The market for blockchain applications is increasing, and its worldwide scale is estimated to reach about $20 billion by 2024. Along with its growth, the amount of blockchain app development tools is expanding, opening up new opportunities for organizations across sectors.
Blockchain application development is gaining popularity due to its numerous benefits to enterprises. Custom app creation is gaining traction with the blockchain, with mobile, web, and software developers adopting it to solve various problems from traditional approaches.
Blockchain allows for the use of digital currencies such as Litecoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin, as well as a safe and transparent payment mechanism that eliminates the need for an intermediary.
It also allows an app to keep a public and unchangeable record of digital transaction records and assures that no data has been altered. This concept applies to blockchain-based custom app development across various use cases and industrial applications.
What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a distributed, unchangeable ledger that makes it easier to record transactions and track resources in a corporate network. Users can track tangible assets (a home, vehicle, cash, or land) and intangible assets (intellectual property, copyrights, patents, and branding), as well as almost anything of value, lowering risk and costs for everyone involved.
Information is the lifeblood of business. The sooner and more precise it is received, the better. Blockchain is great for delivering such information because it delivers instantaneous, shareable, and entirely transparent data recorded on an immutable ledger that network users with permission can only view.
A blockchain network can monitor orders, transactions, accounts, and output, among other things. So, where does the custom web application development come in if the blockchain is a ledger?
How Is the Blockchain Used in Custom Web Application Development
From contract signing through code deployment, blockchain may be used to record all elements of the software development process. The blockchain makes it possible to see who made what modifications, when, exactly how they were executed, and where those modifications went once they were released.
This helps to ensure that everyone participating in the process is informed of any changes or updates, avoiding disagreements or mistakes.
The advantages of blockchain in software development include enhanced security, shorter project turnaround times owing to less paperwork, and increased accuracy due to immutable data.
In custom web application development, the blockchain plays a dual role where it acts as an optimizer of the development process itself and lends the concepts behind it to applicable portions of an app.
Apps built using the blockchain are called "decentralized apps (DApps) and form a significant portion of this market and the advent of the web3 movement. apps"
What Are Blockchain Apps?
A blockchain app is a distributed ledger-based decentralized application. This form of software has several advantages over standard applications.
One of the most significant advantages of utilizing a blockchain app is that it is far more secure than a standard app. A typical app stores all of its data on a centralized server. This implies that all data might be at risk if the server is compromised.
However, with blockchain software, the data is dispersed among numerous nodes, making it far more difficult for hackers to access. Another advantage of blockchain apps is that, because there is no central authority, they are significantly more responsive and effective than regular apps.
How Blockchain Apps Work
A blockchain is a system that distributes all data among its peers and stores it sequentially in blocks. This implies that when anything happens in a blockchain network (like data or funds transfers), it's communicated with all network participants, where everyone has a history/copy of it on their own devices.
The data blocks created are kept in a chain; once added, the data cannot be modified. This makes a blockchain incredibly difficult to breach, enhancing security. Setting up a blockchain requires space ranging from a few Gigabytes to a Terabyte of storage.
Most devices do not have that much space, which explains why DApps function as part of a chain. In custom web application development, there are two blockchain network types:
- Permissioned - This type of blockchain network only allows authorized participation. Each user has a role and permissions that apply to them. There are also guidelines for conducting transactions, making this type of blockchain ideal in organizational operations management.
- Permissionless - This type of blockchain is accessible to all network participants and available on any device. Users can see the code, interact with other users, verify transactions, and keep their identity secret.
The many benefits of blockchain apps and the user-centric nature of the apps produced are why the world is slowly but surely turning to them.
In addition to permissioned or permissionless, you can also choose between the following:
- Cryptocurrency-based blockchains - These variants come with the capabilities to send, receive, and store cryptocurrency. In addition, you can also use them to access crypto exchange systems to trade with cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.
- Non-cryptocurrency-based blockchains - As the name implies, these blockchains do not support cryptocurrency. Usually, this is because they do not need them. For instance, a blockchain app used for data storage or inventory monitoring and tracking does not need cryptocurrency support.
What do these technologies help us achieve? Let's talk about the benefits to find out more.
Benefits Of Custom App Development Using Blockchain
Numerous benefits come with using apps developed with the help of blockchain. These come from the development of best practices, but most importantly, the decentralized and secure nature of the blockchain.
Here are some of the most cited benefits of using blockchain in custom web application development:
A more secure app
Data breaches happen almost all the time. It's hardly unexpected that many individuals opt to avoid programs they believe aren't safe enough or when they are concerned about a data leak that might result in a privacy violation.
With blockchain application development, applications may increase data privacy and app security. Blockchain encryption, which uses timestamps on each transaction, is known to be impenetrable and "hack-proof."
Furthermore, with a truly decentralized system, third-party programs have fewer opportunities to cause issues and circumvent security.
