What Are Decentralized Applications (dApps)? — Explained With Examples

Pratik Rupareliya
Nov 6, 2018 · 6 min read

The tech world is one of the most dynamic segments in the whole universe. One moment, the world is behind a technology and the next moment, suddenly, the technology becomes obsolete. Similar is the case with the app world, too. Numerous tech stacks, frameworks, and languages are available to develop an app but still, developers are not confident about a single framework that can offer the best results.

As the world is adjusting to conventional apps, the whole ecosystem is also evolving. dApps or decentralized applications are a novel breed of applications that are not controlled or owned by a single authority, cannot be shut-off or cannot have a downtime.

dApps: The Ultimate Open Source Revolution

The dApp concept is still in its nascent stage. Explaining the same in a single line is tough because no specific definition seems to fit all the attributes that make an application a decentralized app. As 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 stores 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 to have a consensus mechanism that portrays proof of value in the cryptographic system. Essentially, this endows value to the cryptographic token and creates a consensus protocol that users agree upon to generate valuable crypto tokens.

Now that we know the characteristics, we can try to fit it into a definition that will help us identify real-life examples. Essentially, dApp is an application that runs on 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 the 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. Coming to the use case of decentralized applications, we can classify these apps based on the scenario they can be infused into. 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 success of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Using blockchain network and its own crypto token, dApps can speed up money management, transfer, and lending by eliminating middlemen and enhance security 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 the help of 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 a completely new phenomenon of starting faceless organizations without leaders. These organizations can work as a corporate and run via rules that are defined by programming languages on the blockchain. How members will vote, what business segment will the organization operate in, who can be members, how will the value token be exchanged, everything can be programmed on the blockchain that will run the organization. These organization cannot stop once deployed and can work worldwide, without any trouble riding on the blockchain network bandwagon.

Real-world dApp examples: Successful dApps Projects in the world

Most dApps are focused on money management and simplifying money transfer. Most of the cryptocurrencies remove the friction associated with P2P transfers. But, there are some innovative use cases of dApps, too. For instance, Factom is an open-source record keeping system that is unalterable. There are some other promising dApps projects that are transforming the app landscape. These include:

  • Golem

Golem utilizes idle computer power and its first use case came out in the form of Brass Golem. Brass Golem aims at improving CGI rendering landscape by giving CGI artists the power to rent out powerful computing resource as per the CGI requirement. By creating a decentralized network, idle machines are put to a good use by giving them the power to accept tasks from the users of Golem network. This is the next level of resource sharing and pooling that is being made possible by Goem dApp.

  • Augur

Augur aims at blending the power of decentralized network with prediction algorithms to create full-proof forecasting tools for markets. Though the app is still under beta testing, the potential implications are quite promising. The app will be able to input real-world events into other events to create an unalterable blockchain network of true facts that can be used for reference across industries.

  • Status

Status runs a peer-to-peer network where users can send payments to each other and enter into a smart contract. Via the messenger system, users can stay connected without the problem of server downtime as everything is based on blockchain P2P network.

Developing dApps: How to build a powerful decentralized app?

Just like any new programming concept or technology, there is a wide range of coding options and platforms that developers can leverage while thinking of developing decentralized applications. If you have to develop a dApp for yourself, you need to get hold of proper tools, components, and frameworks for success. We have tried to compare dApp development with conventional development and compile everything you need to build a decentralized app in the following table:

dApps are based on backend code operating on a P2P network. When compared to conventional apps, this is a major difference as a normal app’s backend runs on a centralized server. When it comes to the frontend, the code can be written in any programming language. Using an API, frontend calls the backend in case of decentralized applications. Also, frontend can also be hosted on a decentralized storage system such as IPFS.

Now you see how different development of a decentralized app is compared to a normal app, let’s focus on the benefits of choosing dApps over apps managed via centralized servers.

Why choose dApp development over conventional app development?

dApps promotes decentralization making them tamperproof and the records unalterable. As dApps are based on a secure blockchain network, such apps promote a high level of security 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 needing the users to follow the lengthy signup process.
  • Reliable data records as users can access the public blockchain to verify transaction information.

For kickstarting a successful dApps project, you need an expert blockchain developer who has the agility and expertise to handle complex frameworks. In order to, make your decentralised app development journey successful, you need a dependable companion with experience of deploying successful dApps. Intuz has been working in the dApps domain for quite a while and offers specialised blockchain services for several industries. Engage with Intuz dApps experts and contact us now.

Read My Previous Articles on Blockchain/Cryptocurrency

Also: Stay tuned with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for other interesting news from us!


how hackers start their afternoons.

Pratik Rupareliya

Written by

Techno-commercial leader heading Intuz as head of Strategy | Intuz.com | Cloud, Blockchain, Iot, Mobile and Web


how hackers start their afternoons.

More From Medium

More from HackerNoon.com

More from HackerNoon.com

WTF is The Blockchain?

More from HackerNoon.com

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade