The decentralized ecosystem is emerging from the infrastructure phase, and entering a phase of actual utility. For most apps that people rely on in today’s Internet, there is a decentralized version of that app (also known as a dapp). WhatsApp has a decentralized counterpart called Stealthy. YouTube has a decentralized counterpart called DTube. And Google docs has a decentralized counterpart called Graphite. We’re even starting to see decentralized social networks, like a decentralized alternative to Twitter called Peepeth.
Whether you are downloading MetaMask to use an Ethereum dapp, or logging in with a Blockstack ID and granting a dapp access to your encrypted data storage hub, inherent to all these dapps is the true ownership of your data. Dapps link developers and users directly, without middlemen hosting software or managing user data.
We believe it is critical to drive everyday users to dapps that are ready for widespread adoption. That’s why we’re announcing the first ecosystem-wide, universal Dapp Store. The Dapp Store — which you can find on app.co — currently serves as an aggregator of usable dapps for gaming, social networking, productivity, and financial services. It is a discovery tool for decentralized apps built on Blockstack, Ethereum, EOS, IPFS, Steem, and more. The Dapp Store is launching with over 150 dapps, and we expect to surface more every day.
Currently, dapps are accessed through a myriad of different channels, creating a bottleneck for people wanting to seamlessly discover the best of what the decentralized Internet has to offer. The Dapp Store not only addresses the discoverability problem for users, but facilitates a way for developers to feature their dapps in one place. Similar to how developers know they must submit apps to Apple’s App Store to catalyze usage, developers in the decentralized world need a common and standardized submission process.
Blockstack Public Benefit Corporation is curating and maintaining this Dapp Store initially, but eventually we plan to include user ratings to rank dapps across the ecosystem. We want to democratize dapp development, and reward developers for great user experiences.
What qualifies as a decentralized app?
While definitions of decentralization exist along a spectrum, the Dapp Store is using the following criteria to evaluate if an app is decentralized:
- Do customers own their network identity? Can anyone else revoke that identity?
- Is private user data encrypted with user-owned keys?
- Is customer data stored on decentralized networks with reconfigurable APIs?
- Is the app open source? Can community members contribute or fork the software?
- Is the app publishable and hostable by others or only a single company?
- Is the app running client-side or on a server?
- Does the app limit or clearly communicate the scope of data logging?
A unified community
We strongly believe that projects across the decentralized community need to join together and familiarize users with this new online experience. Consumer education across the board will lift up every project and dapp, showcasing what Internet freedom and user choice can truly look like. Together, we can show users that there are better alternatives to a small number of powerful corporations that exist to benefit from their data.
Decentralized apps represent the many doors people can walk through to enter the decentralized Internet. Each user may be enticed by different doors, depending on what they’re interested in or what they need fulfilled. They might be a freelancer looking to earn tokens for completing tasks; an activist or journalist in need of an uncensorable microblogging platform; or a cat lover and cartoon art enthusiast. The Dapp Store is the portal to all of these decentralized apps.
Start exploring the new Internet today by visiting app.co.