I am convinced that by now, 2017, you already have a good idea of what an application is (app), but do you know what a dapp is? We are able to download these through the internet, but most commonly through the App Store (Apple) or the Google Play Store (Android). In these stores, developers are able to provide users (us) with great and useful content that may help us with our daily tasks, or may even make us have a good time :).
We know what an app is, so what exactly is an “Ethereum dapp”?
Decentralized application (dapp)
A dapp is, as the title suggests, a decentralized application. What does it mean by decentralized? As we know, apps are developed by someone and that developer is the responsible for making sure that the application works perfectly without any issues (he needs to fix bugs, provide updates…). In a dapp, there is nobody controlling the application. No one is in charge of it, it could be said to be public. Anybody can change it if the “first developer” has given the option to do so. Sometimes many developers of dapps code it in a way so that other users are unable to change it. Decentralized therefore means that anyone can publish apps, and there is no need for an intermediary to function or manage a user’s information.
So the interesting part is that there are no intermediaries in any dapp, which gives a wide variety of possibilities and benefits for users, such as that the time to make any action is much shorter and cheaper. Some, however, think that there are some disadvantages. Imagine a decentralized Facebook. What this means is that once you publish a message on the blockchain, it can not be erased. Since there is no ‘owner’ of the dapp, nobody is able to delete that message, it will remain forever on the blockchain, public to everyone.
Dapps are uploaded to the blockchain and that is the only place where they are stored. If you still do not know what the blockchain is, check out this link. If you do not know how it works, check out this link.
Three types of Ethereum dapps
Dapps not only exist in the Ethereum platform, in fact, they in most blockchains of most cryptocurrencies. In Ethereum, there are three types of dapps possible to be developed: apps that manage money, apps where money is involved (but also requires another piece), and apps in the “other” category, which include voting and governance systems.
First type of dapp
These include apps that manage money. A user may need to exchange ether as a way to settle a contract with another user, using the network’s distributed computer nodes as a way to facilitate the distribution of this data.
Second type of dapp
The second type of app mixes money with information from outside the blockchain. For example, a crop insurance application that’s dependent on an outside weather feed. (Say a farmer buys a derivative that automatically pays out if there’s a drought that impacts his work.) It has to be said, that some argue, and are skeptical because they say that this can’t be done in a decentralized way.
Third type of dapp
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can run away from financial authorities, so does that mean that it is possible for companies or even organizations to do the same?
DAO’s (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) are a type of dapp, and they aim to make users vote about an argument without having a leader. This can be beneficial since there is no control, and decisions are taken fairly.
If you want to see all of the Ethereum’s dapps, check out this website. You will find all of the dapps currently running and you will also see which ones are being developed.
If you have any further questions, ask us in the comment section below.
And as always…