The definition of DApp includes decentralized applications in which participants interact with each other using the P2P (peer-to-peer) protocol. They are developed on decentralized services, most often on the blockchain, and have several differences from conventional applications that we are used to downloading from the App Store or Play Store. DApp does not have a controlling server, and all users have the same rights.
The prototype of modern DApp can be considered the Torrent protocol, which appeared in 2001. It led to the release of P2P clients that could exchange files among themselves. However, there were still trackers in which files or parts of them were stored in this version. These trackers were centralized servers, but in 2005 a version of Torrent was released and not tracked, which made the application completely decentralized. It is noteworthy that Torrent does not use any blockchain, but at the same time, it is one of the very first examples of DApp.
Many users associate DApp with a cryptocurrency exchange. However, the scope of their application is much broader than it might seem at first glance. Decentralized applications are widely used in the field of auctions. Thanks to smart contracts, online auctions become as transparent as possible, since the system automatically fixes the time and size of bids and excludes manipulations.
DApp is also used in online games since they guarantee transparency of bets and reliable protection of users' funds. One of the first decentralized games to conquer thousands of users was CryptoKitties, developed on the Ethereum blockchain. It caused such a stir that the number of transactions on the network reached a record, overloading the blockchain.
Decentralized Financial Applications (Defi) is another popular type of DApp. They provide both transparency and confidentiality of data. DeFi's distinctive features also include their high availability. Anyone with an Internet connection has access to the financial system.
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The DApp uses the main advantages of the blockchain: transparency, reliability and data immutability. According to Dapp.com, more than 2,700 decentralized applications have been released as of early July 2019. About half of them are supported by developers, and more than 150 thousand users access the DApp every day, making more than 2 million transactions.
Few areas where DApps are most promising:
Transparency is a decisive factor for online auctions, and the use of DApp allows you to ensure that bids remain unchanged and strictly record the time when they were made, thus eliminating the possibility of any manipulation. Therefore, online auctions are a promising segment for decentralized applications.
An example of dApp application in the field of auctions is the Auctionity platform. It works with non-fungible (unique) tokens (NFT), allowing you to create auctions and bid in real time. The decentralized application guarantees the payment and delivery of lots.
Prediction markets are stock exchanges where the objects of trade are not goods or financial instruments, but the results of various events: from sports games to elections.
The idea of prediction markets is based on the fact that the exchange price of a given outcome reflects its probability. Prediction markets are reminiscent of operations with futures contracts, where the price of an object in the future is also something of a prediction.
The prediction market concept is used by a number of bookmakers. Unlike centralized services, decentralized sites allow any user to create their own prediction market, and not just vote on events offered by the site itself.
Another area of application for DApps is user identification, which is becoming increasingly important as the offers of remote services are expanding. Decentralized applications will provide secure and reliable storage of user data. You can provide user identification by email with DApp.
One of the main problems in the online gaming segment is the lack of transparency. With DApps, you can provide complete transparency of rates and secure storage of user funds.
This explains the growing popularity of gaming decentralized applications. At the beginning of July 2019, DApps from the gaming and gambling categories occupied the first six places in the ranking of the most popular decentralized applications.