dApps: All you should know about decentralized apps:
Decentralized applications are called as dApps in short. They run on a network that is not controlled by a single entity thus allowing more borderless access, transfer and recording of data, information and funds. dApps are similar to mobile apps and their difference is in terms of their future potential, unlimited and unrestricted access. They operate on a decentralized network platform.
In the current world, there are many blockchain developers working on dApps and there are some promising dApps. dApps like Augur, which is a prediction based project aimed at predicting future; Golem, a network platform to share computational resources, etc are perfect examples.
Though the dApps available today may be limited, with the changing technology and the trend change towards digital currency, dApps will overtake usual applications.
dApps for beginners
To understand dApps better before developing, you need to know the three types of dApps. They are explained with an example of most popular dApps for each type.
Some of the attractive features of dApps are:
no central authority,
being open source, code accessibility to everyone,
encrypted data storage
incentive based since crypto tokens are used to reward network users/miners
This type of decentralized application runs on a blockchain platform of its own giving multi unrestricted access to the developers and users. Example: Factom, it is a dApp used in verifying assets that are digitized.
This type of decentralized application runs on type 1 as a base and focuses on following protocols. Example: KYC (know your customers), dApp to easily identify the customer.
This type of decentralized application runs on type 2 as a base and focuses on storage of data and information.
Example: The SAFE Network, a data storage dApp that runs on decentralized platform.
Rewarding network participants
Follow the below mentioned structure and protocols and it will let the users feel a transparency and understanding between them and the developer, you.
According to statistics provided by state of the dApps article, the total numbers of dApps are approximately around 2100 and still counting; there are more than 23,000 active users for dApp.
At least around 650.00k transactions are made every 24 hours and more than 5.0k smart contracts are made every day. dApps have grown large from the short period since its launch.
Proof of work (PoW) is a structured protocol to avoid and prevent cyber threats and attacks. Proof of stake (PoS) work as similar as PoW but focuses more on verifying and validating transactions that take place. PoW rewards the network participants by providing a network where all transactions can be trusted as it gives the proof that the transaction made is legitimate. PoS rewards the network participants by providing a system that verifies all transactions and processes them faster and more efficient.
The better efficient you develop your dApp, better will be user count and in turn large transactions will take place. This increases your user base and also the reach of your dApp and better satisfies your users. This makes the user feel rewarded with features that are so dream filled with unlimited and unrestricted access.
PoW as network participants indicate the terms and conditions that the users have to show in order to have the ability and capacity to authorize transactions. PoS as network participants indicate that energy needed to maintain and handle transactions is lower.
How to build a dApp that reward network participants
This is the basic functioning structure of dApp in terms of types. To build a dApp that rewards participants, you need to understand and follow the following structure.
Step: 1 Define the environment
Identify what your dApp vision is and what you are trying to achieve. This is the initial step. After confirming that, next identify which technology and platform best suits the operations of your dApp. Consider the following for developing your dApp environment.
This is very important as this the language using which you can develop, alter and update your dApps for all its purposes. The language can be JAVA, CSS or HTML, it depends on the purpose of your dApp.
Make sure to set up a database that can store and handle the load of data and information being transferred. Whether the database is going to be completely online or offline or partial of both is entirely based on your dApps customer base.
To handle storage and all operations, the next important resource to support storage is the server. Since it is a decentralized network, the opportunity for setting up a server is unlimited. But, make sure to consider all your limitation variables such as cost, location, remote access, etc.
Step: 2 Setting up the framework
This is the foundation where you have to figure out the best structure that supports your dApp in terms of programming language and operations. This is what makes the developers ease towards developing the dApp. An inefficient framework will lead to many loopholes in the operation of the dApp, hence it is important to take decisions with your team and achieve consensus.
In this stage also, make sure the application programming interface (API) is user friendly and acceptable by your dApp framework. This will allow you to provide better communication and a easy to follow protocol between developers and users.
Step: 3 Develop and code
While coding your dApp, make sure you realize the differences between all the languages. Some developers feel solidity is easier and better to use than other languages, which might not be your case but still it never hurts to try something new or more. Solidity is a contract based language used widely in developing smart contracts for cryptocurrency platform. Smart contracts are digital way of handling and maintaining contracts. See what fits the best for your dApp.
Make sure you include categories and codes for permission, signatures, data exchange format and user friendly access. This allows you as a developer to have a stable admin privileges with effective user interface.
Step: 4 Work on how your dApp is going to look
First impression is the best impression and this allows work out. At least in most cases, so make sure that the appearance the interface of your dApp does not lag and is glitch free for the user. Make sure your front end of the dApp is attractive and understandable.
Don’t keep it too simple and at the same time don’t keep it too clustered and complicated.
Step: 5 Test and put your dApp to flight
Test your dApp for any bugs, crashes and vulnerability to security threats or hacks. Check more than once to make sure everything is secure and according to the framework fixed.
Once everything is confirmed and approved, launch your dApp to the targeted user base and get their feedback.
Sonal Mehta is a Content Lead at SoluLab, a leading Blockchain development company in USA and Canada, started by ex-vice president of Goldman Sachs and ex-principal software architect of Citrix. SoluLab Inc provides full spectrum, 360-degree services to enterprises, startups and entrepreneurs helping turn their dreams into awesome software products.