Decentralized Applications: What are dApps?

dApps, or decentralized applications, are an application of blockchain technology that will shape the future of applications as we know it.

A modern-day application is usually something controlled by a single entity, a company or group of developers. On the other hand, a decentralized application is an application which exists on the blockchain, which means it is not controlled by a third party entity. This adds a layer of transparency and security which ensures that users can trust that their data is both safe and secure.

The front end of a dApp is typically an HTML/JavaScript web application that interacts with the blockchain. Connections are peer to peer, making it decentralized and distributed. This adds an element of security when avenues of attack are considered. A centralized processing unit opens up security vulnerabilities and gives hackers a location to attack. Consequently, this makes dApps much more secure than your typical standard application.

An important distinction to make is that dApps utilize blockchain technology as a database. This is important because one could argue that torrent clients are also decentralized applications, however, those within the blockchain industry would likely disagree.

Aside from being decentralized, building a blockchain-backed dApp does offer some advantages in terms of development. Payment processing, for example, is fast and can be achieved by simply using the blockchain to transact, removing the need to spend development time integrating payment processors such as Paypal. User authentication is another advantage, as only a public/private key is needed to facilitate registration and authentication.

Finally, the blockchain can act as a pseudo-database as well, offering a location to store data right out of the box, removing the need to set up a centralized database that would be prone to various attacks. The main benefits that dApps bring are transparency and security, but as mentioned previously, there are advantages in terms of development as well.

From Justin Cheung – Technical Lead – eXeBlock: eXeBlock Technology Corp is a designer of custom, state-of-the-art blockchain based software applications that provide profitable, secure and efficient solutions to businesses and markets globally.