Decentralized applications making a difference with the block chain

Decentralized applications making a difference with the block chain

December 12, 2014 | +Mala Mukunda

Decentralization – moving storage, computation and verification of data away from a single point of control – has probably been the most revolutionary contribution of the concept of the blockchain. The Bitcoin white paper proposes the use of the public ledger blockchain for moving value as a currency. The extension of this idea, to revolutionize almost every application that is currently run by centralized servers has seen hectic activity in terms of development, venture backing and crowdfunding this year.

As Managing Director of BitAngels, David Johnston says, everything that can be decentralized will be decentralized. Practically, all centralized network applications like stock markets, contracts, eCommerce, Internet and data storage services can be moved to a distributed model by using the blockchain. As bitcoins are necessary tokens to participate in the currency aspect of the blockchain, custom tokens can be attached to specific applications as necessary inputs to use them. Mastercoin Protocol is built to replicate the features of the distributed consensus system outside of the currency aspect of the system.

Decentralized applications or DApps that are open source and allow distributed consensus to secure the network hold tremendous promise for a free and secure digital future for users. Below are a few examples of platoforms that are leading the way towards a decentralized future.

Namecoin: is a cryptocurrency that acts as a decentralized Domain Name System (DNS). Registered domain names (with .bit extension) on this network cannot be hijacked, shut down or manipulated easily.

Blocksign: is a way to sign legally binding documents like leases and contracts online for almost free.

Ethereum: can be used to codify, decentralize and secure voting, domain names, financial exchanges, crowdfunding, company governance, contracts and agreements of most kind and intellectual property.

Factom: is a system for securing millions of realtime records in the blockchain with a single hash.

MaidSAFE: is a way to store, share and protect the increasing knowledge base on the internet, eliminating the involvement of companies snooping and selling users’ personal data.

Open Garden: uses mesh networks to share information via the internet from mobile phones. By providing incentives like meshcoins, phones can be lent to the network to provide bandwidth.

Storj: is a community shared cloud storage service. The stored data is divided, encrypted and finally stored, keeping it private and secure.

Tech entrepreneur and mathematician Charles Hoskinson says Bitcoin-related technology is about to revolutionize property rights, banking, remote education, private law and crowd-funding for the developing world.

David A. Johnston is the managing director of the DApps Fund. He evaluates investments in Decentralized Applications & Protocols that are based on open source software, and use a distributed blockchain for token ownership and access to the application.


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