What Are DApps? – A Guide On How To Create A Decentralized Application

In today’s post, I will be taking you through an interesting concept in the decentralized planet – DApps.

DApps are open-source applications that run on a distributed computing system.

This means that anyone can access them and no single person or organization controls them.

By the time you’ve read through today’s post, you would have understood what DApps is all about -how it works, its categories, etc.

Ready to tour the decentralized planet?

Let’s get started immediately.


DApps Post Summary

I broke down the topic of discussion into the following subheadings:

You can easily navigate through the post by clicking on any of the subheadings. This will take you straight to its details.

Bonne lecture!


What are DApps?

DApps, short for Decentralized Applications, are virtual apps or programs that exist and are run on a blockchain.

Going by the nature of a blockchain, you will find that these apps are open source and decentralized.

This is unlike the conventional apps that are owned and controlled by a group of persons with their servers centralized in a place.

These persons make decisions to determine how the app works.

In simple English, a DApp is any app that you can create and run on the blockchain.

It is not controlled by any single authority and can be accessed by all.

Bitcoin‘s invention as a digital currency heralded DApps.

Afterward, Vitalik Buterin founded Ethereum, thus, proving that the blockchain can be used in more ways than just digital currency.

In Decentralized Apps, the P2P network information is constantly shared between participants. The number of participants in each network determines its strength.

Again, the computing power that runs the network is supplied by the users. As a reward, they are gifted the native token of the platform in use.

Let’s go on now to see the features of these decentralized apps.


Unique Features of DApps

The word ‘DApps’ is not clearly defined. Thus, it has come to mean different things to different people.

But for any app to qualify as a Decentralized App, it must possess these properties:

  • Open-source
  • Decentralized
  • Tamper proof
  • Secure
  • No downtime

Moving on now, let’s look at the different types of DApps in the next section.

Scroll down.


Types of DApps

There are 3 broad divisions of DApps. They include:

Type I

The DApps in this group has their own blockchain. Examples here include Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, etc.

Type II

In this group, the DApps here leverages the blockchains of the Type I DApps.

These Type II DApps are protocols and have tokens that are essential for their functioning. Examples include 0x protocol, Omni protocols, etc.

0X protocol is built on the Ethereum blockchain while Omni protocol is on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Type III

This group of DApps uses the protocol of Type II DApps.

Good examples of DApps here are DDEX (which is built on the Hydro protocol) and SAFE network (built on the Omni protocol).

Simply put, the 3 divisions above can be likened to a mobile phone.

A Type I DApp is like the phone itself while a Type II DApp is like an app(e.g WhatsApp, Facebook, etc.) that is installed on the phone.

A Type II DApp is likened to the emojis, GIFs, etc. used on WhatsApp, Facebook, etc.

Here you have the types of decentralized apps listed.

Next, we will be looking at the various categories where these apps have been spread.

Find information on that below.


Decentralized Apps Categories

DApps have been grouped into 18 categories.

In the table below, I listed the categories with some examples of each category.

For more information on this, check here.

The tour is getting interesting, right?

Now that we have seen the categories, let’s move on to the various platforms where DApps can be created.

Keep reading.


Platforms Where You Can Create DApps

The various DApps platforms include:

1. Ethereum

This is the #1 platform for Decentralized Apps with more than 1900 DApps created in all the 18 categories on it.

Ethereum was founded by Vitalik Buterin in 2015 and has Ether as its native token.

To use Ethereum DApps on the web, download Metamask and MyEtherWallet.

Read more: Ethereum 101 – Basics| Wallets

2. EOS

EOS is an open-source blockchain that was launched in June 2018.

It possesses flexible utility and fast transaction speed.

It has about 200 Decentralized Apps in all the categories built on it.

To use the EOS DApps on the web, download the Scatter add-on.

3. Klaytn

Klatyn, designed by Ground X, is a service-centred platform that helps millions to experience the blockchain.

It has about 100 DApps in 13 categories built on its platform.

Kaikas add-on is recommended for those that will want to use the Klatyn DApps on the web.

4. Steem

Steem is both a blockchain-based social media platform where anyone can earn rewards and an altcoin.

It was created in 2016, by Ned Scott and the blockchain developer Dan Larimer.

The platform has about 100 DApps on 8 categories built on it,

To smoothly use Steem DApps on the web, download Steem Keychain.

Read more: Steem (The Social Media Coin) Review: All You Need To Know

5. Hive

Hive is a battle-tested open-source blockchain.

Here, individuals can truly experience a decentralized blockchain.

With DApps in 8 categories, you will find about 48 DApps built on its platform.

When using the web, be sure to download Hive Keychain for a better experience.

6. POA

POA Core is an autonomous network that encompasses the Ethereum Virtual Machine(EVM).

It has a unique consensus mechanism that is governed by a decentralized group of US public notaries called Validators.

It has 19 DApps across 7 categories built on its platform.

7. xDai

xDai Chain is a stable payments blockchain created for fast and economical stable transactions.

It is the ideal cryptocurrency for day to day transactions because of low fees and fast transactions.

The 15 DApps built on this platform cuts across 7 categories.

8. Neo

Neo is an open-source blockchain decentralized application platform.

It was founded in 2014 by Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang in China.