Because of the way blockchain captures each transaction, developers and consumers can trace the data and witness each stage of the process. The system eliminates the possibility of false or fake information.
Records may be traced back as far as the blockchain ledger has functioned, allowing the entire process to be examined. This makes it straightforward to simultaneously manage, validate, and protect information classification and storage.
This also helps businesses create trust with their customers. Users may be confident in their ability to carry out transactions securely and consistently through your app without worrying about losing vital data.
It is rather simple to establish a new blockchain, even though it does require knowing some of the intricacies. Advanced technologies raise the cost of app development and maintenance since they require more time and effort to develop and integrate.
Nevertheless, blockchain solves the problem while making it simple to build customized apps. It helps you to provide a feature-rich mobile or web app to your consumers while saving time and ensuring cost-effectiveness for app developers.
Readily available tooling
Blockchain technology and techniques are now readily available to developers. Additionally, because this technology is open-source, you may propose changes that could enhance blockchain deployment.
Even though the data collected is immutable, it is always retrievable and can be retained indefinitely. Consequently, financial institutions, transportation, and logistics firms stand to gain significantly from blockchain-based mobile apps.
Developers can earn more
Developers must use cost-per-installment marketing efforts to reach a larger audience. However, the sales benefit a vast number of intermediaries. As a consequence, the developer earns less.
Using blockchain, businesses can switch to a cost-per-attention model in which users are compensated in-app money for the time they spend using the app.
Users will be credited with tokens that can be used to complete in-app purchases, eliminating the need for intermediaries.
Blockchain technology is flexible
The amazing versatility of blockchain is one of the primary ways it is proven to be the cornerstone of app development. Because of how technology works, developers or businesses looking to expand the reach and exposure of their mobile applications have many options to consider.
Blockchain application development is more adaptable to changing demands than prior technologies.
Smart contracts are one example of this. These enhance mobile app user authentication and execute payments faster and more efficiently.
The Sectors Making DApps
Like with any new technology, some industries are suited for early adoption. In this segment, we look at some of the application categories making use of the technologies and concepts:
- IoT companies
- Real estate
These are not, by any means, the only sectors making DApps, but they have seen real gains in adoption and usage. Here are some examples of apps that have been created to make use of blockchain technology:
The music-listening company leverages a blockchain database for decentralizing and storing data like tracks, licensing agreements, and artists.
IBM Blockchain (Shipping and Supply Chains)
This app helps logistics companies and businesses with complex supply chains track items and their conditions at every stage of the chain. It is transparent regarding record-keeping and real-time tracking of all parts and their condition.
With this app, users can trade cryptocurrencies and traditional assets, with the option to convert them into Securrency tokens and trade in that form.
This retail company leverages technology to help customers access information on products they buy and get warranty support in case what they buy does not work.
This blockchain app gives medical practitioners secure access to patient records held by different providers, hospitals, pharmacies, and other relevant healthcare institutions.
The Compound (Finance)
The Compound is a DApp built on Ethereum that allows users to borrow, lend and earn interest on select cryptocurrencies. Users can deposit up to 14 different cryptocurrencies, connect The Compound to their wallet and start enjoying what it offers.
Splinterlands is a play-to-earn game that uses NFTs to give players ownership over their virtual playing cards and other in-game items. The web3-based gaming platform was created to address the problems with conventional card trading games. With the help of its blockchain, Splinterlands offers stability inside the game and frequent updates.
More apps are being created daily, which explains why the market is projected to grow in the coming years.
How Developers Build a Blockchain App
When it comes to building decentralized apps, there is a set of best practices developers follow to ensure that the end product adheres to the decentralization principles and goes through rigorous development:
Step 1: Start with the idea
The concept is the first element you must consider before designing a blockchain app, just as with any business or product. Although blockchain is a trendy term, many organizations and tasks can be handled without one.
You should first determine whether a blockchain is even necessary. Before formalizing your idea, think about the issues your DApp will try to address.
Step 2: Check out the competition
Evaluate the solutions available by looking at the current market. You'll undoubtedly find your niche or learn how to execute the same function better than another app because the industry is still far from congested.
Step 3: Choose how to create your app
Technically, you can create your DApp in four different ways:
- When developing your application, utilize an open blockchain. You may include Bitcoin or Ethereum in your mobile solution, for instance.
- Use blockchain software to build a private network.
- Select a blockchain as a service provider, then incorporate their cloud platform into your application. BaaS (blockchain-as-a-service) solutions are available from AWS, Azure, or other trusted providers.
- Create a unique blockchain network on a platform that works best for you.
Step 4: Select a platform
Blockchain platform technology allows for building decentralized transactions that may be tracked, recorded, and simplified.
A wide range of Web3 services, including but not limited to NFTs, the initiation and completion of transactions, and the generation of smart contracts, can be created and managed using the scripting languages that accompany blockchain platforms.
