What Are Decentralized Applications (DApps)?

Decentralized applications (DApps) are digital applications or programs powered by smart contracts and operate on blockchains rather than centralized servers. These applications resemble regular mobile apps on smartphones and offer a diverse range of services and functions, including gaming, finance, social media, and more. As the name suggests, DApps run on decentralized peer-to-peer networks.

A smart contract consists of predefined rules enforced by computer code. When specific conditions are met, all network nodes execute the tasks specified by the contract.

Once a smart contract is deployed on the blockchain, it becomes challenging to alter or destroy the code. Consequently, even if the team behind the DApp has disbanded, users can still access and interact with the DApp.

Although DApp interfaces may resemble those of traditional applications, DApps offer numerous advantages over their centralized counterparts. Web apps store data on centralized servers, where a single compromised server can render the entire app network temporarily or permanently unusable. Centralized systems are also susceptible to data leaks or theft, putting companies and individual users at risk.

In contrast, DApps are built on distributed networks without a central authority. With no single point of failure, DApps are less vulnerable to attacks, making it exceedingly difficult for malicious actors to hijack the network. The peer-to-peer (P2P) network ensures that the DApp continues to function with minimal downtime, even if individual computers or network components experience issues.

The decentralized nature of DApps also grants users greater control over their shared information. Since no companies control users’ personal data, there is no requirement to provide real-world identity to interact with a DApp. Instead, users can utilize a crypto wallet to connect to DApps and exercise full control over the information they choose to share.

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