While its fair to say the majority of people that use the internet are unfamiliar with the concept of dapps, this will very likely change moving in to the future, way way way in the future at current rates of adoption.
Here’s what inspired me to start notadapp.com
There are oodles and oodles of sites and information about what dapps are and which dapps are available and on which platforms; why they are important and what they claim to achieve. This is fine if one wishes to become overwhelmed by the sheer choice, and increasingly bewildered by the technical jargon being spouted about how each dapp operates, and for what purposes. But what if you are unsure if a dapp claiming to do X Y and Z is actually performing on those claims?
Surely it would be useful to have a place where you could go and validate the credibility and utility of a dapp, a sort of ‘no fly’ list for dapps. When a dapp is reported and qualifies on the not a dapp subreddit as not a dapp for example, then it does not perform or abide by the current standard definition of a dapp and cannot be one.
But wait! this method of validating dapps would need to be a dapp itself right?
Let’s take a look at the common features of dapps:
Open Source. Ideally, it should be governed by autonomy and all changes must be decided by the consensus, or a majority, of its users. Its code base should be available for scrutiny.
Decentralized. All records of the application’s operation must be stored on a public and decentralised blockchain to avoid pitfalls of centralisation.
Incentivised. Validators of the blockchain should be incentivised by rewarding them accordingly with cryptographic tokens.
Protocol. The application community must agree on a cryptographic algorithm to show proof of value. For example, Bitcoin uses Proof of Work (PoW) and Ethereum is currently using PoW with plans for a hybrid PoW/Proof of Stake (PoS)5 in the future.
Why does it matter?
It matters that the user knows they are using a dapp as described by the common features described above because if a user believes they are using an open source decentralised protocol with incentivised rewards as described above then thats exactly what they should be using. It’s very likely what motivated them to sign up in the first place.
There is currently way to much room for obscurity in the dapp development landscape largely due to most people not really caring if a dapp is fully decentralised or trustworthy, as most current users are early adopters of the latest dapps and are mainly poking these early dapps with a long stick to see what they can do.
This is fine in these early stages, but if one of these dapps was to scale to millions of users only for it to be discovered that actually it is not a dapp at all, then the entire industry will likely feel the pain of that failure as it will likely sow a deep distrust amongst the mainstream users.
The pressing question then becomes do we want an open source decentralised protocol with incentivised rewards for validating dapps across any and all platforms? and If so, how badly does the wider early adopter community (the ones that could make it happen) want it?
If by chance you came across this initiative and felt compelled to get involved, holla at me!