The word ‘dApps’, short for decentralized applications, has been floating around in the technological space for quite some time. But despite the tremendous prospects that are offered by them, not everyone is aware of them. So what are decentralized applications? Here’s what you need to know.
In the modern day, most of the applications and services that we are currently using are centralized. The ‘Server-Client’ structure has introduced most of the centralization in modern operational frameworks. If we see the products that are revolving around us these, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc., almost all of these are centralized. Facebook has data centers and servers installed at the back end that hold the information regarding the users of the platform. Users give their data to the central controlling party and get their desired data from its servers. In short, everything revolves around the central controlling party.
In order to solve this issue, the idea of decentralization came into existence. It essentially means to eliminate the need of a central controlling party from a framework so that the control of the network is granted to the users, not to an external hand.
Regarding decentralization, blockchain technology has been leading the arena. It essentially provides a global framework of decentralization eliminating the need of a third-party. The most common use-case of its employment can be found in the form of bitcoin. Under the external aura of bitcoin lies blockchain technology. Nodes of the bitcoin blockchain network are sitting in various parts of the world and are running the entire financial framework. There is no financial institution that governs the operation of its network.
Besides bitcoin, networks like ethereum, EOS etc. have also stepped into the arena. But how does one make a decentralized application? This is where ethereum has taken the lead in this arena.
At the time of writing, the ethereum currency is standing as the third largest cryptocurrency of the world as per CoinMarketCap. Ethereum has opened up new horizons for the world to develop distributed applications. It has provided people with a platform to build and deploy distributed applications, or ‘dApps’, which involve no intervention from a third party of any kind. Blockchain framework has been made programmable as a result of this, and people can make their own decentralized applications using what they call ‘smart contracts’. Smart contracts allow users to integrate whatever functionality that they want to introduce in their dApp through programming.
What blockchain decentralization introduces is a ‘trustless’ framework, where users do not have to trust any external third-party with their information in order to perform an operation.
Through dApps, the connection between users and providers is made directly without having to go through an external party. Besides this, there is no central point of failure in the network that could bring the entire system down immediately.
Also in centralized control, the third-party has the access over the censorship of material. In a blockchain-based decentralized system, once a proceeding is mapped in the network, it cannot be changed or controlled by anyone. The entire network becomes immutable.
Besides the financial frameworks, as seen in the case of cryptos, decentralization can also revamp various industries and governmental procedures. Through decentralization, electoral processes can be revamped across various countries. In the current electoral process, the central party in-charge of overseeing the procedures can limit the transparency of the network. In a specifically designed blockchain-based decentralized system, all the transactions of the network can be made public and immutable providing a completely transparent system. By employing such a framework, it can be made sure that all no forgery of the record takes place and the entire process is trustworthy.
This is just one use-case of decentralization. Since its inception, decentralization has been revolutionizing industries like content-creation, music, casino gaming etc. Any framework of the world that is centralized and requires transparency and immutability can be changed by employing the blockchain technology.
Currently, a lot of social media startups are in works that want to make platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc. decentralized so that user have more control over their data and the vulnerability of the data getting leaked is taken out of the equation, as seen in the case of Facebook.
With a number of decentralized applications springing up every day owing to the issues associated with the centralized framework, it seems that the future is decentralized, where people are going to trust each other more than a third-party. But one has to keep in mind, not every system needs to be decentralized, every system has its own perks.