Dapps also known as decentralized applications have been more popular since the popularity of cryptocurrency has grown a lot.
What are dapps?
Dapps are like normal applications but the difference is that they are decentralized and run on a blockchain network. The main difference between regular applications and dapps is that they are not controlled by a single entity or organisation.
Let us take the example of Instagram. It is an application but it is not decentralized. It is owned by a single entity and they have full control over the application and the data.
Whereas dapps run on a blockchain network using smart contracts. The applications run on multiple computers or nodes on the network. The best feature which I like the most about dapps is that they are open-source. Open source means that their code is public and anyone in the world can go ahead and look at the code.
Due to being open-source, it maintains a transparent relationship with its users and it can run without any control of any entity. Suppose you want to add any new feature to the application or you find a fault, you can go ahead and check out the code and make necessary changes to it. If the creators of the app find it useful they can add that to the application.
What are the benefits of this?
Dapps actually have a lot of benefits.
The biggest advantage is that it is open source. So you can see the code and if you want you can make necessary changes to it.
Since dapps are decentralized no one has a single authority over the application.
Dapps never go down as they run on a blockchain network over multiple computers/nodes all around the world. So even if one or two computer goes down the app keeps running.
Smart contracts are used to create dapps, so transactions are a lot more secure in them.
You have control over your data and how much information you want to share with them.
Ethereum is the most popular platform for creating dapps. It provides a proper platform which helps developers to create dapps very easily. This has helped to popularise dapps more and increase the creation of more dapps.
One proper example of a dapp is a decentralized social media application. All the popular social media platforms today are controlled by a single entity or organisation. People do not have free speech or control over their data. A decentralized social media platform would be a place where people can openly express their views and no single person can delete or block their messages since they would be stored on a blockchain.
What are the disadvantages?
The concept of dapps is pretty new and people are not sure how many years it is going to stay and whether it will be valid or not. So, due to these uncertainties, people are not willing to adapt.
Suppose even if a proper decentralized social media application is created with all the features people would be reluctant to shift to it because the web2 applications have created a comfort zone for its users that they don't want to leave because the new apps don't have enough content.
Another disadvantage is that in the Ethereum blockchain running a dapp can be quite expensive compared to running it on a traditional server.
According to me, dapps will be a lot more popular in the future. Yes, it would take some time for people to adapt but as time passes more new features will be introduced which will make it more convenient to shift to dapps.
One thing I want to say is that I very strongly believe that decentralization is the future.