Decentralized applications (dApps) are digital programs or applications powered by blockchain technology of peer-to-peer computer networks. dApps are not controlled by a single party or authority.
Decentralized applications mostly run on the Ethereum blockchain, and they can carry out functions various in industries. dApps can function in the fintech industry, social media, and even the gaming industry.
Decentralized applications offer users high levels of privacy, and flexible development. dApps also ensure that the activities of the user are above censorship.
Among many advantages, major drawbacks that decentralized applications have are scalability difficulty, user interface development challenges, and code modification difficulties.
Understanding Decentralized Applications (dApps)
Most normal web applications we have today are run by single organizations. The company is responsible for running and operating these applications.
The companies that run these apps are fully responsible and in total control of these apps and their functions. On one end of the app, there are multiple users, but at these apps’ backend, the organizations responsible for the apps are in full control.
dApps can function on a blockchain or peer-to-peer network. Look at BitTorrent, Popcorn Time, and Tor applications for example. They are all applications that function on several computers that are players in a peer-to-peer network.
In a peer-to-peer network, you will have multiple system players feeding on content, giving content, or carrying out the two functions. While talking about cryptocurrencies, Decentralized Applications functions on the public open-source blockchain network.
The blockchain environment is free from central control, decentralized, and away from personal interferences.
The truth is that decentralization does not mean that the dApps will not have developers that will upgrade the app or operate the development.
The decentralization is that the operators or team will not be able to control or change the information that users of the system share.
For example, let us say you create a decentralized application like Twitter on blockchain technology, when users post messages, you will not be able to delete them. Nothing has the power to alter the message, including the team in charge of the app development.
Advantages of Decentralized Applications
Most of the advantages of dApps revolve around the protection of user data privacy. Decentralized applications will allow users to explore all functionalities that lie within the apps without submitting all their details.
When two users whose identities are anonymous want to carry out a transaction, the app executes the transaction using smart contracts. As long as a set of rules are obeyed, the system executes the transaction without a middleman or a regulatory body.
People who are supporters of a free speech society believe developers should build social media platforms as decentralized applications built on blockchain technology.
Speeches on social media platforms running on blockchain technology will give users access to create messages when they want without censorship. No one will be able to delete messages or stop users from publishing their messages.
When it comes to a flexible blockchain for developing dApps, the Ethereum blockchain comes to mind first.
The Ethereum blockchain provides developers with the right infrastructures to help them focus their energy on finding new ways to implement these digital applications.
The Ethereum blockchain infrastructure is sparking up a lot of decentralized application development in various industries like gaming, social media, financial technology, banking, and even eCommerce.
Disadvantages of Decentralized Applications
The advent of dApps is very recent. The innovative technology is still gaining ground and taking baby steps. Therefore, a lot of things are still in their stages of experimentation, and these things can face some problems and unforeseen circumstances.
Till now, one major problem that dApps developers still face is effective decentralized applications scalability.
Will dApps scale effectively, especially with applications that need a good amount of network overloads and computations? Remember that these factors may lead to network congestion.
Another major concern is the capacity to develop a dApps user interface that is friendly. Most of these centralized applications have interfaces that users can use without difficulty.
This user-friendly interface contributes to the massive adoption of these centralized applications by users. How user-friendly an application’s user interface is will determine how users will interact and use such applications.
If the industries will have to replace centralized applications with decentralized ones, the decentralized application developers must create applications that have a very good end-user experience.
The performance levels of these applications must be better or at least equal to the performance of their centralized counterparts.
Finally, the third challenge that poses a disadvantage for dApps is modifying codes. The modification of codes is a very serious limitation of dApps.
Once you develop a decentralized application, you should keep making progressive changes so that the enhancements and security will be up to date.
This constant update can get very difficult for decentralized applications because, unlike their centralized counterparts, the modification of their codes is not easy.
Pros of Decentralized Applications
- They are anti-censorship
- The platforms are flexible for application developments
- Users are assured of private data protection.
Cons of Decentralized Applications
- The technology is still in its development stages and undergoing various experiments
- Developing a user-friendly interface is a difficult task
- Developers find it difficult to keep modifying their codes
What Are Ethereum Decentralized Applications?
Ethereum decentralized applications are dApps that run on the Ethereum blockchain. These dApps work through smart contracts. Developers build and launch these dApps on the Ethereum blockchain, and they use the blockchain for storing user data.
Decentralized vs. Centralized Applications
Decentralized applications (dApps) run in a peer-to-peer computer network or blockchain technology. It allows users to interact and carry out transactions with one another by excluding middlemen and regulatory authorities.
Users of decentralized applications pay the developers of the dApps some amount of cryptocurrency to use the applications’ source codes.
These source codes also mean smart contracts that allow users to complete transactions while remaining anonymous.
Examples of dApps are Peepeth (a social media platform), Cryptokitties (a gaming platform), and MarketDAO (a decentralized credit service)
Alternatively, centralized applications are run by individual organizations. These organizations keep the software for their centralized applications on one or multiple servers, and these companies are the controllers of these servers.
To use centralized apps, you will have to download a copy of the application and transfer or receive data using the servers that these companies control.
Examples of centralized applications are Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and banks or applications of other financial institutions.
Decentralized applications are shaping the narratives of operations in many industries. Although there are disadvantages here and there, the advantages sure outweigh the disadvantages.
Furthermore, the disadvantages still exist because the technology is still new. With time and more developments, these problems will be things of the past for dApps
This innovation is rapidly changing the operations in many industries, and those who want to position themselves for the changes in the future ought to start learning about decentralized applications now.