What Is a Decentralized App (dApp)?

Last Modified:
April 1, 2024

Decentralized Apps (dApps) are software programs that run on a decentralized network such as a blockchain. Unlike traditional apps, they are not controlled by a single organization and they do not run on centralized servers of one company. dApps work through the use of smart contracts, or programs that automatically execute transactions when certain conditions are met. 

You can access a dApp through a web browser, just the way you would open a traditional app. However, you need to connect dApps to a crypto wallet to be able to use them. 

Image source: Medium.com

What are dApps for?

dApps can be used in various industries, such as finance, gaming, healthcare, social media, and supply chain management. They have the potential to transform industries by automating transactions through smart contracts and shifting control of user data from corporations to users. They also improve the user experience by enhancing privacy, transparency, and efficiency.

Many traditional apps have issues with data security, user privacy, and censorship. Because they are managed by a single organization, they are vulnerable to online security threats if the company’s servers and infrastructure are attacked. They may also be used to collect sensitive information from their users and use it for purposes without the users’ permission. The company that owns the app may ban user accounts that fail to comply with their guidelines or freeze funds without warning.

dApps, on the other hand, are more transparent and secure. Furthermore, since they run on a huge decentralized network, they are less likely to experience downtime or get shut down altogether because some devices will always be available to keep the dApps running.

Examples of dApps

Just like any software program, dApps do have limitations. Yet despite their current flaws, dApps are part of a huge shift from traditional centralized applications toward enhanced privacy, security, and user control. Although they still face challenges typical of emerging technologies, they have much potential for the future of the decentralized web.

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