Some of the top platforms to consider include:
Ethereum is a blockchain platform for everything Web3, including NFTs, decentralized social networks, decentralized finance, and cryptocurrency staking. The platform also includes the Ethereum (ETH) token. The website for developers of open-source technology provides a series of lessons useful for understanding Web3 features.
The website for Chainalysis KYT highlights its user-friendly UI, real-time API, and superior intelligence. One of the things that could hold people back from using it is that its data comes from thousands of businesses, including fraud and darknet businesses, which may compromise blockchain security.
According to its website, this blockchain platform from industry leader IBM delivers trusted data interchange and process automation beyond constraints. According to the corporation, this, in turn, makes it possible to have operational agility and the potential for new revenue sources.
According to its website, Ripple positions itself as a unified, one-stop-shop platform, offering quicker, more open, and more affordable solutions than traditional financial services. According to Ripple, its clients include Banco Rendimento in Brazil, Bank of America, and Singapore-based global payments processor Nium.
This open-source platform advertises its distributed ledger technology as open, tested, and enterprise-grade. The platform's support for modular design makes it perfect for a wide range of applications. The platform may also build a "network of networks," which gives the choice of security (or lack thereof) in transactions involving many parties. One of the major R&D sponsors of Hyperledger Fabric is IBM.
These are not the only platforms. In your research, you will also come across the following:
- Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service
- Hyperledger Iroha
- R3 Corda
- XDC Network
- Tron Dao
There aren't many developers available who specialize in new languages like Simplicity and Solidity yet, and there aren't many blockchain app development businesses that can provide them.
Step 5: Start the development
The process of developing your DApp will differ from someone else’s because of three key things:
- The languages and platform used for development.
- The nature of transactions and interactions among nodes (endpoints)
- The consensus mechanism
The development depends on whether you add your creation to an existing blockchain, create your own, or opt for BaaS. In any case, the development breaks down as follows:
- Business analysis- At this step, a business analyst interviews to discover needs, intentions, and business objectives before producing design specifications. This paper covers every aspect of the development process, including the framework, tools, operating systems, and libraries, as well as the individuals in charge of developing and communicating.
- Design- Design can consume anywhere between 8% and 20% of the development budget, based on its complexities.
- Preparation- The development environment, APIs, backend, and architecture are all put up in this step.
- Development & testing- These actions occur in unison as a continuous process. A QA engineer does a thorough regression test before deployment to ensure that everything functions as intended.
- Deployment- To be successful, every app has to follow the guidelines and requirements of the App Store and/or Google Play Store. Analyzing performance statistics and user analytics is essential after implementation.
- Maintenance & Support- This includes incorporating new features, modifying the app following your current business requirements, and updating frameworks, libraries, and operating systems.
Final Step: Deploy and maintain
Deployment and maintenance are the last things you have to do. At this point, the app has gone through testing and is finally offered to users. You can offer it through Google Play Store, Apple App Store, and other app marketplaces.
You can start collecting data (with permissions and following regulations) to see how people respond to the app and improve it. Maintenance will ensure that the app continues to run as expected.
Programming Languages Used in Blockchain Development
It is best to leave the decision of the programming language of your blockchain-based software to an accomplished team leader who can match your unique requirements to language skills. Almost every language you see has its strong suit.
Some are better suited for handling asynchronous programming, while others are better suited for smart contracts. If you choose an uncommon language, hiring developers could be more difficult if your existing team members can no longer work on your app.
As such, some of the most commonly used languages include:
How Do Custom Web App Developers Integrate Apps Into Business Operations?
Now that we know how to create a decentralized blockchain app and see what planning it takes to bring it to life, it is time to put it to use. DApps can be integrated into the following:
- Transactions- If you want to handle transactions quickly and prevent fraud, DApps stand out as the best choice, given the ability to make data immutable.
- Supply chain management- Supply chain tracking and management are much easier when you can track everything from the moment it enters the chain to distribution.
- Cloud storage- Instead of integrating cloud storage into an app, you can integrate blockchain technology for faster, more convenient, and highly secure storage.
- Authentication- When you need a tool to monitor internal communication, access, and permissions, DApps stand out with unmatched security and provide exact levels of governance in a permissioned blockchain.
Since it is still a developing technology, there are more integrations you can still do, depending on what you need. However, before you jump on the bandwagon, do not forget to ask the most important question, ‘Does my project need to use blockchain?’
Blockchain integration into web development has been successful, changing corporate networks quicker than anticipated. Several industry titans in technology are already providing blockchain services to meet the growing demand.
Alternatively, you may create a blockchain platform to meet your company's particular requirements. It is advantageous to hire it from a service provider since it may be simply scaled or adjusted.
Web development is a methodology that prioritizes the needs of the client. All aspects are planned and created with the client in mind before the solution is implemented. Cloud service providers can assist you with setting up the blockchain applications necessary to conduct your business operations in a safe and scalable architecture, making the technology even more accessible.