Neo, often referred to as the Chinese Ethereum, has 22 Decentralized Apps built on its platform which is grouped into 6 categories.

Further reading: What Is NEO? – A Complete Review

9. Loom

Loom Network is a reliable multichain interoperability platform.

It is used mainly for scaling high-performance DApps.

In total, you have about 14 DApps on the Loom platform.

These DApps fall into 7 categories.

10. TRON

TRON is a cryptocurrency project founded in September 2017 by the TRON Foundation.

It aims at providing a completely decentralized platform for persons in the entertainment field.

It is headed by CEO Justin Sun and has a dedicated in-house development team.

With atleast a DApp in each category, TRON has up to 108 DApps built on its platform.

Read further: TRON(TRX) Review: What Does The Future Hold For It?

Other platforms where one can build a DApp include Blockstack, Gochain, ICON, TomoChain, Chiliz, IOST, OST, WAX, etc.

Now that we know the categories and platforms of DApps, I will give you steps on how to create a DApp in the next subheading.

Stay with me.


Steps On How To Create A DApp

Below is a run down of all the steps involved and what to look out for at every stage:

1. Understand your project

Here, you will take note of the following:

  • Why should it be a DApp? Really thinking things through before setting out is the very first step. Take Bitcoin for example; if it had been created to be some sort of a centralized app, it would have been hijacked by some whales in the crypto-verse. But as it is decentralized, there is no hijacking whatsoever from anybody or any group.
  • What problem will it solve? Still using Bitcoin as my example; Bitcoin was created solely for the purpose of decentralizing money. Another good example is Ethereum. It was set up mainly for creating DApps. There is no point in creating something that will not solve anything.
  • How does it intend to solve the problem? Here, you will be thinking of the best ways (legally, financially, etc) it can do this.
  • What will it cost? Having an estimate of what your project will cost is another good step – know if it’s something you can finance or you will need to seek help at some point.
  • Is there a demand for it? Creating something that nobody is in need of is going to cause all your efforts and funds to be a waste. It’s just like spending time to write a post that nobody reads. Be sure there is a level of demand for it before starting up.
  • Any legal obstructions in your location? You will not want to land yourself in trouble while creating something good. Check with the laws governing your jurisdiction before starting.
  • Etc.

Once you’ve got a clear vision, head to number 2.

2. Write your whitepaper

Now the whitepaper is more like a breakdown of what you want to do with the steps on how it will be done and the duration.

Though not compulsory, writing a whitepaper for your project clearly outlines your vision. It also helps investors to know what you intend to achieve with the project.

When developing your whitepaper, make these clear:

  • Explain how the project will function
  • Its roadmap
  • The problem you identified
  • The solution you are proffering
  • Challenges you foresee
  • Ways of mitigating them
  • The amount needed to execute the project
  • Who are your team members?
  • What will happen if you don’t get up to the amount needed?
  • Etc.

With these specified, head on to Step 3.

3. Fund your project

The most common way DApp projects raise funds is via ICO. To launch a successful ICO, do these:

  • Choose a good ICO platform
  • Inspect your smart contract codes
  • Make sure that your ICO is secured
  • State the project’s value
  • Start marketing your project
  • Etc.

When you have gotten the needed funds, move on to build your DApp.

4. Build your DApp

In building the DApp, take a look at the following:

  • Decide on the technology to use
  • Select a programming language; something the entire team understands
  • While coding, keep the gas fees in mind
  • Design your UI ensuring that the features are functional and can be easily interpreted
  • Etc.

5. Test and deploy your project

After building, test run the DApp before deploying it. Bear in mind that Dapps are immutable once deployed.

So run a thorough check before going ahead to deploy your project.

6. Launch your DApp

Before launching, you have some work to do.

You have to create awareness about the project launch.

After ensuring that everything is okay with your project, go ahead and launch it.

Congratulations!!

Having listed the steps, I will go ahead and answer some FAQs about DApps before wrapping up this post.

Let’s keep going.


Frequently Asked Questions About DApps

Are DApps actually better than conventional apps?

I will say both are good in their own ways.
But in cases where security is paramount, DApps have an upper hand.
Since they are blockchain based, data stored on them are immutable.

Is there an easier way to build a Decentralized Application?

Yes, of course!
If you ain’t got time for all the stress of figuring out what programming language to use or writing a white paper, you can hire a developer.
There are developers available for hire to perform such tasks and you just have to pay them.
Examples of sites where you can hire developers include DevTeam.Space, Upwork, Toptal, Hired, etc.

How much does it cost to build a DApp?

Developing a simple DApp can cost you a few dollars to get it done. But if you are looking at something that will go commercial, you are expected to spend more in order to make it way different from others.


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Conclusion

This is the last part of this review; the place where the tour ends.

Through it, I have explained to you:

  • what Decentralized Apps are
  • their types and categories
  • platforms where you can create them, and
  • guidelines on how to create one for yourself

Now is the time you get to air your views or ask your questions(if you have any).

But before then, let me know your thoughts on these:

Have you created a decentralized app before? What platform did you use?

If you are yet to delve into the decentralized verse, what type and category of the decentralized app will you want to develop?

With the high rate of adoption of decentralized stuff worldwide, where do you see our conventional apps in the next 5 years?

Leave me your thoughts on the above in the comment section below. Also, your views and questions if any.

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