Censor-resistant, open source mobile applications built on blockchain networks free from the clutches of centralization.
Decentralized applications (Dapps) are digital applications that run on a decentralized or peer-to-peer (P2P) network of computers instead of a single computer, and not controlled by a single authority.
There are many features in Dapps that make it different from the applications we use in our mobile phones today.
The mobile applications are controlled by a single authority, but Dapps are controlled by multiple computers on a decentralized network that combines a smart contract and a frontend user interface.
For example, a developer can create a Facebook-like Dapp and put it on a blockchain where any user can publish. Once posted, no one, including the app creators cannot delete the messages.
Dapps can do anything like web or mobile apps can do, while maintaining privacy, keeping immutable records and bypassing middlemen.
Transparency & trust
Open source is the foundation of Dapps along with decentralization, where all records are stored on a public blockchain that encourages transparency, trust and efficiency.
Ethreum was the first to build smart contracts on its blockchain making Daps possible for everyone.
Many believe that the first Dapp was Bitcoin, though in a limited sense, as it only allowed transferring currency without a need for an intermediary. Bitcoin is an implemented blockchain solution that arose due to problems with the centralization system.
The Ethereum network is also known as a Dapp library. It enables developers to write smart contracts stored on Ethereum blockchain.
These smart contracts are stored on every node on the networks making them decentralized applications. Rather than developing an entire application, Ethereum created a secured platform, where Dapps can be deployed.
For building Dapps, Ethereum has its own programming language, Solidity, which allows developers to code and run any application on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) in a decentralized manner.
EVM can be described as a distributed computer that is perfectly defined through a consensus algorithm.
Almost all DApps have smart contracts at their core. These are self-executing agreements with the terms between buyer and seller written into the code. Smart contracts are settled automatically when predetermined conditions are met, doing away with intermediaries that inject cost and risk into transactions.
Smart contracts can also be written and executed privately, without the need to identify the parties.
How Dapps work
Dapps have their backend code (smart contracts) running on a decentralized network and not a centralized server. They use the Ethereum blockchain for data storage and smart contracts.
A smart contract is like a set of rules that live on-chain for all to see and run exactly according to those rules. Imagine an ATM machine, if you follow the process, supply it with the right information and have money in your bank account, you'll get the amount you are looking for. And like ATM machines, smart contracts can hold funds much like your Ethereum account. This allows code to mediate agreements and transactions.
Once dapps are deployed on the Ethereum network you can't change them. Dapps can be decentralized because they are controlled by the logic written into the contract, not an individual or a company.
Why use Dapps?
Trust: You never have to take the word of big corporations, PR agencies, all the codes are open source, you can see that your application does or doesn't.
Guaranteed execution: Because the code is executed across the enormous network you get the desired results, as long as a single node exists. The network practically never goes offline as long as your code exists on it. We all know sometimes Facebook, twitter is down, but this never happens on blockchain networks.
Censorship resistance: Another benefit of codes executed on the blockchain is that it is impossible to take down the application, without taking down every single node on the network.
For example, if you release a banking application better than the bank, the bank can't just buy it from you and close it down, as the application is always available on the blockchain for everyone to use it.
Due to open source, transparent, secured and built on decentralized networks, Dapps are becoming very popular with billions of dollars in market capitalization and thousands of active users today.