The highly anticipated Web 3.0 is incomplete without the Decentralized Applications (DApps) that enable users to truly enjoy the benefits of the decentralized web powered by blockchain technology.
The creation of the internet is one of the greatest innovations to ever grace the earth and has regularly evolved to meet the ever-changing needs of man, across three generations.
Web 3.0 is the third generation of the internet that seeks to address the problems of centralization present in Web 2.0, taking power from Big Tech and allowing better redistribution among a wider network of participants, with absolute transparency and security via the blockchain.
How Important Are DApps To Web 3.0 Technology
It is first important to understand that Decentralized Applications (DApps) are similar to the everyday applications we use on our devices, such as our internet browsers, social applications, gaming applications, etc. What distinguishes dApps from traditional apps is the associated decentralization (which is core to the idea of Web 3.0).
The major vision behind the creation of Web 3.0 technology is to facilitate decentralization, eliminating centralized big tech companies and promoting a distributed peer-to-peer network without intermediaries with a great focus on privacy, security, and transparency.
The current internet protocol (web 2.0) applications are programmed at the backend via the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which every company’s database is connected to. So, when you open a Web 2.0 application, say “Netflix,” your internet-enabled device communicates with Netflix’s database via the HTTP and provides you with movies on the database, which you can watch. Each company’s databases hold huge amounts of information, including your login details (such as your email address and password, as well as your saved preferences; hence, you can open the app at any time and continue from where you have stopped.
This works fine; however, it serves as an intermediary between the movie producers and the end users who want to watch movies; hence, users make payments to Netflix, of which a certain amount is paid to the movie producers. Furthermore, Netflix has the power to determine the kinds of shows or movies to make available on their website without requiring a consensus from anybody. Also, when signing in to see a movie on the app, you would be required to submit your email address and password, which is stored on their database; if their database is breached, your personal information is exposed, which could be potentially dangerous.
Decentralization aims to eliminate the middleman, allowing the user to directly connect with a movie producer via a decentralized platform; hence, instead of paying a $10 - $20 monthly subscription, the producer may be allowed to post their movies at their preferred amount, which users can directly pay via cryptocurrency straight into the producer’s wallet. A smart contract brokers the transaction, and the producer is credited as soon as the user signs off on the transaction. Of course, market forces will take over, and the movies on the platform will gain viewership based on quality and demand. Similarly, all network participants can vote on a proposal to reject or accept the addition of a movie to the platform, taking away the monopoly from a single entity and ensuring a democratic decision-making process.
Indeed, Web 2.0 apps and Web 3.0 dApps have similar interfaces (visible to the users). However, the need to facilitate decentralization makes Web 3.0 dApps function differently. Instead of using HTTP for communication with centralized databases, they communicate with decentralized databases with several nodes (the blockchain), which hold data over a distributed network. So, when you open your dApp, instead of signing in with an email address and password (as with a Web 2.0 app), you would sign in via your web 3 wallets, which will connect you with the blockchain’s decentralized database via a smart contract signed with your private key.
After signing in, you can surf through and navigate as you would with your regular Web 2.0 app, with the assurance that your data won’t be sold to advertisers. Similarly, you can see a list of every dApp you have granted permission and can revoke at any time; the action will be completed on the blockchain, and the dApp will lose access until you sign the contract again.
All these aren’t possible without dApps. Decentralized applications make it possible to:
- Safely connect to Web 3.0 internet without the use of personal information.
- Manage personal data on Web 3.0 internet such that it isn’t available for anyone to harvest without due permission.
- Monitor the actions of those who have access to your personal data on the Web 3.0 internet.
- Provide peer-to-peer Web 3.0 internet services to users
Components of a Web 3.0 DApp
- Web 3 wallet
- Smart contracts
- Virtual Machines
Existing and Future Applications of Web 3.0 DApps
Currently, Web 3.0 DApps are mainly used in crypto-related applications like sales and purchases of NFTs and other DeFi services like lending and borrowing, staking, yield farming, etc. Some also engage in creating decentralized organizations with no central authority (DAOs). Conversely, dApps haven’t really been integrated into everyday usages such as social media, internet browsers, streaming applications, and instant messaging; although some dApps currently exist for each of these purposes, they are largely unknown and still need some time to develop – a matter of when not if.
As end users get increasingly familiar with Web 3.0 technology, dApps would be a major beneficiary as more people will try them out because without a dApp, it is impossible to access the Web 3.0 world.