There is no longer any doubt that blockchain is here to stay. As it becomes more prevalent worldwide, new developments are constantly being added to the mix to increase user and organizational efficiency and convenience. The introduction of decentralized applications, or dApps, is one of these.
A typical application resides on a centralized server or network. It receives data from various sources, which it processes, computes, and manipulates in response to requests from the front end. A dApp’s backend code is based on decentralized technologies such as blockchain, where it receives and processes data provided by the blockchain, i.e., smart contracts. dApps are not managed by a single server or entity, so they lack data silos and a single point of failure.
The dilemma of dApp developers
Approximately 4,000 dApps are currently available across the globe, ranging from gaming and gambling to health and insurance for blockchain dApp development. While games and exchanges account for most of Ethereum dApp activity, finance apps have gained traction over the past few years. Still, growth defies expectations. Since dApps have existed since 2015, why are they not being developed at a faster rate?
Developers must create applications that attract users, but there needs to be more businesses and consumers utilizing blockchain-powered networks, to begin with, making it difficult to propel an app to success.
However, given the constant growth of blockchain, edge computing, and mobile computing, control distribution is unavoidable and the emergence of decentralized applications (dApps) is already a trend. Now is the time for businesses to pay greater attention to what is occurring and how it affects them and their target audience.
Business dApps: The Good
Everything has advantages and disadvantages, and decentralized applications are no exception. Let’s begin with the benefit of distributed applications:
- Simple to develop – dApps rely on extremely complex protocols to achieve consensus; the greater the complexity, the greater the abstraction offered to developers seeking to implement a particular business logic.
- More control – Typically, blockchain-based enterprise applications are intended to connect diverse organizations or trading partners. Even if only a portion of the solution is centralized, each organization must have faith in the entity in charge of that portion. Completely decentralized applications do not have this issue, as a decentralized structure enables each party to run the application without needing to trust the other parties. This typically results in faster application adoption.
- Safer data – dApps are supported by a shared database replicating data across all other nodes. This indicates that hijacking a single node does not affect the organization’s ability to access vital data.
- Open source – All dApp code should be open source, meaning that it is transparent and can be viewed by anyone who wishes to verify the developers’ claims about what it does.
- Transparent data – While national privacy laws and regulations vary, centralized applications require users to request their information. This information cannot be concealed because dApps are hosted on a public blockchain.
- Less downtime – dApps are more robust and adaptable than centralized applications because they do not require a connection to a single centralized server to function. This means businesses can ensure maximum business continuity and resilience with minimal interruptions and downtime.
- Data is never lost – Once information is added to the blockchain, it is permanently stored, making dApps more resistant to changes and restrictions.
- Can’t be blocked – dApps are not hosted at a specific IP address. Since there is less control over a decentralized application’s network, it is much harder for external authorities to block a decentralized application.
- Cost reduction – dApps offer faster transaction speeds, which reduces transaction costs. In contrast to centralized systems, organizations can install simple servers and employ specialists to manage and maintain their servers and data.
You can’t have the good without the bad.
When it comes to dApps, not everything is rosy; there are a few issues that should be addressed:
- dApps infra is harder to maintain and develop. Running in a complex, peer-to-peer distributed environment makes maintenance, debugging, and updates more difficult because each peer in the network must update the software on their node.
- Traditional security doesn’t work – Unlike single-server applications, decentralized applications have no single point of failure, making them more resistant to attacks than conventional applications. Suppose a centralized application is attacked or taken offline. In that case, the entire system ceases to function, whereas a decentralized application will only fail if every computer in the network fails, which is virtually impossible. Bringing down a single server will not be problematic. So where is the disadvantage? Typical security measures will not work in this situation. Due to their unique operation and environment, it is essential to employ dApp-specific security solutions. This is precisely what the blockchain security platform for decentralized applications (dApps) from Suffescom Solutions Inc does, securing international transactions with blockchain business application-specific technology.
- Lacking user experience – dApps have different functionality than centralized applications and sometimes provide the best user experience. To log in to a blockchain-based dApp, you would need to use a public and private key instead of a username and password that you can easily remember or type.
- Slow speed – Occasionally, dApps can be slow to load, and payments can take some time to process. This causes delays in processes that have become accustomed to being instantaneous. This is one of the reasons why businesses frequently choose the “devil they know” despite hidden vulnerabilities such as unethical data collection practices.
Blockchain technology has altered and continues to change the world. It introduced innovation to numerous industries and enabled businesses to introduce innovative new services and capabilities. dApps are merely one of the byproducts that provide secure open-source software for consumers and businesses. As with all innovations, many current practices will inevitably become obsolete, as evidenced by the increasing number of finance-related dApps indicating increased blockchain adoption in the industry. As the number of decentralized applications (dApps) continues to grow and more innovations enter the market, we must understand the pros and cons of each application and technology as we adopt and adapt.