How to Build a DAPP (decentralized app) Easily and Quickly?

Posted on  

March 11, 2022

Published by: Codemonk

It is 2022, and the internet world is moving in a brand new direction with the arrival of Web 3.0. Instead of just personalized content and ads, the entire internet experience is about to be transformed into a customized version that caters to every user. Since Web 3.0 uses blockchain and is all about giving control to the users, the concept of decentralization plays a vital role in dApps.

Blockchain has led to a massive increase in cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin led the charge as the first cryptocurrency, followed by Ethereum, the most preferred platform for dApps. Today, there are about 3,925 dApps that have about 141.12k active users. And these are just beginning as the transactions from dApps are to the figure of 92.38M USD every 24hrs. So, here is your guide to building yours.

What are Decentralized Apps and Their Types?

At their core, decentralized apps utilize the blockchain principle. This means that they aren't reliant on a single server model. Instead, they use a network of computers, often called nodes, to maintain the app's network.

While blockchain had its beginnings back in 1991, blockchain came to life after the efforts of Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 when Bitcoin came to life as the first viable blockchain-based cryptocurrency. The aim was to reduce the centralized reliance of any system and increase the autonomy of independent systems that function as a whole on their own. Thus, the principle of decentralization was born.

Owing to this principle, there are broadly three types of decentralized apps that are popularly used today:

  • Type I - These are the most common and most famous types of decentralized apps which use their own blockchain. The most famous Dapp of Type I is Bitcoin, its own digital currency and the first cryptocurrency globally.
  • Type II - These are the types of decentralized apps that rely on the Type I type apps to function correctly. This means that they reward participants with tokens to remain in the network. Majority of the Dapps that are based on Ethereum fall in this category
  • Type III - Like Type II depends on Type I, these types of dApps depend on the protocols of Type II apps to function correctly and issue tokens. Since these apps are indirectly sired to Type I apps, Type III is not a predominant type of Dapp in 2022.

What are the features of a DAPP?

Whileit may seem challenging to identify a decentralized app from a conventional onefrom a user’s perspective, several features help differentiate them. Some of them are:

  1. Blockchain - AllDapps are based on the Web 3.0 ideology. And hence, they use blockchain as theunderlying principle.
  2. Peer to Peer Network - Since dApps are based on blockchain, they need a peer-to-peer network that you can use for maintaining them and sustaining them in the long term.
  3. Identifying Code - All dApps don't work on all browsers. Hence, they need an identifying code to recognize which browsers they can work with.
  4.  Crypto Wallet - All dApps are built on blockchain, which uses cryptocurrency for financial transactions. Hence, all dApps have a crypto wallet functionality. 
  5. Transaction-Based Action - The users are rewarded for completing their intended actions on the platform. So, all the dApps have some transaction-based activities.

10 Benefits of a DAPP

With this network of computers, all of the data and transactions are stored in all nodes that are then brought together to form the public ledger. This public ledger is all the data that is housed in that blockchain. This allows a decentralized app to have several benefits. The biggest ones are:

  1. No intermediaries - Instead of intermediaries and service providers, decentralized apps use zero trust protocols and trustless smart contracts to automate processes needed for core functionalities.
  2. Open-source - As Bitcoin shows, dApps are open source. This means that the users can open, review, and improve the app functionality in real-time.
  3. Less downtime - Since they do not rely on a centralized server and utilize a network of computers, each one can double back in case one of them is down. So, dApps experience minimal downtime compared to conventional ones.
  4. Censorship resistance - SincedApps are not controlled centrally and lack any single point of failure, theyare hard to censor.
  5. Decentralized Control - DApps promote decentralized control, which means that supervision and control are subordinated to every node in the network to make independent decisions to maintain the app's sanctity. This allows the nodes to make the required corrections and amendments as and when needed.
  6. Reduced Costs - Using a centralized server means designating employees to maintain it for constant uptime. This can lead to increased costs. But with decentralized apps, all nodes have everything needed to sustain the apps. This means the costs to maintain uptime is reduced drastically.
  7. Data Integrity - It was built to ensure that the data stored was unchanged when blockchain was introduced. This means that the integrity of data is intact.
  8. Enhanced Security - Since the dApps remove the middleman, employ smart contracts, and give control over personal data usage, they help enhance security for the user.
  9. Alternative Storage System - Instead of using onsite storage systems, dApps use cloud storage, like IFPS, Swarm, or other cryptocurrency-based incentivized storage systems.
  10. Innovation Pioneer - Decentralized apps help bring more control over the data being shared over the internet. Furthermore, they also help control the censorship on the internet making systems more trustworthy.

How to build a Decentralized App

So, you have decided to put your money down on building a dApp. And you now want to build one, what exactly are the steps ahead. Since dApps are open source, thereis no absolute control over how users use the app. Hence, here are the steps required for building the app:

The Basics

  • Blockchain to target
    Before all else, you first need to finalize the blockchain that will underpin the app. Most dApps are built on Ethereum, but other blockchains are recently being used. So, finalize a blockchain.
  • FrontEnds you envision (mobile/web)
    After that, you design and wireframe the app's front end for both the mobile and the webversions. There might be chances that your ideas may not look as appealing when you put them on paper. So, make sure that you draw up mockups.

