Dapps compared to apps
Monday, February 4, 2019
Dapps are different than regular apps for mobile because of their transparent public ledger, but there are some other distinct differences you should learn so you can decide if building a dapp is better for you in the long run.
Dapps, or "decentralized app" development is still in the gestational stage, but one company has seen growth spurts in the number of active dapps throughout 2018. Dapp.com recently compiled their latest quarterly report providing a snapshot of what's happening in the market
Some key takeaways from their report included:
- Over 900 dapps had launched in 2018 from Ethereum, grown from only 7 in 2017.
- Currently, 60% of the dapps in the market are games.
- EOS were described as the Las Vegas in blockchain by some media as over 50% of the 60 new dapps launched are betting dapps.
- The EOS ecosystem performed very well, 70 active dapps within 4 months, and over 1,300,000 transaction volume.
So to get more detail about dapps from someone who knows, we connected with Kyle Lu, CEO of Dapp.com, who spoke more in-depth about the report, and other things dapp, including a forecast of things to expect in the coming year.
Kyle has a deep understanding of the blockchain ecosystem and is well connected in the crypto space. Prior to Dapp.com, he was the partner and VP of Achain, a leading blockchain in Asia with top 80 global market cap. He has incubated a lot of blockchain based projects including Kcash Wallet, Vexanium and Linkeye. Kyle is also a regular speaker on blockchain networks, decentralized applications, and blockchain adoption.
What is a dapp?
A dapp, or decentralized app, has its open-sourced backend code running on a decentralized network (P2P network), which offers great features such as transparency, fairness, proof of ownership, and etc. For example, CryptoKitties is a dapp built on Ethereum blockchain. The transparency and proof of data ownership by blockchain ensured that each CryptoKitty’s ownership and scarcity.
What is dapps’ role in the blockchain ecosystem?
As many IT technologies have underlying (infrastructure) and application layers, dapp is the application layer for blockchains. The development and success of dapp determine whether the blockchain technology could be widely adopted.
What are the key differences between a dapp and an app? What advantages and disadvantages are present from switching apps to dapps?
There are some key differences between a dapp and an app. First of all, a dapp’s operation is completely transparent and recorded on the public ledger. In addition, its data and transaction cannot be erased once it is generated.
The key advantages are that a dapp is more trusted by the users, and the users get the control and ownership of their data and assets. The current disadvantage is that dapps are not as user-friendly as traditional apps - it still has some limitation due to the scalability of blockchains and it also required more learning process for the users to understand wallets, tokens, transactions etc.
What are the basic steps to publishing/creating a dapp?
Unlike having to follow Apple's guidelines when building and publishing a mobile app for iOS, there is no restriction when creating dapps on the blockchain. Usually, the developers will build their product once they have the concept on one of the blockchains. There are many public blockchains that provide different technical specifications and also supports (tech and financial) for developers. They usually submit their product to platforms like Dapp.com to get more seed users once they’ve met our guidelines.
Why do you think the dapp industry has not taken off yet? What are some major factors hindering its development?
The dapp industry is still very small when we look at two key figures from our 2018 Dapp Market Report - 1,423 active dapps and 3% usage (1,799,918 dapp users from 54,814,617 accounts) on Ethereum, EOS, Steem, and Tron blockchain. We could easily compare with a number of more than 65,000 apps launched in Apple App Store in its first year.
I think the formula for dapps’ mass adoption is “content + infrastructure + user tools + awareness = success.” Each of the factors needs improvement to achieve the final goal. Infrastructure was a problem in 2018 because the dapp performance was limited by the blockchain scalability. There are much better content and ideas brought to the industry and we could be able to see great products soon. We still need good user tools to make it easier to understand and access dapps. In the end, there is a lot of effort needed to increase awareness and education for the industry.
What information is stored with someone uses a dapp?
The wallet address of users (anonymous) and their interactions (eg. made purchases, uploaded posts etc.) with the dapp are stored on the blockchain. Everyone will be able to see them.
How do dapps generate revenue?
There are no differences between dapp or app in generating revenue. There are various ways depending on their business models. For example, a dapp game could sell their in-game assets for revenue. And decentralized exchange makes money from trading fees.
How will users be able to tell if a dapp is a scam or not? What are some key signs to look out for?
We can distinguish it from two levels. The first is the product, design, and marketing of this dapp. Most scam products will be very rough and will use a lot of untrustworthy descriptions. The second is to look through their open-sourced backend codes or smart contracts to verify consistency and security. We are making our dapp review guidelines more strict and also working with security companies to protect our users.
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