Rise of the dApps Replacing Web2 Apps
May 13, 2022
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by Stephen Kanyi

The transition to Web3 is in top gear. With decentralization at its central tenet, armed with Web3 technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrencies the internet is going through somewhat of a revolution to create a completely decentralized platform.

Creation, however, also involves the destruction of the former. And now, many of the platforms and technologies that made Web2 a success, are at the risk of becoming obsolete. Decentralized applications (dApps) especially are moving in very fast.

The renewed hunger for a more decentralized internet is pushing innovators, and with them, users, to platforms where they have more control. The result has been a proliferation of dApps on the new internet.

These are alternatives created for applications that have already solved these problems. Only now they are built on Web3 technologies; blockchain and crypto.

Here is a list of the transitions happening to Web3 today.

Chrome to Brave

With data privacy increasingly becoming an issue for many Chrome users it’s no surprise that an alternative would sooner or later pop up. One that gave users more control of their data.

Brave browser is that alternative.

Brave’s obsession with privacy for its more than 50 million users worldwide has enabled its creators to come up with novel solutions to counter the multibillion-dollar ads industry. In its own words “Brave turns this broken model on its head.”

Instead of ads that track your habits to ‘better sell you products’, Brave gives users the choice to view non-invasive ads without compromising their privacy. Moreover, in exchange for your attention Brave gives users the chance to earn rewards in the form of Basic Attention Tokens (BAT). 

It’s here where the Web3 angle comes in. BATs are essentially cryptocurrencies that can be spent online. At the end of the month, one can either withdraw the BAT in the form of cash or pay it forward by tipping your favourite websites and content creators.

Spotify to Audius

Spotify is the undoubted king when it comes to audio streaming. With over 422 million subscribers worldwide, 182 million of whom are paying customers Spotify is the largest music streaming service, provider. Knocking it off its throne or even trying to compete it on an equal footing is out of the question. Many have tried to but failed.

Audius is however taking a different approach. It allows virtually anyone with a completed sound recording to post it, built a fanbase and earn money via a token system. Fans can contribute to the music by buying tokens to listen to a music piece.

Google to Presearch

Aside from browsers, search engines are the real source of ad revenue for Google and its privacy-invading ecosystem. One can use a different browser but as long as you are using Google’s powerful search engine then your data is always on sale to the highest bidder.

Presearch wants to change this. Using a complex ecosystem of tokens, nodes and keyword staking, the platform harnesses the power of search engines while also protecting user privacy and providing more choice and control.

The platform incentivizes participation with rewards in the form on its own cryptocurrency: PRE tokens. One can earn PRE tokens in two principal ways.

One is by installing Presearch nodes on your computer. This can be done on virtually any computer provided it supports Docker and has the minimal resources required for participation.

The other way is via Presearch Keyword Staking. Advertisers are able to bid on keywords using PRE tokens to have their ads displayed. Whoever stakes or commits the most tokens to a keyword has their ad displayed. The Presearch platform is powered by Ethereum blockchain and as such holders can easily transfer, sell, buy and store their PRE tokens. All transactions are also on the network in an open and transparent manner.

 DropBox to FileCoin

Filecoin is perhaps the most quintessential Web3 app. Instead of centralized cloud storage, Filecoin decentralizes the whole platform to open it to providers from all around the globe instead of a few big players.

When a client wants to store data on the Filecoin network the client first views available storage providers and their market prices. Storage providers compete to win the storage contract from which the client will select the winner.

After the deal is made the client sends the data and the provider stores it. To earn Filecoin, providers must prove that they are storing the data properly. The network verifies whether the data is stored securely through cryptographic proofs. Storage providers submit their storage proofs in new blocks to the network and validate new blocks sent from the networks.

Only blocks that are correct are accepted. Storage providers earn the deal storage fee over time and have a chance to win block rewards. The client selects the fastest or most affordable storage provider.

These are just a few examples of the shift to Web3. Other noteworthy mentions include:

Upwork → Braintrust

Gmail → Protomail

Zoom → Huddle

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