Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that pose a significant threat to traditional currencies as well as to the banking system. Corporate giants and software developers from Silicon Valley are competing heavily to create a cryptocurrency that can revolutionize the world. However, before trying to choose a cryptocurrency for investment or use, we must first understand the mechanism behind their working.
Two of the most popular of these mechanisms are Blockchain and Dapps (Decentralized Applications).
You may have heard the term blockchain in the last few years, but surprisingly the origins of blockchain technology go back to early 1990s when it was used to mark dates in documents. The tech saved the documents’ date from being altered illegally once it was entered.
Almost 2 decades later, the technology was adapted by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009 to create one of the biggest inventions of 21st century known popularly as Bitcoin.
Blockchain, as its name suggests, is a chain of blocks. It is essentially a ledger which works on distributed computing. Moreover, it is not restrictive and is accessible to the public.
What is Inside a Block?
Each block contains data of transactions. When a block is filled with data, it cannot be altered. It also has something known as a hash. Hash is a unique digital signature that identifies a block. Hash is generated in correspondence to the block’s creation.
The data that a block contains depends on the type of Blockchain. For instance, Bitcoin’s block contains data of transactions like,
- Who sent the bitcoin?
- Who received the bitcoin?
- How many Bitcoin were sent or received?
A block contains the Hash address of the previous block as well as its own hash address. This mechanism is integral in the formation of a chain of blocks. Hashes are used to detect any fraudulent activity. Given that any data in a block is changed, the hash will change consequently, thus the whole Blockchain will be disrupted and rendered invalid.
Proof of Work
Anyone can hack the Blockchain if he uses high computational power to create blocks. In order to stop this, a mechanism is used known as Proof of Work. Proof of Work means that a block cannot be created instantly and needs some time before formation. For instance, for Bitcoin, it takes 10-15 minutes to create a single block.
Dapps are software applications that work on a decentralized platform. There are certain features in a Decentralized Application.
Features of a Dapp
Firstly, Dapps are open-source software. Open source means that their code is visible to anyone on the internet and thus no one can try to secretly hide any malware in them. Moreover, Dapps are independent. Once started, they do not require any other interference to function.
Furthermore, any information of a Dapp is saved through a blockchain that must be public as well as decentralized. Centralized blockchains carry a higher risk of app crashes due to their single point of failure mechanism. A Dapp always uses a crypto token and receives a contribution from miners. Lastly, a decentralized application must have a mechanism like proof of value to create tokens with the assistance from a cryptographic algorithm.
How to Reach Consensus
Dapps reach consensus through the use of two known mechanisms. Sometimes both of these mechanisms are used by a single cryptocurrency which utilizes the best features of both.
Proof of Stake
In Proof of Stake, the consensus is reached through a stakeholder’s share in a Dapp. For example, if someone has 20% of the share in a Dapp, then he carries 20% control for that Dapp.
Proof of Work
Proof of Work is a mechanism that relies on a stakeholder’s work that they give to the network. Mining is used in Proof of Work where miner’s contributions are used as their share.
Major Difference Between Blockchain and Dapps Platform
The major difference between Dapps and blockchain is decentralization. Decentralization is one of the most important attributes in the crypto-sphere but Blockchain platforms are rarely decentralized and most of the time Blockchain platforms work on distribution rather than decentralized. Dapps, on the other hand, are always decentralized.
Thus, inspect each project carefully and check if they are actually decentralized. We think Dapps have a huge potential to change the game in the future and will have a greater impact in the future.