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Decentralized application

A decentralized application (Dapp, dApp or DApp) is an application run by many users on a decentralized network with trustless protocols. They are designed to avoid any single point of failure.[citation needed] They typically have tokens to reward users for providing computing power.[1][unreliable source]


The definition of a decentralized application is still in development and under debate.[citation needed] The term originates from the Decentralized Application Corporation and decentralized autonomous organization.[2][3]:1-8

Typical definitions include the following attributes:[2][3][4][5][6][7]

  • The code is open-source and autonomously managed
  • Records and data are stored using blockchain, providing trustless interaction and avoiding any single point of failure
  • Use cryptographic tokens as a medium of exchange, to reward users validating transactions or providing services on the network, etc.
  • Tokens generated through a cryptographic algorithm

There are three types of decentralized applications:[2][4][6]

  • Type I decentralized applications that have their own block chain, such as Bitcoin.
  • Type II decentralized applications that use the blockchain of a type I but are protocols and have tokens that are necessary for their function like the Bitcoin Omni Layer.
  • Type III decentralized applications that use the protocol of a type II and are additionally protocols that have tokens necessary for their function, such as the SAFE Network that uses the Omni Protocol to issue safecoins.


Decentralized applications may run on top of other cryptographic systems such as Ethereum.[1] in December 2017, the popular game CryptoKitties slowed the Ethereum network and exposed the vulnerability of public blockchains to traffic slowdowns.[8] Decentralized applications use Smart Contracts to connect to a blockchain, where the backend of the Dapp runs on a decentralized P2P network.[5]



  1. ^ a b Hertig, Alyssa. "What is a Decentralized Application?".
  2. ^ a b c Siraj, Raval (2016). Decentralized applications: Harnessing Bitcoin's Blockchain technology (First ed.). Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media. ISBN 9781491924525. OCLC 953971624.
  3. ^ a b Raval, Siraj. Decentralized Applications HARNESSING BITCOIN'S BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY. O'Reilly. ISBN 9781491924549.
  4. ^ a b Johnston, David; Yilmaz, Sam Onat; Kandah, Jeremy; Bentenitis, Nikos; Hashemi, Farzad; Gross, Ron; Wilkinson, Shawn; Mason, Steven (2 February 2015). "The General Theory of Decentralized Applications, Dapps". GitHub. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Decentralized Applications – dApps". Blockchain Hub. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  6. ^ a b Ruth, Angela. "Why Build Decentralized Applications: Understanding Dapp". Due. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  7. ^ Demchenko, Lidiia. "Why People Choose Dapps over Apps?". Dapp. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  8. ^ Kharif, Olga (2017-12-05). "CryptoKitties Mania Overwhelms Ethereum Network's Processing". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2018-08-23.