  • Features your DAPP offers
    Finally, decide the features that you want the app to offer. These should tie in with the kind of blockchain and the app's purpose. Furthermore, this should tie your front end together in both mobile and web versions.

The Technicals

  • Node Package Manager (NPM)
    A node package manager is required to use the JavaScript run time environment Node.js. IT consists of an online database of publicly and privately available packages and a command-line client.
  • Truffle Framework
    Using the Ethereum blockchain, you will need the Truffle framework to write the trustless smart contracts for the app. You can test on the framework and then deploy them while developing the client-side app.
  • Ganache
    To create the local in-memory, Ganache will be needed. Furthermore, the Truffle framework gives users ten external accounts with Ethereum addresses on the local blockchain. And with each of these external accounts, you get 100 fake ether.
  • Metamask
    To access the local blockchain, you will need a connection to a network. And for that, you will need the Metamask extension on Google Chrome to connect the local blockchain to your personal account and use it for the app you are developing.
  • Syntax Highlighting
    To highlight different parts of the code for easy remembrance and recollection, you can use syntax highlighting in your chosen text editor. It helps in easy recognition and effective rectification later in a mistake during development.

The Methodology

  • Environment Setup + Smoke Test
    The first step is to build a basic working model to test core functionalities. This helps identify errors at the primary level and decide the extent of correction required. It can even help determine whether the idea is worth taking further or not.
  • List Candidates
    Now that your smoke test is complete, you need to find the attributes of the candidates that you want to store. For example, you might want to store their ID, name, vote count, etc. For this, you will use different Solidity processes to list the candidates.
  • Cast Votes
    Since the dApp uses a smart contract, all the candidates in the app will cast votes for the elections. This will help keep track of the vote count of the app and help in testing the mapping of every vote that is cast.
  • Watch Events
    Finally, you can trigger events that will happen every time a vote is cast. After every voting session, this will update the app's client-side (front end). Once everything is calibrated and ready to go, you can watch the events live as the votes are cast.

Cost of developing a DAPP in 2022

At the outset, building a decentralized application is a costly affair. At the very least, a prototype may cost you between $60k-$80k. However, this is not just for the technology and the software you download. There are components to the cost, which are:  

  1. Design
    The complexity of the app's design and the intricacies of the backend and front-end components decide how high or low the price will go.
  2. Features
    The complexity of design often comes from the kind of features the app should have. Costs will go up as the complexity increases.
  3. Technologies
    To ensure that the features work effectively, you must also implement other technologies. The more complex and detailed they are, the higher the costs.
  4. Person-hours
    In the end, the maximum cost of development is the number of person-hours that have been invested. Usually, the number of person-hours directly impacts the cost of the app, and that is the cost around which the apps are quoted for development.

Examples of DAPPs

Now that you are aware of everything that goes into building dApps, here are a few of the most famous ones that are being used by users in the evolving Web 3.0 economy:

UNISWAP

In the ecosystem of decentralized organizations, UniSwap is a well-known name. It is used primarily for the exchange of ERC20 tokens on Ethereum.

Rarenote

If you know someone who has a rare disease, you might find this app on their phone. The rare note provides personalized information about medicines, medicines under development, and clinical trials for rare diseases.

OPENSEA

If you are interested in buying NFTs, then Opensea is the place to be. It is now the biggest peer-to-peer market place for blockchain-based assets.

EOS Dynasty

The first game based on blockchain, EOS Dynasty, is an RPG and PvP game that allows players to enhance their heroes by collecting materials and equipment. They have to obtain a Three Kingdoms Token (TKT) to earn EOS.

ChainLink

Builton Ethereum, ChainLink facilitates the transfer of tamper-proof data from off-blockchain sources to blockchain-based smart contracts.

Brave

Brave is a blockchain-based digital advertising and services platform. It puts the users in a position to control the intermediation between publishers andadvertisers. The users get basic Attention Tokens (BATs) or Brave Rewards that you can trade like Bitcoin.

MakerDAO

MakerDAO is an Ethereum blockchain-based credit service that uses Dai's stable coinclosely pegged to the U.S. dollar. The USP of the platform is that users can borrow Dai up to 66% of the collateral value.

Chainyard

Chainyard is a blockchain-based network trying to improve supplier onboarding, processing, and overall life cycle management.

Circulor

Like Chainyard, Circulor was built to improve supplier onboarding, but specifically for the EV industry.

Want to build a DAPP?

DApps may seem like a gimmick of the present, but they will reshape the future in reality. Owing to their existence, they have already started to change the present world and even inspire DAOs to come into place.

So, if you want to truly reach the user in the evolving economy of Web 3.0, then DApps are the ones to concentrate on.

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