When it comes to blockchain technology, one of the most interesting uses so far has been in regard to Dapps. The applications that have been created range from blockchain based games, to a decentralised version of twitter, and even a voting platform.
There is a lot to know when it comes to blockchain and Dapps – Ethereum is a particularly interesting example of how Dapps can be used. To find out why, it is important to have an understanding of what both Ethereum and Dapps are.
An Overview of Ethereum and Dapps
Ethereum is a decentralised, open source blockchain – it first went live in 2015, and its native currency, Ether (ETH), is the second most popular cryptocurrency in the world. ETH is bought and sold on online exchanges, with an example being Independent Reserve.
An interesting aspect of Ethereum is that it uses a decentralised replicated virtual machine (the Ethereum Virtual Machine, or EVM) to run Dapps. Short for decentralised applications, Dapps are computer programs – what makes dapps unique is that their backend code runs on distributed peer-to-peer computing systems as opposed to central servers.
Dapps are decentralised and open source – this means that they aren’t controlled by any central entity – whether this is an individual, board, or otherwise. Dapps will operate in compliance with specific, community determined protocols, and incentivisation for validation of the app comes in the form of tokens.
In addition to Ethereum, an example of a distributed computing system that Dapps work upon is Bitcoin. These blockchain technologies run and store Dapps.
In particular, the way we think about applications is being revolutionized thanks to Ethereum. This is because it allows users to create and run protocols called smart contracts – these facilitate and ensure the performance of a contract in a manner that is secure and transparent, by communicating with other smart contracts. In doing this, Ethereum ensures that transactions between peers can occur without the need for a middle man, saving resources and ensuring efficiency. Ultimately, developers using smart contract tech are increasing the usefulness of blockchains beyond currency.
Interesting Examples of Ethereum Based Dapps
When it comes to specific examples of the thousands of Dapps that are currently available, there are a few particularly interesting examples that showcase the diverse creativity and usability they offer.
Let’s start with PoolTogether – this is a protocol, powered by Ethereum, that facilitates ‘no loss’ money games. Essentially, to take part in the game you can deposit into a prize pool, in return getting a ticket for every dollar you contribute. This prize pool will earn interest, which will be awarded to one lucky winner on a weekly basis. While a user is contributing to a prize pool, they are eligible to win. The chance you have on winning will depend on the value you have contributed to the pool – the more money you put in, the higher your chances of winning. As a no loss lottery of sorts, PoolTogether is a great example of how open source decentralised tech can facilitate a secure service, however PoolTogether themselves make it clear that their service has unique risk surrounding protocol dependency, potential smart contract exploits, and wallet loss.
Another interesting Dapp that falls under the ‘game’ category is Axie Infinity. This is a game where you breed, mix, match and battle monsters called axies – what makes it interesting is that it allows players to earn tokens. Axies can be obtained on the official market, and more powerful Axies will allow you to win arenas and quests, which will in turn reward you with Small Love Potions (SLPs). These can be traded on a decentralized exchange, or can be used in game to breed more Axies. When breeding Axies, certain combinations will have percentage based chances to pass down genetic traits that can create stronger Axies that fit a certain class – this will help them in battle. Axie Infinity is one example of a few Dapp games that allow you to earn as you play – ultimately, the game mechanics behind the game are in depth and very interesting, so check out their website to learn more.
A final example of an intriguing Dapp is Status. This is an app with a purpose more clear to those inexperienced with Dapps – it combines a web3 browser, crypto wallet, and P2P messaging in one secure, private tool for communication. One of the significant benefits of this is that you’re able to talk to friends, browse the web and store crypto without risk of data exploitation. It provides different utility to the aforementioned Dapps, and even has Android, Google and iOS app support.