A Startup-Friendly Guide to Developing Blockchain Apps: Tips, Tricks, and Practices
For businesses, building blockchain applications isn’t just a way to play the long game, it’s also a way to gain an edge over competitors. Startup owners are excited to find new ways to develop decentralized applications, also known as dApps.
Blockchain development is making business processes more scalable, transparent, accessible, and secure, and there are many ways to use the technology. Are you ready to get in on the action? Read on to learn more about blockchain app development and how it can help build a more robust business.
What is a Blockchain App?
A blockchain or decentralized application is unique in that it is not controlled, managed or owned by any authority or individual. Therefore, it cannot have downtime or be disabled. A blockchain application must:
Be open-source and operate without user intervention
Be decentralized, with all records made public
· Offer user incentives, such as crypto tokens
Have a way to demonstrate their value
Although the concept of dApps is still in its infancy, it shares many qualities with standard apps. The functionality is similar, but the most notable difference is that while regular apps run on private networks, dApps run on blockchain and other peer-to-peer networks.
How dApps work
Blockchains are peer-to-peer networks with one purpose: to store data in an open ledger. Information is stored in blocks before being shared by members. If a transaction takes place on the blockchain, each user has proof that it happened.
Blocks of data are associated with strings, and once they are, the information cannot be changed. Blockchain security makes it quite difficult for hackers to steal data. Blockchains fall into two categories depending on the type of network.
A permissionless blockchain is accessible to all members of the network, and all retain the right to verify transactions, access code, and interact with other users. Bitcoin is a great example of a permissionless blockchain.
· An authorized blockchain allows only authorized users to access the network. Each member has unique permissions and roles, and there are rules for network transactions. This type of blockchain is mainly found in intra-organizational management.
Why Startups Need Blockchain Apps
Blockchain gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to take their business to the next level, and this is one of the reasons for its growing popularity. Decentralized applications are commonly used in:
· Health care
· Real estate
Blockchain can simplify and improve business processes. Below, we will discuss some of the steps involved in blockchain development.
While blockchain applications are hugely popular, startup owners shouldn’t jump in without ideas that solve customer problems. The first step in app development should include an idea assessment, which may include potential user pain points. Then these ideas can be formalized.
During the market research phase, entrepreneurs collect crucial data before proceeding with further development. Data should describe available solutions and help app makers determine how they can improve them.
Choose a consensus mechanism
Because it is decentralized, transactions on a blockchain must be authenticated through network nodes in a process known as consensus. For example, Bitcoin uses the proof-of-work mechanism, which is very popular. However, other options are available, including proof of stake and proof of elapsed time. After determining the use cases, creators can choose the right consensus mechanism for their processes.
There are four ways companies can develop blockchain applications. A decentralized application can be built on an open blockchain, a private network that uses blockchain software, with BaaS or blockchain as service providers, or on a purpose-built blockchain network.
Find a platform
There are a few platforms used for blockchain application development, and startup owners can choose one that fits their concept. Ethereum, Multichain, R3 Corda, Hyperledger, and Ripple are some of the most common choices.
Design the architecture
A blockchain application can be built in the cloud, in-house, or as a hybrid. Creators can choose from several software and hardware configurations, such as disk size, memory, processors, and operating systems. The chosen architecture must meet the requirements of the blockchain application.
After considering the above factors, the development process begins. It consists of five stages including business analysis, design, preparation, development and finally quality assurance.
Deployment and maintenance
At the end of the development cycle comes deployment. When a dApp is ready, it will be revealed on app marketplaces such as the Apple App Store and Google Play. This is the perfect time for creators to collect data on their apps and see how users react. Maintenance is another crucial step, and applications need to be updated often to support new operating systems and new library versions.
Use Blockchain Technology to Build a Stronger Business
Blockchain app development has notable trends to look out for in 2022 and beyond. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and UX/UI improvements are taking center stage. With these advancements, startup owners need to leverage the power of decentralized applications to gain an edge over their competitors. To do this, they will need to develop solutions that make their business models more versatile and resilient.