How to Choose the Right Blockchain for Your dApp Development
Even those far from the tech industry have heard the word “blockchain.” Startups and enterprises in various fields pursue blockchain development to make their business more reliable and competitive. The use of blockchain for decentralized app development has been a particularly trending area. DApp is a sophisticated software system that uses DL technology, such as a blockchain, as a central structure to store and exchange information through smart contracts (SCs). Recently, dApps have been used to manage digital currencies or tokens, FinTech business, identity management, voting, notarization of information, video games, and for many other purposes.
A wide diversity of dApps’ potential uses attracts attention and raises questions about how to choose the right blockchain for your dApp. The right dApp platform may be difficult to select for someone not familiar with the blockchain platforms. Therefore, this article will describe the most popular blockchain platforms and discuss their strengths and weaknesses to help you decide what works for you. However, we need to explain first what the dApp platform is and how it relies on blockchain.
Explaining dApp Development
Decentralized applications (dApps) are in many ways similar to traditional software apps. However, the main thing that differentiates them from the older technologies is the reliance on decentralized networks. Traditional apps store the data on the company’s central server, while dApps use thousands of local operating systems that share the transaction burden. The use of blockchain technology in dApps makes them flexible, transparent, and reliable. At the same time, it means that a dApps developer should always ensure that a dApp code is bug-free as it is difficult to change it after the launch. The following are the main features of dApps:
- Open-source system
- Autonomous (users are free to govern the dApp blockchain)
- Changes introduced by consensus; no one owns the code
- Peer-to-peer blockchain stores the data and protocol
- Generate tokens that have real value
- Smart contracts (SC) use
The listed characteristics vividly show that dApps share many of the features with cryptocurrencies, (Read a cryptocurrency development guide) as the latter also operate using an open-source code, rely on the distributed technology, and generate coins that have value. These similarities allow suggesting that cryptocurrencies based on blockchain technology are nothing else than the first dApps.
DApps differ in terms of access. Some dApps can be accessed using a web browser, so downloading is not required. Others are run on iOS or Android, so they should be downloaded from Apps Store or Google Play Store and installed on a user’s device (e.g., smartphones or tablets).
DApps are applied in many spheres. These blockchain-based applications are widely used for sharing and downloading files, gaming, healthcare, governance, fundraising, advertising, etc. DApps also provide unlimited opportunities for the development of financial technologies such as decentralized finance (DeFi). In addition, they allow for greater freedom and communication opportunities for users by enhancing social media. The flexibility of the dApp technology means that it can be adjusted to almost any industry.
Importance of Blockchain for dApps
A blockchain dApp has many advantages over traditional apps. These include but are not limited to speed, anonymity, reliability, versatility, confidence, etc. Let’s list some of the key strengths that should be considered when you plan to develop a dApp using blockchain.
- Points of failure. Since no central server stores the data, dApps do not have a single point of failure. In other words, there is no risk that if a central server does not work for some reason (e.g., power outage, hacking, etc.), the whole dApp goes offline.
- Cost. Servers ensuring data processing and storage for traditional apps are costly because they require costly hardware and maintenance. Blockchain-based dApps, in turn, are characterized by reduced operational costs. The absence of a middleman further decreases the costs and makes dApps an attractive solution for startups.
- Data security. The absence of the points of failure mentioned above enhances dApp security. Moreover, users are not required to reveal their identities when they use these apps, contributing to higher trust. DApps also have no control over users’ data and cannot decrypt it.
- Absence of censorship. Since dApps have no control over the data, they cannot block some users. No one can discriminate against users or prevent them from using services. At the same time, users are responsible for complying with the laws and regulations of their country when it comes to the content they consume and share.
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Blockchain Platforms to Consider
If you decided to develop a dApp for your business and are now looking for a suitable blockchain platform, you may be puzzled by the number of available blockchain systems. There are more than a dozen options in a dApp list, so discussing them all would take too much time. Therefore, we selected the most popular and reliable ones for you to consider and included their strengths and weaknesses to inform your choice:
Ethereum is by far the most famous blockchain platform. It is considered the best platform for dApps, mainly because it boasts its own language, Solidity, and uses Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) to build SCs. If you choose this platform, you will have no problems with finding competent dApp developers working with this platform. The Ethereum dApp list is long and includes CasinoFair (FUN), Compound, Kyber, IDEX, Axie Infinity, and many other applications.
However, Ethereum’s major problem is the risk of congested SC networks due to a large Ethereum community. DApp users relying on Ethereum may be dissatisfied with the overcrowded network originating from the lack of computing power, also called the gas. Therefore, if you select Ethereum, you need to be ready for developing upgrades to the system to ensure greater speed and efficiency.
