What are decentralized applications (DApps)?

Published on Nov 3, 2022Updated on Feb 22, 20243 min read15

What's the definition of decentralized applications (DApps)?

DApps stand for decentralized applications. Blockchain-based DApps generally run a decentralized ledger, such as Ethereum. Most DApps share some features with traditional applications that commonly run on central cloud servers. DApps offer users some unique perks thanks to its being based on blockchain networks, as records on DApps are tamper-proof and immutable, transparent and highly interoperable.

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What other details that we need to know about decentralized applications (DApps)?

What to make of this nerdy term of decentralized? Here are some quick facts about DApps:

  • Some of the scripts of code that power a DApp are deployed on a blockchain network such as Ethereum and are open-source.
  • Unlike user data of traditional AWS-based applications, records of DApp users are kept on a public, decentralized ledger and are immutable.
  • Users can interact with the distributed codes of DApps to create or modify their data, and the changes will have to be confirmed by the participating nodes in the corresponding blockchain networks.
  • Once data has been confirmed there, provided that the network has no serious inherent flaws, no one will be able to doctor the proofs on the network.

On the other hand, since DApps rely on a huge number of nodes in the network to process and confirm data on the blockchain, DApps can be at a disadvantage when it comes to high-performance features, and can be slow when data traffic surges. Traditional applications, which run on centralized servers, can outperform their decentralized counterparts.

Ideally, a DApp can process the data of users in an encrypted manner, making it possible to safely store data in a place users trust. Users thus have full control of their data and privacy and can transfer their data to parties that they trust. This is a dream come true when users migrate from Web2 to Web3. Blockchain experts believe that DApps are powerful vehicles of features in Web3, as they share the philosophy of data decentralization.

Most users would be interested in DApp tokens - proof of rewards issued by developers. Users are rewarded tokens based on their participation in the DApp. Uniswap, for example, is a decentralized exchange that issued its own token, UNI.

In summary, DApp developers pride themselves on making the data of users highly secure and immutable. Users can earn dividends as DApps keep growing. However, DApps can underperform compared to applications deployed on centralized clouds.

OKX Discover page is a DApp hub, where users can gain insights from a range of indicators of DApps, such as their number of active users, popularity and trading volume. We'll keep growing our features to help users access the best experience.

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DApps page on OKX platform for the user to explore