DAPP: The Way to Web 3.0
The First Six Months of the Journey to Scalability, Flexibility, and Interoperability
In late January 2019, we set out on a journey to enable networks to overcome their scalability limitations and become the home for a new class of mass-scale applications.
Since then, we have been hard at work releasing product after product, working with an ecosystem of developers to enhance the DAPP Network and building a vibrant LiquidApps community. As we were coming up on our 6-month mark, we decided to save our code, briefly close our laptops, and reflect on what we’ve been building together.
LiquidApps was born out of a desire to free developers from the constraints they face in their journey to build scalable decentralized applications (dApps). To that end, we introduced the DAPP Network — a novel service layer comprised of developers, DAPP Service Providers (DSPs), and users committed to making blockchains scale. We bucked the industry trend of generating tokens before shipping code, and the DAPP Network first product — vRAM — was live from the Network’s launch. Since then, LiquidApps has continued to roll out technologies at a rapid pace as contributors on the DAPP Network.
Other powerful LiquidApps products allow developers to:
- Seamlessly onboard new users with LiquidAccounts, a free account creation mechanism
- Source information in a trustless manner through DSPs using LiquidOracles
- Communicate data trustlessly across multiple blockchains with LiquidLink
Developers can access DSP services by staking DAPP tokens towards their chosen DSP service package, which are offered by the DSPs on a free market basis.
Built to sit on top of base-layer blockchain protocols, the DAPP Network opens up new possibilities for developers looking to build decentralized applications (dApps) with a mainstream appeal.
But before we dive deeper into this scaling and service layer, let’s explore why we even need dApps in the first place.
Taking Back the Internet
Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, gave away its source code for free. A British scientist working out of the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Berners-Lee chose to open-source his project so that the Web would be an open and democratic platform for all.
30 years later, the internet is a very different place. As Berners-Lee put it, the increasing centralization of the web is producing “a large-scale emergent phenomenon which is anti-human.”
Instead of an information superhighway that grants equal access to all its users, the internet has become a collection of large corporations monopolizing our data and our attention. As we move through the web, our interactions are tracked, mined, and sold to advertisers who use our data to improve the precision of their targeting algorithms. In many ways, we have shifted from being the builders of the Web to being its most profitable products.
Web 3.0, the collection of protocols, services, and applications that form the decentralized internet, promises to reclaim the internet for its original purpose of collaboration and sharing. Yet, for the decentralized web to manifest its potential, the underlying infrastructure must be both robust and easy to build on.
By creating a free market for DSP services that is both user-friendly and entirely decentralized, the DAPP Network is a critical infrastructure component for a generation of talented, ideal-driven developers remaking the web.
Increasing centralization of the web is producing “a large-scale emergent phenomenon which is anti-human.” ~Tim Berners-Lee
From Digital Assets to Digital Democracies
10 years ago, in the aftermath of the Great Recession, Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the world to a peer-to-peer digital currency that could operate without any intervention from banks and governments. Instead of relying on legacy institutions to keep track of everyone’s balances, Bitcoin harnesses the power of the underlying blockchain technology to record and update the state of a shared ledger.
Aligning incentivizes in such a way as to encourage everyone to play fair is the way by which blockchains replace trust in centralized intermediaries with the new model of consensus. A distributed network of nodes can use consensus to agree on and update the state of any ledger, whether it tracks currency account balances, user profiles on a software platform or any other relevant data set.
What Bitcoin did for money, smart contract technology would do for the internet. Introduced by Ethereum in 2014, smart contracts extend the functionality of blockchains beyond currency transfer to encompass general-purpose applications. Since then, a host of alternative smart contract platforms have emerged, each aiming to become the home of decentralized applications (dApps.)
By enabling applications to run without a centralized server, a decentralized internet allows users to own their data, choose who to share it with, and reap the financial rewards from their digital profiles. As we regain control of our data and become empowered citizens within digital communities, the internet will once again be realigned with the equitable vision of its founders.
By enabling applications to run without a centralized server, a decentralized internet allows users to own their data, choose who to share it with, and reap the financial rewards from their digital profiles.
Overturning decades of entrenched digital habits will require a concentrated effort from a global community. Thankfully, the DAPP Network’s borderless ecosystem of developers, DSPs, and users are directly incentivized to collaborate towards building the foundations for mass-scale decentralized applications.