TRON is characterized by specific protocols and its own cryptocurrency, Tronix (TRX). By selecting TRON for your dApp development, you gain an opportunity to build a cost-effective decentralized app boasting high effectiveness, scalability, data ownership, and security. A solid number of experienced TRON developers available on the labor market is another thing to consider, as it means that you will have no problem finding the team that would create your TRON-based dApp. Examples of dApps using TRON include JustSwap, Tpunks, Luminous, TrinMeebits, and so on. You can check them to determine whether this blockchain option works for your business. Keep in mind that TRON lacks proper protection, which distinguishes a truly decentralized platform.
EOS is also widely applied for dApp development, and it is a preferred choice for many startups and companies willing to enter the blockchain market. EOS does not have transaction fees and is extremely scalable. Unlike many blockchain platforms, it has an efficient bug recovery system and high transaction capacity. It is also characterized by the ease of use for both users and developers. The popularity of dApps such as Casineos, YUP, VIGOR, Crypto Dynasty, Upland, and others proves that EOS is one of the most reliable solutions to consider. Disadvantages of EOS are minor and include the risk of centralization due to the limited number of validators and a complex account creation process.
Neo blockchain platform is an appropriate option because it provides many development tools and mechanisms for creating a dApp. All you need to do is to develop SCs and integrate them with the blockchain. You don’t need knowledge of the specific coding language or programming tools to utilize Neo. In addition, this platform attracts developers with its proof-of-stake system that saves computing power. Examples of Neo-based dApps you can check to learn more about its functioning include OxRacers, Nash, Switchneo Network, Tavala, etc. Although Neo has a higher transaction capacity compared to Ethereum, it is far more centralized. It is also popular in Asia and relatively unknown in the Western market, so consider the geography when selecting this option.
NEAR technology is a preferred option for those willing to create dApps fast. This platform was launched in 2020 but gained popularity very quickly. NEAR’s main advantage is its unprecedented scalability, which allows it to compete with the most popular platforms such as Ethereum. NEAR can be scaled infinitely and is exceptionally flexible, which means that developers using it for dApps can present the product in no time. The sharded nature of NEAR, in turn, helps address the computational challenges affecting its competitors.
NEAR is a young technology, so you may face challenges finding tutorials or competent developers working with this platform. Therefore, if you choose NEAR, you can use the services of experienced developers such as 4IRE Labs possessing extensive knowledge of NEAR development.
Solana is another advanced option for blockchain dApp development, especially if you are interested in DeFi solutions. Built fully on Rust, Solana can handle thousands of transactions per second, making it fast and scalable enough to be used as a preferred dApp option. However, similar to Neo, it cannot boast high decentralization. Solana may be your best choice if you are looking for smooth SCs running and scalability, but you need to understand that it does not have a large user community compared to more popular blockchain platforms.
Another Ethereum competitor called Polkadot has multiple advantages, such as scalability, cross-chain communication, and a shared security model. If you choose this option, you will not have to worry about high transaction fees, low TPS, and other problems. Creating a dApp using Polkadot is easy, but it will require an additional bridge to connect to other blockchains. Moreover, you will need to find experienced Polkadot developers, which is not easy due to the relative novelty of this technology. If you want the work to be completed perfectly, you can rely on the 4IRE Labs team, which knows the Polkadot ecosystem inside out. Examples of Polkadot use in dApps include Mantra DAO, Ren, Polkastarter, PolkaSwap, etc. As you can see, FinTech is the leading industry currently promoting Polkadot as a blockchain platform.
Challenges of Blockchain Use for dApps: Choose Wisely
Maintenance. Data and codes published on the blockchain are challenging to modify, which hampers effective maintenance. Once the application is released, it is challenging for the dApp developer to introduce improvements and updates. As a result, the dApp may have some bugs or security risks that aggravate user experience and threaten the data. Choose the platform you will be able to maintain efficiently.
Limited Number of Users. A dApp requires an extensive user base to operate efficiently. However, many users are still unfamiliar with this technology and may not understand the procedure well. At the same time, dApps cannot process many transactions and require many computational resources to handle each transaction, which means that the system is not ready to serve a large audience. Therefore, choose the platform wisely to attract and cater to the needs of your customers.
Suboptimal User Experience. The user experience of some dApps is suboptimal. These apps may be challenging to navigate, especially if the company has limited experience using blockchain or selected the wrong platform. At the same time, this challenge is a potential growth point, as those managing to enhance usability will enjoy a competitive advantage.
Choosing the proper dApp framework for your business is a responsible task. To select the most suitable platform, you need to consider your budget, human resources, target audience, deadlines, geography, and many other factors. If you don’t know how to develop blockchain applications but are willing to use dApps in your business, you can always ask for professional help. The 4IRE team provides advanced blockchain consulting services, particularly in the DeFi sector.