Blockchain is one of the latest technologies with which the world is moving towards a new era of decentralization. Decentralization is controlling different entities and functions in a distributed manner.
No single entity will hold all authority in the system, and therefore, the concept of monopoly is completely abolished. To implement this concept, blockchain is used.
When any transaction, be it a financial record or any new employee biodata record, is completed, its detail is combined with others to form a block. When filled, each block gets added to a distributed ledger.
This entire system of blocks is added one after the other, and the distributed ledger in the form of a chain is termed a blockchain. There are four major types of blockchain technologies- private, public, consortium and hybrid.
All these models are based on the same concept, i.e. keeping all the transactions in blocks and adding them in chains as a ledger. What differentiates them is the extent of access the participating members will have to the data.
For instance, in a public blockchain, everyone will have access to the stored data in the ledger, but in a hybrid model, the public access will be restricted only to a certain level.
The application of each blockchain type will depend on the transparency level that the entity needs to provide to all the participating members and other anonymous users who are yet to join the blockchain.
As the technology needs a platform to be used, the concept of decentralized applications or dApps has emerged.
What are dApps, and what are their features?
dApps is the abbreviated form of decentralized applications. Any software that represents the decentralized structure and configuration of the blockchain can be termed the dApp.
The software doesn’t need to belong to the cryptocurrency industry only. A blockchain application can be used in healthcare, social, finance, business, retail, ecommerce, and more.
They almost behave like any other traditional software, but their features represent the blockchain on which the codes are based.
As a result, they pack a myriad of features, making them the future of the technological market, regardless of the industry we are talking about. Some of the major features of the dApps are explained in the below section for further reference.
Highly secured applications
One of the main features of every blockchain application is an exceptional level of security. This is achieved using two prime methods:
- Cryptographic keys
- Hashing encryption
Cryptographic keys are almost like passwords and addresses. A public key is a combined data that contains the wallet address of both the sender and receiver.
On the contrary, the private key acts like a password that only the concerned user will have. Both the keys are encrypted using the highest security algorithms and ensure that no one can check the sender or receiver’s details.
Another way of securing the dApps is through the hashing algorithm. It accepts a myriad of inputs with different variables, and after the hashing process, a specific output will be generated.
This output value has a limited data length and is maintained throughout. It is extremely difficult to trace the hashing outputs in the backward direction and decipher what the input was. Also, no two hash inputs will have the same outputs.
Maintains optimal level of transparency
Another prime feature of dApps is a higher level of transparency. The software programs are configured so that every user involved in the blockchain will access the blocks, transactions being carried out, the status of transactions, history logs, etc.
Besides, as all transactions are processed openly, people can establish a relationship of reliability and trust within themselves. This helps several organizations and businesses revolutionize their techniques and methodologies.
Blockchain applications can be developed on open-source platforms only like R, C++, and more. An open-source platform means that the source code will be available to everyone accessing the database and repository.
Thus, you can take references from those codes and even improve your knowledge as the talent pool comprises some of the best brains.
Based on the SHA-256 encryption algorithm, blockchains are based on the concept of proof-of-work.
It is a process through which any member involved in the chain will have to spend a small amount of additional effort decoding a random mathematical problem.
Once it is done, a new hash code will be generated for the addition of blocks to the central ledger.
No single authority
The dApps aren’t controlled by any regulatory authority. There will be no monopoly or single entity for exercising control over the software, blockchain processes, transactions, etc. There are no hard and fast rules, so the dApps need to be protected by several layers.
Understanding the application of dApps in different industries
dApps have found their way into almost all industrial sectors, starting from finance to social media. In the below section, we have explained the major ways dApps can transform different industries.
Finance and banking
Blockchain applications have found their use mainly in the finance and banking sector, where they can help store immutable records, automate different transaction processes, and so on.
Owing to higher security and transparency, financial and banking organizations can easily improve the performance of their operations.
dApps are also used in the insurance industry to process claims and record every transaction related to policies, premium paid-offs, waivers, etc.
Data is collected, processed, and stored in the healthcare industry in multiple locations.
Various systems are involved in the processes, so data management, tracking, and storing are important. Hence, blockchain apps have proven to be of great help as they help manage all sorts of data with ease.
Supply and demand chain
One of the major applications of dApps is in the supply and demand chain, where multitudinous data is stored at a time. The software products make handling the orders, shipment records, logistics and easier.
Pre-requisites for a blockchain development application
Decide the purpose of the application.
The first thing you have to work on is the purpose of the blockchain application you intend to develop and launch. For instance, you need to decide the industry it will hit and the function it shall serve.