Blockchains Are Not Enough On Their Own — That’s Where We Come In
Base-layer blockchains come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Each consists of a unique set of features, a developer culture, and technical specifications. Yet base-layer protocols on their own lack the power and potency to truly transform the internet back to a digital commons with equal rights and data ownership privileges for all. They all face network resource limitations that prevent mass-scale applications from emerging on their platform.
Ethereum, for example, can only process around 15 transactions a second, making it an unsuitable home for Uber and Facebook-like applications that require significantly more processing power. Competing blockchains, such as EOS, are similarly constrained by a limitation of processing power, memory, and other network resources.
Developers can utilize the DAPP Network’s plug-and-play set of services to overcome the inherent limitations of base-layer protocols, allowing them to build and scale dApps far more effectively.
Started Off with vRAM Now We’re Here
The first product to go live on the DAPP Network was vRAM, an alternative memory solution for EOS dApps which drastically reduces their cost of storing smart contract data on-chain.
vRAM, which went live on day one, was followed by a slate of powerful products, each product addressing a thorny technical problem holding blockchain applications back from scaling. LiquidAccounts, a free account creation tool, allows users to no longer have to carry the burden of resource management, key security, and account creation, giving dApps the opportunity to offer a seamless user-onboarding experience.
Other products we launched include LiquidOracles — decentralized web oracles that fetch data from external sources in a trustless manner — as well as random number generation and LiquidScheduler.
Read more about “LiquidOracles & Chainlink: Better Together”
LiquidOracles, a DAPP Network Service, Offers Increased Security and Flexibility for dApps…
One particularly exciting functionality of the DAPP Network is the ability for DSPs to provide secure interblockchain communication (LiquidLink). IBC could enable multi-chain applications to emerge, fusing together superior components from assorted base-layer protocols.
DAPP Network services are offered by DSPs on a free market in the form of service packages. DSPs have complete autonomy when designing service packages and are free to decide on the terms, conditions, and specifications of their offerings. In order to access service packages, developers must stake the required amount of DAPP tokens towards the packages of their choice.
Developers are not limited to the suite of products developed by LiquidApps. With Zeus, our open-source, cross-platform, and cross-chain software development kit, developers can optimally build and run their own unique services on the DAPP Network.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Watching an idea morph into a thriving, independent network in a matter of months is truly remarkable.
As the DAPP Network matures and community independence continues to evolve, we envision an increase in the number of use cases and services offered by DSPs on the DAPP Network. Anyone can contribute a service to the DAPP Network. We know of a few teams already building services, such as KYC and payment solutions, which DSPs can offer on the DAPP Network and are eager to see more emerge from the ecosystem. Furthermore, the nature of the DSP free market means that non-developers are free to stake to DSP service packages and delegate those resources to projects they believe are adding value to the ecosystem — a model introduced by Guy Beauchesne in his article “Disrupting Venture Capital Paradigm.”
While the DAPP Network initially operated exclusively on the EOS blockchain, the utility it provides is not limited to a single network. With the release of LiquidLink, the DAPP Network entered an exciting era of blockchain interoperability.
LiquidLink, which currently enables trustless two-way communication between EOS and Ethereum, is breaking down the barriers between chains, thereby creating the conditions for multi-chain applications to emerge.
Equipping Developers With Abundant Resources on A User-Friendly Platform
Applications built on top of a decentralized foundation open up the internet to a new realm of possibility. For example, decentralized social media platforms grant ordinary users ownership of their precious data generated by their interactions, allowing them to receive tokenized rewards in exchange for sharing their data with advertisers, researchers and data aggregators. Moving beyond consumer applications, traditional enterprises are exploring ways to leverage the efficiencies of blockchain technology to improve their supply chains, auditing software, and other processes.
Our goal is to make the dApp development process as smooth as possible by equipping developers with an abundance of resources and services that are extensible, simple to understand and easy to implement. As dApps scale beyond the early-adopter phase and into mainstream adoption, it is crucial that the infrastructure upon which they sit remains both fully decentralized and user-friendly.
We invite you to take an active role in the quest to bring scalable dApps to the masses.
You can join our Telegram channel and contribute to important discussions about the future of the DAPP Network.
And if you are a developer, join our developer community chat to find the answers to technical questions and more information on how you can get started providing or using the powerful services of the DAPP Network.