At the time of writing, three of the top five DApps are built on Ethereum. Two of the five are in the games category, while the remaining two are in the finance category.
Tether, a cryptocurrency whose tokens are backed by an equal amount of fiat currencies, is at the top of the list. Unsurprisingly, it’s an Ethereum-based decentralized application with over 67,000 daily active users.
Splinterlands and Upland occupy the second and third positions, respectively. Both are built on the Hive and EOS platforms, despite being in the gaming category.
Manifestly, Ethereum DApps constitute the majority. In dominant industries, finance and gaming applications vie for the top spot.
We hope this article has clarified the fundamentals of decentralized applications. If you’re interested in their pros and cons, continue reading.
Benefits of Decentralized Applications
There is a reason why DApps are becoming more popular. In actuality, there are multiple. Consider the benefits of decentralized applications and determine if they could benefit your business.
Censorship Resistance. No government or entity can prevent a user from utilizing a DApp. No person can control the network and prevent users from submitting transactions, deploying, or reading data from the blockchain. If Instagram and Twitter were built on Ethereum, no one would be able to block your posts or prevent you from tweeting.
Anonymity. Most DApps do not require your actual identity. Instead of undergoing a lengthy registration process, you only need an Ethereum login and a digital wallet.
Zero Downtime. Due to its reliance on a peer-to-peer system, the DApp will continue to operate even if portions of the network architecture are unavailable. After going live, it will only fail if the blockchain platform it is based on also fails.
Data Integrity. Cryptography ensures that hackers cannot forge data stored on the blockchain. In addition, users can access the public blockchain to verify transactions, resulting in more reliable data records.
Built-in Payments. There is no need to integrate your app with external payment processors. This expedites payment processing significantly.
Downsides of Decentralized Applications
Almost everything has a disadvantage or limitation to consider. DApps are no exception. So, let’s quickly discuss their primary flaws.
Usability. Some DApps’ user experience leaves much to be desired. In reality, it can be challenging to navigate. However, as more organizations adopt blockchain technology, its usability will likely improve.
Maintenance. DApps can be difficult to maintain because blockchain-published code and data are more difficult to modify. Once the application has been deployed, it is difficult for an Ethereum DApp developer to implement updates if older versions contain bugs or security vulnerabilities.
Network Delays. Occasionally, blockchain networks can become overloaded if a single DApp uses excessive computational resources. As a result, the functionality of DApps is impaired, resulting in sluggish speed and delayed payment processing.
How To Start With DApp Development?
The blockchain ecosystem generates an abundance of new business opportunities. Blockchain technologies and decentralized applications (DApps) will capture your attention if you seek greater transparency, security, and efficiency.
You are likely wondering how to create a DApp and what the development process entails. Developing decentralized applications differs significantly from other custom software development, so let’s examine each of the below steps.
1. Identify the Problem
First, it is essential to determine the problem that needs to be solved or the use case for your future DApp. Begin by outlining your challenges and determining if a decentralized application can help.
Do you wish to eliminate intermediaries from your transactions? Or perhaps you want to disperse data and services from a central location? Regardless, the initial step is to determine what problem a DApp can solve for you.
2. Create a Proof-of-Concept
The next step is to develop a Proof of Concept (POC) to validate your idea and demonstrate its viability. Before investing substantial time and money in the development process, it will allow you to test your DApp with minimal resources. This step should be taken seriously, as it can help you identify problem areas and improvement opportunities.
3. Pick a DLT Platform
If your POC is successful, it is time to consider implementation. As there are multiple platforms for DApp development, you must determine which one will work best for your application. Each blockchain platform has its benefits and drawbacks, so you must take the time to decide which one meets your needs.
Ethereum is currently the most suitable option due to its smart contract capabilities. However, you should research to determine what works best for you.
4. Develop and Test the DApp
After selecting a DLT platform, you can begin developing and testing your decentralized application. Ensure that the DApp is subjected to thorough testing, whether you employ custom application development services or construct it in-house. You don’t want to launch your new software and encounter issues that could have been easily avoided.
5. Launch your DApp
After testing, your DApp is finally ready to launch! Launching on the production server requires extra caution, as there is no room for error. As you may recall, it is difficult to make changes to an application once it has been deployed, so do not rush the process.
These are advanced steps, so you can imagine that the technical side is considerably more complicated. Remember that you are not required to construct a DApp on your own. Consider turning to experienced professionals for assistance with developing your blockchain-based DApp.
Factors Affecting DApp Development Costs
Now that you understand how to develop decentralized applications, the next logical question is how much this will cost. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward solution. Rather, several factors affect the cost of developing a DApp so we will discuss the four most important ones below.
The industry in which the DApp will be implemented impacts development costs. Each industry requires different degrees of sophistication. Certain sectors require stringent compliance requirements. Some may also have many concurrent users interacting with the DApp.
For instance, customers, brokers, and insurers may be required to use the same application simultaneously in the insurance industry. All of these variations impact the final cost of development.
Complexity varies across projects; therefore, it is one of the most significant factors influencing DApp development costs. Which blockchain dApp development platform do you intend to use? What will the technology stack be? Do you require a custom API, or will a pre-built API suffice? You must answer these questions to determine your project’s complexity level.
For example, a DApp with low complexity could be a payment application built on top of existing cryptocurrencies. Developing a blockchain platform from the ground up, on the other hand, would be extremely complex and significantly more expensive.
DApps can have their blockchain, similar to Bitcoin, or utilize the blockchain of another DApp, such as those on Ethereum. Consequently, there are three types of DApps, and their development costs may vary.
- Type 1 DApp: consists of its blockchain.
- Type 2 DApps operate on Type 1 blockchains. Not having its own
- Type 3 DApp: utilizes Type 2 protocol
As an analogy, consider Type 1 to be macOS, Type 2 to be Keynote, which is compatible with macOS, and Type 3 to be an add-on template for Keynote.
The cost of labor has a substantial impact on your DApp development budget. The fees will vary based on team size, location, and qualifications. In addition to wages, don’t overlook HR-related expenses such as recruiting, insurance, and holidays.
Recruiting blockchain experts can be difficult, so ensure you’ve weighed the pros and cons of in-house versus outsourced development.
Find out how to avoid the Pitfalls of Outsourcing Software Development
The development of DApps is still in its infancy. However, DApps are already being utilized in the financial services, gaming, and logistics industries. As enterprises seek to streamline processes and improve security, it is only a matter of time before they become commonplace. Now, it is essential to avoid falling behind.
If you wish to remain on the cutting edge of digital innovation and begin utilizing blockchain-based technologies, please do not hesitate to contact us. The team at Suffescom Solutions Inc. has extensive experience with custom blockchain development and creating solutions to address unique business challenges.
DApps may be in their infancy, but adopting this new technology before your competitors can position you for long-term growth and success. Don’t delay investigating the benefits of decentralized applications.