Suppose you want to launch the dApp into the finance market and target the crypto exchanges. In that case, you must connect the app with a liquidity pool and exchange platform, a crypto wallet, and include features like authentication, KYC verification, etc.
To know more about the purpose of the blockchain app and get a solidified answer, you must seek answers to these below questions:
- Find out the problem that the app will solve and decide the manner of solutions.
- Next, you need to research the market, analyze the competitive nature and identify who will be your top competitors.
- Do ensure to go through the achievements and milestones of the competitors, especially the successful ones.
- Check their customer growth, their approach to maintaining customer relationships, and other aspects.
- Decide the unique selling points of the dApp or USPs.
- Sort out the target audience properly to ensure you can get the desired revenue, traffic, and hold of the market.
Choosing the blockchain tech stack
A tech stack is defined as a complete collection of applications that helps in the development of the entire blockchain software. It involves:
- A tool for developing the codes which are nothing but a framework based on a certain programming language. For instance, if Java is used, the framework to include in the tech stack will be NetBeans and Eclipse.
- A database needs to be there in the stack that will help you store different types of datasets and other information.
- Frontend and backend tools are used for developing the GUI, client-side, and server-side components of the application.
- APIs are also included in the blockchain tech stack because they help build a strong connection with third-party apps and services.
There are many different types of the tech stack that you can use for developing dApps. For example, you have Ethereum, EOS, R3 Corda, Hyperledger Fabric, Ripple, NEO, and OpenChain.
Discovery and research stage for the blockchain app development
Once you are done with the pre-requisite conditions, your next step will focus on the discovery stage of the app development life cycle.
The discovery phase is crucial as it allows the developers to gather all information about the app working, contents, methodologies to be included, etc.
While it is a short stage for SDLC, it covers many steps. Here is a brief description of how you can complete the discovery stage of the blockchain app.
- You need to work on the business analytical process to decide how the business processes will be formulated, maintained, and carried on.
- In this discovery phase, developers decide the elements and contents to be included in the UI design of the concerned dApp.
- Software architecture planning involves orchestrating workflows that can explain how the software will perform, the areas it will hit, etc.
- Reviewing the development team is crucial to understanding whether all members will be able to work together or not.
Development and testing process of blockchain app
The main phase of developing the blockchain application is divided into two parts-
- The development step will include building the codes based on the architecture planned as a workflow. The codes have functional modules, preset inputs, variables, and other parts. Inheritance, extensions, and all other additional features also need to be there in the development code.
- Once the application codes are developed, testing needs to be performed. It will include manual functional, automation, load, and performance testing. An end-to-end test technique is processed so that the codes won’t have any redundancy or discrepancies after being released into the production environment.
Blockchain software deployment and release
As the development and testing phase is complete, the codes are deployed into the production environment for the users to start utilizing the dApp.
Since the demand for more advanced techniques is increasing, several companies have integrated the concept of CI/CD pipeline to ensure that the new codes are updated and modified constantly, and as soon as the blocks are tested, they need to be deployed continuously to the production environment.
Marketing and promotion of the blockchain app
Once the blockchain app goes live, you need to focus on the marketing and promotion of the software.
You need to optimize the content for SEO or go for pay per click advertisements to ensure that you are successfully promoting the app.
There are several other marketing and promotion techniques that you can adopt to ensure that you have the right amount of audience influx to the application.
Post-production support and maintenance of the dApps
The software development life cycle of the dApps will also include post-production support and maintenance work.
Be it maintenance of the code performance or support to various service requests raised by the business, developers need to focus on delivering excellent results to the users.
The total time to invest in support and maintenance for production will differ from one software to the other.
How much is the cost of a blockchain app?
If you are not aware of the cost of a blockchain app development, you must consider the following factors to get the right estimate.
- What kind of blockchain technology you are using: Price ranges as Public
- The complexity of the codes involved in both frontend and backend development interfaces
- Number and nature of third-party integration with the main dApp
- Nature of all the targeted platforms
- Features to be included in the application and tech stack to be used
The above article has talked about everything you need to know about blockchain app development. Now, all you have to do is search for the best company to help you come up with the best dApp that can meet all your requirements.
Many third-party software development companies have taken initiatives to develop blockchain applications.
I am the CEO and founder of Blocktech Brew, a team of blockchain and Web 3.0 experts who are helping businesses adopt, implement and integrate blockchain solutions to achieve business excellence. Having successfully delivered 1000+ projects to clients across 150+ countries, our team is dedicated to designing and developing smart solutions to scale your business growth. We are focused on harnessing the power of Web 3.0 technologies to offer world-class blockchain, NFT, Metaverse, Defi, and Crypto development services to businesses to help them achieve their goals.