Unhackable, Ungameable Immortal dApps Are a Class Of Their Own

End-to-End Decentralized Applications Democratize Data and Drive the Open-Source Movement Forward

Dec 18, 2019 · 9 min read
  • The open-source movement has stopped short of guaranteeing total freedom. Companies still choose to keep their data to themselves instead of sharing it with a community of developers and users.
  • Developers can harness the DAPP Network, a powerful middleware platform, to decentralize their applications across the entire tech stack — from the frontend to the backend to the data they generate.
  • Unhackable, ungameable Immortal dApps can finally emerge. These Immortal dApps enhance user privacy and bolster data integrity, driving new business models for forward-thinking companies while granting maximum freedom for the average user.

Ever since the Open Source Initiative was launched in 1998, the distribution of free software for the purpose of collaboration and sharing has continued to gain momentum within the tech industry and beyond. In addition to enabling more flexible technology and rapid innovation, open-source software aims to advance the ethos of digital freedom by unshackling information from the constraints of centralization.

Under its current iteration, however, the OSS revolution stops short of guaranteeing total freedom.

By harnessing the powerful services on the DAPP Network, developers can finally build immortal dApps that are open source from front to back, elevating the OSS revolution and empowering ordinary internet users to own their own data. Click to tweet

Immortal dApps: End-to-End Decentralized Applications

Yet for information to be truly free, developers must open source not just their code but their data as well. The DAPP Network allows developers to do this.

Zoom in on the DAPP Network, and you’ll see a variety of powerful blockchain services, each addressing a crucial issue preventing dApps from scaling or functioning smoothly. But a wider perspective of the DAPP Network shows a totally different picture.

Instead of a disparate suite of services, each specializing in its own domain, we see a single, cohesive middleware platform enabling immortal dApps to emerge for the very first time (Click to Tweet). The first immortal LiquidApp to launch on Kylin testnet was LiquidBattles — a fantasy card game based on Block.one’s Elemental Battles that used LiquidAccounts, vRAM and LiquidDNS to ensure end-to-end decentralizations.

LiquidBattles was recently followed up with the release of LiquidChess, an immortal chess dApp and the first application to showcase the capabilities of vCPU, the decentralized processing service running on the DAPP Network.

vCPU is a way to scale blockchain processing power horizontally, while providing far more computing power per action than native blockchains can provide. vCPU harnesses DAPP Service Providers (DSPs) to execute processing tasks in parallel before returning results that can be compared on chain.

LiquidChess harnesses vCPU together with a number of other powerful DAPP services to deliver an application that is decentralized across its stack. The additional services powering LiquidChess include:

  • LiquidAccountsAn account creation service that creates a seamless onboarding process by enabling dApps to provide free, customizable accounts to their users. Currently in Beta, this service allows dApps to configure key management solutions to the needs of their users.
  • LiquidDNSA service still in early development, LiquidDNS allows DSPs to run name servers that resolve domains to dApps without users needing to install or configure anything on their end. Taken together with decentralized storage solutions such as IPFS, this enables web hosting that cannot be taken offline.
  • vRAMThe vRAM System provides dApps with nearly-unlimited amount of decentralized memory that can be accessed directly from within their smart contracts. vRAM is already running in production-grade applications such as Moonlighting, a freelancer platform storing its user profiles on the EOS blockchain.
Even back in 2016! Image: Github

Open Sourcing Data: the Missing Piece of the OSS Revolution

  • Facebook: React, a Javascript library for building interactive web interfaces, is maintained by Facebook together with a community of independent teams and developers.
  • Google: Another popular Javascript library used by frontend developers building interactive UIs is Angular, a project spearheaded by Google.
  • Even Microsoft, once a bitter enemy of OSS, now embraces the movement to open source code. Recently, the Seattle-based giant announced that their proprietary ExFAT system, which is used to interact with files on SD cards and flash drives, will soon be made available on Linux, an open-source operating system.

Before the commercialization of computing, it was common for researchers and developers to share software as a means of advancing their field of study. As the bulk of software development moved from the university laboratories to for-profit corporations, protecting the intellectual property of one’s code became a greater imperative than the collaborative spirit of open-source software. Large corporations felt increasingly threatened as community-driven projects began to encroach on their territory.

Linux posed such a significant challenge to the reigning leaders in the operating system space that Microsoft’s then-CEO, Steve Ballmer, felt the need to declare Linux ‘a cancer.’

