Numerous tech stacks, frameworks, and languages are available to develop an app, but developers are still not confident about a single framework that can offer the best results.
As the world is adjusting to popular apps, the whole ecosystem is also evolving. dApps or decentralized applications are a unique breed of applications that are not controlled or owned by a single authority, cannot be shut-off, or cannot have a downtime.
The Ultimate Open Source Revolution- dApps an application is required to exhibit the following four characteristics:
Open Source: The first and foremost attribute is that such apps should make their core source code available to everyone. As the core characteristic of dApps is autonomy and unanimous consensus, essentially the changes must be decided by all or the majority of the users. Also, the code should be available to everyone for checking out.
Decentralized Nature: As the name suggests, decentralized applications store everything on a decentralized blockchain or any cryptographic technology to save the app from perils of centralized authority and emphasize on autonomous nature.
Incentivization: As the app is based on the decentralized blockchain, the validators of the records on the network must be rewarded/incentivized with cryptographic tokens or any form of digital asset that has value.
Algorithm: Decentralized app needs a consensus mechanism that portrays proof of value in the cryptographic system. Permanently, this endows the cryptographic token and creates a consensus protocol that users agree upon to generate valuable crypto tokens.
Essentially, dApp is an application that runs on a decentralized P2P network governed by all the members and not a single central authority.
How dApps fit in the real world?
Utilizing the definition derived above, we found out that the first known dApp in the world was Bitcoin. Popular as an apex cryptocurrency, bitcoin solves the centralization issue and gives users the power to perform transactions without any middleman or central authority via a self-sustaining public ledger. We can classify these apps based on the scenario in which they can be infused into the use case of decentralized applications. This classification categorizes dApps into three segments that are also its potential use cases:
Money Management & Transfer
Decentralized apps can be used to smoothen money transfer in the world. We have already seen the benefits in the form of the success of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Usage of a blockchain network and its crypto token, dApps can speed up money management, transfer, and lending by eliminating intermediaries and enhancing security. This fast transaction is due to the consensus mechanism that is impossible to change without a majority.
Business Process Management
Companies can integrate decentralized applications to streamline processes without human intervention. With smart contracts- an essential cog in the blockchain network, critical issues can be solved, and process efficiency can be enhanced. For example, logistics companies can integrate RFID chips into their shipment that can be scanned at the destination ports on which the payment can be settled automatically through a smart contract between buyer and seller.
DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization)
DAO is an entirely new phenomenon of starting faceless organizations without leaders. These organizations can work as a corporation and run via rules that are defined by programming languages on the blockchain. How members will vote, what business segment the organization will operate in, who can be members, how the value token will be exchanged. Everything can be programmed on the DLT that will run the organization. These organizations cannot stop once deployed and can work worldwide, without any trouble riding on the blockchain network bandwagon.
How to build a powerful decentralized app?
The dApp development process is not as straightforward as building a centralized application or traditional software. The steps to create a decentralized app below in the following sections:
The first step in the dApp development process is to identify the right business use case. The best way to start is to identify the problem and analyze if decentralization is the best way forward. Let’s pick a supply chain case – we want to pay vendors who source our equipment or raw materials immediately as soon as the item arrives. Remember, blockchain comes up with five benefits:
Two of the above components should be a part of your solution if you think of a problem that you want to solve:
- Do you need encryption?
- Do you require immutability?
- Do you want the information to be decentralized or distributed?
The second step is to create a proof of concept (POC) so that stakeholders understand the idea. Once you have established the POC and demonstrated it to the right people, you need to create visual and technical designs.
You should keep the POC small if you have to create a smart contract or user interface to demonstrate how the end-to-end cycle works. Ensure that it takes no more than 2-4 weeks to complete the POC cycle.
After the POC is completed, start working on the visual and technical designs and identify how the platform will look like. The technology side of the dApp development is crucial as there are multiple Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) platforms available. You have to ensure that you have picked the right platform based on your requirements of speed, scalability, consensus mechanism, and public or private network functionality.
Once the development is completed, first launch it on the test network, scrutinize the code rigorously, and fix any bugs or errors before going live.
Launch your dApp on the production server after testing the code and functionality, and when you are sure, it will function as per your expectations. Remember, there is no room for errors in the production environment, unlike a traditional app for which you can write the code, deploy the app, and then modify it again whenever needed.
In the case of a public blockchain, every action executed on a live smart contract has a particular gas charge. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the codes are written efficiently and have no errors.
Why choose dApp development over Traditional app development?
dApps promote decentralization, making them tamperproof and the records unalterable. As dApps are based on a secure blockchain network, such apps help a high-security level and are immutable from hacks and intrusions.
- Faster & payment processing without needing to integrate payment gateway to accept funds.
- High levels of data security due to smart contracts governed by private keys.
- Greater anonymity without requiring the users to follow the lengthy signup process.
- Reliable data records as users can access the public blockchain to verify transaction information.
Cost of Developing a dApp
The cost of developing a dApp depends on several factors, such as the vision and goals for the application, expected features, and the efforts you would put into the development process. Furthermore, the cost also varies based on the industry for which the decentralized app is built, the complexity, and the number of users who would be interacting with the application at any given time.
The development platform also determines a significant portion of the cost: ETH, EOS, TRON or any other. At present, the price of development is highest for ETH-based apps, offering superior quality graphics and user interface and robust functionalities. On the downside, it may take up to six months to develop such an application.
On the other hand, both EOS and TRON are comparatively less expensive and enable faster development cycles involving only a few weeks. However, the apparent trade-offs are the quality of graphics and design features.
When planning the budget for a decentralized app and the resource cost for consulting and development, you must also plan for the one-time and running costs associated with the platform.
We hope that this write-up on dApps has provided you with a basic understanding of the various aspects of decentralized applications built on DLT technology. If you have a business case or an idea for a dApp that you want to explore further, get in touch with us and our team can help you make the right decision.Polytree