DAppNode: The Infrastructure for the Decentralized World

Yalor Arnold
Jul 3, 2018 · 6 min read

by Eduardo Antuña (Project Lead)

Finally after months of work we’re ready to “officially” present the DAppNode project to the community. Today is a special day that we hope signals the beginning of a new understanding of decentralization.

DAppNode is a tool that allows people to host decentralized apps in a truly decentralized way, eliminating the reliance on vulnerable third party vendors and adding an extra layer of incentivization that will spread adoption of the blockchain ecosystem.

We invite you to install the latest version of DAppNode by visiting https://dappnode.io/

Let’s back up and start by explaining why the DAppNode infrastructure is seriously needed and how we see it becoming an important piece of the decentralized world.

There are enough definitions of decentralization to make your head spin. To look at one, Vitalik Buterin is cited in “The Meaning of Decentralization”, as saying we can distinguish between three types of decentralization: Architectural, Political and Logical:

Architectural (de)centralization — how many physical computers is a system made up of? How many of those computers can it tolerate breaking down at any single time?

Political (de)centralization — how many individuals or organizations ultimately control the computers that the system is made up of?

Logical (de)centralization — does the interface and data structures that the system presents and maintains look more like a single monolithic object, or an amorphous swarm?”

If we stop to analyze this in depth, other questions arise like:

  • Where are these “physical” computers or “nodes”?
  • How many people control these nodes?
  • Who controls my access to the decentralized world?

Many of us utilize these nodes through services such as DigitalOcean, Amazon, Azure and other VPS providers. We can quickly get a picture of what’s happening here: we are putting our access to decentralized applications into the hands of centralized services. We need to ask ourselves “with all these decentralized tools we’re building, does it really make sense to consume them through centralized services?”

DAppNode is software that can be installed on any piece of hardware to give users easy censorship-resistant access to all their favorite DApps, the ability to host their own nodes and share their access with family and friends. Our goal is to achieve “real decentralization” by creating a layer of personally owned hardware infrastructure that’s easy to set up and provides secure access. DAppNode connects users to the decentralized web and creates the infrastructure for dapps to run services 24x7 in a truly decentralized manner.

We’re excited to announce that after months of work we have released the first alpha version and that means it is possible for you to install your very own DAppNode, either on your current server or by setting up a new piece of hardware. The core system will be automatically deployed and configured without any effort, and this will be your gateway to a new world of decentralization with infinite possibilities, together we will be creating a decententralization model in which users themselves will be the service providers.

Below are examples of DApps (These sites are only accessible after the installation of DAppNode *Wink Wink*) via the decentralized portal by going to http://decentral.eth/:

We expect this list of decentralized websites to increase very fast in the coming months and we welcome anyone interested in adding their own DApp to contact us directly by joining our Riot Chatroom.

But the advantages of DAppNode don’t end there, we have also created a system of DAppNodePackages (aka DNP) to make the installation of applications as easy as possible, practically any project or application that can be dockerized can be installed, because we have essentially created the first DApp store in history, except we don’t sell anything $-)

Go and take a look at what we have available for install at the moment such as DNP’s like the Ethereum testnets: Kovan, Ropsten and Rinkeby, the Monero daemon or the IPFSConsortium.

At this point we are ready for YOU, the people, to install and maintain this hardware in your own home, we have users already connected to the decentralized world, they can connect MetaMask directly to their DAppNode without having to depend on infura servers, they can also start browsing *.eth domains, use IPFS content or start using any DApp without having to depend on centralized services at all.

DAppNode serves web pages in a completely decentralized fashion and the best part is that these permanent, censorship-resistant and decentralized websites are accessible from a traditional browser, such as our portal http://decentral.eth/

Anybody can now create a DAppNodePackage and publish it in a decentralized repo (Thanks to Aragon Package Manager and IPFS)

Our next step is to develop an SDK for DAppNodePackage developers and we expect to see many Dapps with their own DNP that improves the user experience and decentralizes access. For example, it can be a DApp accelerator that allows the devices not having to synchronize the chain to start using it, like a cache system for the DAppNode users. It could be a prepared service for staking in any chain, it could be a client for other chains, it could be a scrawl of a decentralized search engine, etc.

All this is possible thanks to Swarm City’s Sponnet and his work on the IPFSConsortium since it is the first application developed by a third party.

With the DAppNode project we will have a storefront that will allow any person to install and configure their project in just minutes, facilitating the visibility and decentralization of its growth and expansion. We believe this is the beginning of a new model, a P2P economy that makes projects truly decentralized and accessible to anyone.

We dream of a self-sustaining system where users support their favorite projects, by providing the service that the project needs and in return it provides the necessary income to amortize the costs of the DAppNode.

Now is the time where we need as much feedback as possible from early adopters, so please go install it here! We’re also looking to engage with anyone interested in collaborating, developing, donating or promoting the DAppNode, lastly we are evaluating differents ways to make the project self-sustainable and welcome your thoughts. Since no amount of help is enough when you’re trying to decentralize the world :-)

Finally we would like to thank everyone that made this project possible:

Jordi Baylina the ideologist, investor and promoter, Griff Green the advisor and advocate for having believed, supported, invested time and ether into making this project a reality. And the team of committed contributors:

DAppLion for his tireless work that gave up the DAppNode alpha. YalorMewn, the great communicator, for all his help, feedback and Yalorization process. Emex’s work on the VPN/ hardware and Geleeroyale for our slick website with an integrated leaderboard.

DAppNode is a project maintained by donations that we track using the Giveth Alpha DApp, a big thank you for the support the whole Giveth community has given as Giveth provides an ideal way to transparently track contributor payouts and manage donations.

Stay tuned, because the next stage of decentralization is coming…

Find us all over the interwebz:

Support us with your Eth at https://dappnode.io/

By Eduardo Antuña Díez

Originally published at medium.com on July 3, 2018.


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Yalor Arnold

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