What Are Decentralized Applications (DApps)?
Decentralized applications (DApps) are smart contract-powered digital applications or programs that run on blockchains rather than centralized servers. They look and feel similar to regular mobile apps on your smartphone and offer a wide variety of services and functions from gaming to finance, social media, and much more. As the name suggests, DApps run on decentralized peer-to-peer networks.
A smart contract works as a set of predefined rules enforced by computer code. When and if certain conditions are met, all network nodes will execute the tasks that the contract specifies.
Once a smart contract is deployed on the blockchain, it is hard to change the code or destroy it. Therefore, even if the team behind the DApp has disbanded, users can still access the DApp.
While the interfaces of DApps and traditional applications can look similar, DApps offer multiple benefits compared to their centralized counterparts. Web apps store data on centralized servers. A single compromised server may take down the entire network of the app, making it temporarily or permanently unusable. Centralized systems may also suffer from data leakages or theft, putting the companies and individual users at risk.
DApps, in contrast, are built on distributed networks with no central authority. With no single point of failure, DApps are less vulnerable to attacks, making it very difficult for malicious actors to hijack the network. The P2P network can also ensure the DApp continues to work with minimal downtime, even if individual computers or parts of the network malfunction.
The decentralized nature of DApps also means that users can have more control over the information they share. With no companies controlling users’ personal data, they don’t need to provide real-world identity to interact with a DApp. Instead, they can use a crypto wallet to connect to DApps and fully control what information they share.
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