With the mass adoption, rise and growing usage of blockchain technology, which has focused on turning users to the specific aim of decentralization. According to Bitcoin worldwide, The global blockchain market will be worth $1,431.54 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of around 85.9% from 2022-2030. There are 748,655,000 total transactions on Blockchain.com as of July 15, 2022. The world has spent $6.6 billion on blockchain solutions in 2021.
The myth of centralization has brought about intermediaries in transactions, paying to a company that tends to provide us with a ride-sharing or longitude service. When there's a way out with the power of our decentralization to change the whole term. Users pay to be connected to the buyers or sellers and the entity also has full knowledge of the transaction.
Since the existence of Blockchain, it has promised and prepared a host of new use cases and functionalities which will go beyond decentralized currency alone. One of these newly emerged features or products is the building of decentralized applications (DApp) that work solely to erase the centralization using blockchain technology to enhance the global traditional financial and non-financial sectors.
The mass adoption of this immediately after lunch has made so many changes to the transaction pattern. Even In 2021 alone, the daily active wallets uniquely connected to dApps increased at a 7X pace, touching an all-time number of 2.7 million at the end of last year. Trading volumes will be higher than ever.
What are Decentralized Applications (DApps)
The shout-out of digital applications has dominated but decentralized applications are digital applications or programs that exist, run and execute on a blockchain as a peer-to-peer system rather than a single computer. Decentralized Applications have escaped the rule of a central control system of a single authority to a self-governing entity with full control and ownership.
DApps are built on distributed ledger technologies (DLT) like Ethereum Blockchain which is even the most used for building decentralized applications today amongst other public blockchain systems.
DApp has been widely adopted with a total DApps of 4k+, daily active users of over 58.12k, hourly transactions of 143.5k transactions, over 7.25k smart contracts and a 24-hour volume of $25.89M so far. According to the state of apps.
With so many DApps out there most happen to be built through Ethereum to achieve the aim of decentralization. What's Ethereum?
The concept of Ethereum
For a more understanding of a DApp, understanding what was used to build it is crucial. Although other Blockchain protocols are used in building a decentralized DApp like Cardano, Stellar, and NEO the most used among all is Ethereum
Ethereum is a protocol or a network that allows users to run and create smart contracts through a decentralized network. A smart contract is a developed system that runs specific tasks and operations to interact with other smart contracts and it's built or written by a blockchain developer, smart contracts are self-executing agreements that have been making transactions between the first and second parties quickly, seamlessly, and automatically.
It's also the key soul-holding dApp technology and can be used in creating powerful, decentralized and multicasted software which can be implemented and used across different industries. Ethereum is different from Bitcoin, in a way that it stores numbers and transactions repeatedly, it rather stores reusable and executable code.
Like developers do build applications that are usable on mobile and desktop devices, dApp or Blockchain developers create applications that function on specific blockchain networks like Ethereum. The majority of dApp is developed and hosted on the Ethereum blockchain. And the Ethereum blockchain results in supporting the vast majority of operations occurring in the dApp ecosystem.
How it works
DApp operates without anybody's intervention and it's not owned by one single entity, rather DApps distribute tokens that represent ownership. These tokens are distributed based on what was programmed in the system's algorithm for the users of the system, decentralizing ownership and total control of the DApp. Without any central entity or body controlling the system, and so which made the application to be decentralized.
Decentralized Applications are both executed and stored on a blockchain system which is commonly done on Ethereum. Cryptography tokens are validated with the app as its usage, which is needed to access the DApp.
The blockchain that a smart contract runs on is a ledger of data records that is stored in blocks -- as opposed to being stored in a central location. The blocks of data remain dispersed across distributed locations. All of the blocks of data are linked and ruled by cryptographic validation.
Not all DApps work on web browsers, some work specifically on websites and some work on applications and software. DApps also use the same frontend render as the centralized system does but the backend code is different because that's where the entity and control are programmed. DApp backends are developed to run on a decentralized peer-to-peer network.
An example of a well-known popular web app, Uber or Twitter, both run on a computer system that is owned, designed and operated by an organization, which decides how to control the users and what can be done or not. There may be different users on the app, but the backend is controlled by a single entity.
Drawbacks include the potential inability to scale, challenges in developing a user interface, and difficulties in making code modifications.
Most of the advantages of DApp are the ability of the system to guarantee safety, Blockchain is ultimately secured and anything running on the blockchain is also. Upon registering on a decentralized application, users don't need to input or submit any personal information before they start using the application.
DApp uses smart contracts to operate transactions between two incognito parties without any intermediary or central authority to verify or rely on. Smart Contracts have brought more flexibility to transacting and also enhanced a more decentralized system.
Free speech is one key power of DApps, and with this feature, the proponent's interested users can have alternative or decentralized social media platforms. This will be so resistant to censorship because not even a single person, user or participant on the Blockchain can delete messages or block messages from being posted, it is a free world of speech and full ownership in control. Aligned with cryptocurrencies, dApps run on a blockchain network in a public, decentralized, open source and are free from control and governance by any single authority. For example, creating a Twitter-like dApp and putting it on a blockchain network where any app user can easily publish messages and once it's posted, no one can delete the messages, not even the app creator.
With the use of Ethereum to create new DApps, it has provided tools and infrastructural systems needed for developers to motivate and focus their attention on delivering better innovations in the world of the web3. And these tools so far have given them flexibility towards working on DApps and it has increased the rate of deployment in various industries.
It is also a good fault tolerance, for instance, if a single node of the network is the only one actively running, a decentralized network is available as long as all the nodes are all dead. However, performance might be affected big time but it doesn't stop it from working.
Most of the decentralized applications are not user-friendly, the interface is a whole big concern on its own. Most of the well-known centralized apps developed based on the fore traditional centralized system have an easy-to-understand interface that is user and beginner friendly. It's to increase the adoption and usage of DApps by improving the interface to level up performance and beat centralized rivals in the system.
It's always challenging for developers to modify code changes of a DApp once deployed and the app might need changes on purpose maybe to correct bugs or enhance the user experience or some other security risks detachment. According to Ethereum, it can be challenging for developers to make needed updates to dApps because the data and code published to the blockchain are hard to modify. Maintaining a DApp is hard.
Example of DApps
Firstly, among the most popular examples of centralized apps are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Netflix. Banks and other financial institutional bodies use centralized banking app systems to allow their customers online access to their accounts and make transactions.
These are also some of the popular DApps:
Cryptokitties: a dApp game that allows users to buy and sell virtual cats
Peepeth: a social network alternative to Twitter, is an example of a decentralized app.
MakerDAO: a decentralized credit service supporting the stablecoin Dai and allows users to open a collateralized debt position (CDP).
Web3 generally is still in its early stage, as well as DApps. Although there are already thousands of DApps out there that offer full decentralized ownership. Be it play-to-earn games, trading NFTs or investing in DeFi and the likes.
Even with the first quarter of 2022 only, there are over 2.4 million daily active users of DApps. And once the problems and risks attached to it have been resolved then whoever wants to have a good taste of decentralization can easily use them.