However, the OSS train could not be stopped. Satya Nadella, Ballmer’s successor at the helm, signaled a major shift that was already underway when he declared that ‘Microsoft loves Linux” at a Microsoft cloud briefing in 2014.

“The success of open source does call into some question the utility of command-and-control systems, of secrecy, of centralization, and of certain kinds of intellectual property. It would be almost disingenuous not to admit that it suggests (or at least harmonizes well with) a broadly libertarian view of the proper relationship between individuals and institutions.” ~Eric Raymond, The Cathedral and the Bazaar

Major corporations have come to realize that they could leverage OSS to enhance their business models. Despite this progress, open sourcing data has proven a step too far for these organizations. Perhaps it is only a matter of time before forward-thinking enterprises capitalize on the value propositions of this next step in the development of free software enterprise.

One domain where open sourcing data could lead to win-win scenarios for a diverse range of stakeholders is the medical realm.

Precision medicine, a model of healthcare that customizes treatment to each patient based on their unique genetic and biometric data, is gaining popularity as a preferred means of patient care. Gene sequencing, which cost around ~$300 million as recently as 2000, is now available for a mere $200. Add this to the prevalence of smart wearables and fitness tracking applications, and you get a treasure trove of valuable medical data that can be utilized to create bespoke treatments based on the unique profiles of each individual.

Collaboration between various parties — researchers, doctors, government agencies, insurance companies — is key to extracting the full value of medical data and maximizing the effectiveness of precision medicine.

Open-source medical data configured with varying permissions would grant researchers, doctors and government agencies access to patient data on a need-to-know basis. Researchers can query the data to detect the early onset of diseases without being able to view a patient’s personally identifiable information. Doctors can then utilize these findings to take preventive measures to reduce the risk of illness, while government agencies and insurance companies can distribute benefits to individual patients based on their unique conditions. Enforcing permissions for access ensures patient privacy is respected throughout the process.

The final act of the OSS revolution will see data shared across a community of developers, researchers and business much like open-source code is made public today. The DAPP Network is bringing this vision to fruition by enabling the creation of immortal decentralized applications (dApps), unkillable applications which are fully decentralized across the front-end, back-end and database.

“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”

However, in the original, Locke had included something else in place of “the pursuit of happiness.” Locke’s version of the trinity had read “Life, liberty, and property.”

According to Locke, an intellectual hero of the founding fathers of the USA, property rights are integral to the proper functioning of free society. His conception of property was deliberately broad. Anything a person owns that can be of some value to them falls under their natural rights, including their material objects as well as the fruits of their labor.

As we move more of our economic activity from the brick-and-mortar universe to the digital realm, the data we generate throughout our browsing experience will increasingly replace natural commodities as the raw materials of our economy. The process of production in the internet economy sees valuable raw data collected, stored in databases and fed into the predictive algorithms powering many smart products and services on which we have come to rely. Like any economic good, this data inputted has a tangible monetary value.

However, ordinary users are not economical free when it comes to the troves of data generated by their digital activities. Corporations are the sole owners of every bit of data generated on their platforms, giving them the right to monetize their data treasuries as they wish.

Instead of being empowered digital citizens with ownership privileges over their own data, users are merely sharecroppers on digital estates owned by the major tech corporations.

For example, presidential candidate Andrew Yang — whose flagship policies focus on dealing with the disruptive consequences of automation — has outlined a proposal to recognize data as a property right in an effort to curb the abuses of privacy that have become all too common. The proposal sets out a string of rights, including the right to be forgotten and the right to know if your data changes hands, in a document that closely resembles the GDPR regulations recently introduced by the EU.

Yet for all their good intentions, these efforts by politicians are only curing the symptoms of the problem, while the root cause remains untreated.

A human being’s data is their possession.

In the absence of a blockchain-based solution, it will always be the corporations, not ordinary users, who own the data generated on their platforms. Legislation may succeed in curbing privacy violations on major platforms, but only decentralization of data can give users direct ownership of their precious data. Using the blockchain to house not only the code powering applications, but their data as well represents the final phase of the open-source software revolution, one which promises to enhance the freedom of information for businesses and users alike.

Immortal dApps — unhackable, ungameable applications that can never be taken down — are within our grasp.

The LiquidApps Blog

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