Chapter 2. A Flourishing Dapp Ecosystem

The blockchain space can be pretty confusing. There is a seemingly endless array of startups, altcoins, ideologies, and buzzwords floating around, and it can be difficult to make sense of it all. It’s useful to subdivide the space into three categories, following Melanie Swan’s book Blockchain (O’Reilly) and others; blockchain 1.0 is currency, blockchain 2.0 adds in contracts (stocks, bonds, financial assets), and blockchain 3.0 encompasses applications beyond pure finance in areas like governance and health (dapps). In this chapter we’re going to be talking about what needs to happen for all three to progress. As a dapp developer, you just want one thing: the right tools to make your dapp secure, robust, and profitable. This chapter will describe what a flourishing dapp ecosystem would look like; that is, an ecosystem where making dapps is really easy. I’ll also discuss the technical requirements to make a dapp and what is currently possible.

There are four concepts in web applications that have traditionally been in the domain of centralized control: identity, wealth, data, and computing. Each of these requires trust in a provider—a trust that can be betrayed. Recent advances in distributed-system technology can put users in control of these things, so let’s dive into these enabling innovations step by step.

Decentralized Data

This is the most important of the concepts to me. Currently, we trust “The Stacks” with our data. We willingly ...

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