DApps are a new type of application that uses blockchain technology. The letter “d” stands for decentralized, meaning that all records of the application operation must be stored in a block chain.
These applications are generally open-source and incentivized, which means that they generally provide some kind of reward for their productive users. We are seeing an increase in the number of new dApps in 2018, after numerous mass sales in 2017.
Starting with dApps
To begin with, an Ethereum browser such as MetaMask, Toshi or Status is required to use dApps. The above browsers are mainly available as extensions / plug-ins for standard web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, but can also come in the form of a mobile application.
The above browsers allow the dApp to connect to the main Ethereum network, allowing all operations of the application to be recorded in the block chain.
If you are using a laptop and Google Chrome, MetaMask is probably the best choice. Status is an Ethereum browser made for smartphones. Note that some dApps will work on laptops, but not on mobile devices and vice versa. Once you have set up your Ethereum browser and connected it to your wallet, you can start exploring the world of dApps.
Decentralized News Network
Decentralized News Network or DNN, for short, is a decentralized news platform that combines news creation with blockchain technology to eliminate misleading, false and/or biased news.
Article writers receive their appropriate rewards based on the ratings their work receives from readers. Another group of users who are also rewarded for their work in the form of tokens, review the article and perform the fact-finding process. DNN is available through MetaMask.
uPort is a digital identity provider issued by ConsenSys, one of Ethereum’s largest development projects. ConsenSys developers believe that uPort has the potential to become the passport of the future, but also has applications anywhere where credentials or personal identification is required.
uPort dApp is already in the implementation phase in the Swiss city of Zug and is about to become the first publicly verified blockchain identity provider. For now, it’s only available when using a smartphone at the Apple Store and Google Play Store.
Leeroy shows us what the future of social networking websites might look like. It’s a lot like Twitter, but with some crucial differences. Leeroy is free of advertising and user statuses can be voted on using tokens, rewarding those who post good content. For now, Leeroy’s pretty expensive.
The fact that more and more people are using it suggests that people would like to see social networks without advertising and completely decentralized in the future. Joining Leeroy requires a MetaMask or Toshi add-on, but you can browse major publications even without registering.
Ethlance is a blockchain-based online job board, aimed primarily at the self-employed. It is already a legitimate competitor of the most widely used freelance job exchange, Upwork.com, which is centralized and very expensive.
Upwork requires independent employees to pay $100 of the first $500 they make through its website. The rule applies to each client separately, so an independent professional has to pay $100 each time he or she accepts a job from a new client.
Ethlance is operated by its community, so there is no one from Ethlance who is taking “their share” of the self-employed workers’ profits. The only expense that users have at Ethlance is the price of gas for each transaction. Ethlance promises to be accessible “to everyone, forever”, and is accessible through Toshi and MetaMask.
If you are interested in dApps and want to search and explore more of them, take a look at the State of the dApps website, which lists more than 1,000 dApps, from prototypes and beta versions to live alpha versions.