Let’s face it. The dapp ecosystem is ripe for a shake-up. Here are four big problems we see with existing dapp platforms. Can anyone solve them?
It could have been so much better. Decentralised app platforms should have been the catalyst for a new surge of innovation. However, few dapps created on these platforms have been able to live up to their marketing hype. This lack of success is attributable to a combination of four problems any developer using dapp platforms would have encountered. In this article, we’re going to find out what they are and how they stand in the way of dapp adoption. Finally, we aim to see if anything can be done to overcome them.
1 – Scalability
With existing Dapp platforms, network capacity is limited. Even Ethereum, the most popular blockchain for developers, has had issues with capacity. You only have to think back to 2017 and CryptoKitties for an example. It only took 27,000 users to break the entire Ethereum platform. At standard levels of traffic, Ethereum can process 15 to 30 transactions every second. It sounds like a lot, but you can’t service millions (or billions) of customers with limitations such as these. None of Ethereum’s competitors have seriously managed to address this issue.
For dapp developers looking to build an effective application that can achieve mass market take-up, this is not ideal. You need a platform that can grow with you, a platform you can trust to run an app your customers can trust.
2 – Cost
When you pay a fee per individual transaction on your dapp, prices can quickly mount. Moreover, it’s not only the quantity of transactions that affect your costs, it’s also the size. On complex dapps, one transaction fee can be as much as $1. It’s difficult to pass costs on this scale to your end user. Therefore, scaling your dapp becomes prohibitively expensive.
Individual transaction fees also tie your hands regarding how you can charge your customers, the people who use your dapp. You may want to implement a freemium model or a subscription model, but it’s hard when your costs are volatile. How do you budget for scale in this way?
Dapp developers need a low-cost platform, as well as a platform with costs that are predictable.
3 – Security
Security is paramount in blockchain dapp development. The eyes of the tech world are on the blockchain when it comes to security. The blockchain community promotes its innovations as safe, but too many high profile heists have disproved these claims.
Third-party indexing and caching services that developers currently rely on do not provide the same security guarantees as the base layer. Plus, contract languages strewn with errors have led to security breaches.
4 – User experience
Finally, the UX for dapp developers is currently below par on many different levels, especially considering the high fees they pay to use dapp platforms. Confirmations are slow, support for queries is poor, data modelling tools are not up to the job. You may often find yourself wondering what exactly you are paying for.
As your dapp gains traction, you find there is no provision for contract upgrades at platform level. You need to implement this functionality as a separate layer, making your workflow even more complicated. A dapp platform should be simple to use. Upgrading is an essential part of software maintenance, it shouldn’t be a chore.
Solving the problem
At ChromaWay, we are building our blockchain platform for dapps, Chromia, to be the antidote to these problems. We want developers to be able to build dapps that push the boundaries of what is possible, so we created a powerful and safe programming language that unlocks the power of relational blockchain. We created a platform that can grow as you grow, using the latest and greatest in sidechain architectures to deliver performance at scale. We think developers should have the autonomy to devise their own business models, receiving value for money at all times, so we liberated them from the pay-per-click model imposed by blockchains with flat architectures like Ethereum.
If you’re reading this article and nodding along with our view of existing dapp platforms, maybe it’s time to look at Chromia?