A decentralized application, more commonly called a DApp or Decentralized Application. It is a software application whose operation is (partially or totally) distributed. It is replicated among a set of multiple actors. DApp or Decentralized Application is usually based on one or more smart contracts running on one or more blockchains.
DAap or Decentralized applications are opposed to centralized applications. The monetary use of bitcoin, which can be considered a DApp or decentralized application. It contrasts in this way with the management of the euro by the banking system and the European Central Bank. Decentralized lending applications such as Maker or Compound oppose credit agencies. There are distributed social networks whose value proposition is to resist censorship. Such as Hive, Voice, or Memo.cash, which therefore differ from platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.
How to Work DApp or Decentralized Application
To understand how a DApp works, you must first try to understand how a classic centralized application works. In this way, it will be easier to understand the benefits of a decentralized application.
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At the beginning of the computer age, applications were systematically installed directly on your computer. These were, for example, games, or programs like Microsoft Word. Subsequently, thanks to the emergence of the Internet. It became possible to use applications remotely, without them having to be installed on your machine. But with this advantage appeared a major flaw: each of these applications was centralized on a third-party server.
The problem of centralized applications
One of the problems with centralization is that your personal data does not necessarily belong to you. For example, Facebook can know exactly what your interests are, and own your photos. It knows where you travel through geolocation, knows your age, etc. You will then have to trust Facebook for the confidentiality of your information. And as the Cambridge Analytica scandal has proven, entrusting so much personal data to a third party. Such as Facebook is generally a bad idea. It has given the risk of information leakage, whether these leaks are accidental or not.
Another problem with centralized applications is how they work. Indeed, a centralized application that can be used on the Internet must be hosted on one or more servers. These servers have IP addresses that can be identified to trace back to their location. Or to try to enter them through computer vulnerabilities. If a person with bad intentions decides to attack these servers, then the application may no longer work.
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DApp or Decentralized Application
One more problem that still needs to raise, and not the least. Is that the owner of a centralized application can do what it wants. For example, it may refuse to allow a person to use his services. Simply because the person in question has done something he does not like. This is already regularly the case with YouTube, which may decide that a video conveying political ideas. It is different from its own and is not admitted to its network.