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Web3, blockchain and dApps - Understanding the differences

Whenever we try to chime in on discussions about crypto, we hear terms like blockchain and decentralization. Not long after, web3 and dApps began popping up in the same conversations. Conceptually, you feel like you know what they are, but somehow are unable to pinpoint the distinction between them.

 

But you were right about one thing – web3, blockchain and dApps are all related technologies designed for a more private and secure user experience. While there are clear differences, they live under the same umbrella of cryptography. 

 

To make it incredibly brief, web3 is a decentralized version of the internet where separate computers make up the network; blockchain is what powers that network and dApps are software built on blockchain. They’re like Lego pieces; individually, each may seem mildly interesting, but when put together, they become massive and can take on any form.

 

Web3 as the next-generation internet

For the longest time, web3 has been, more than anything, a concept. A self-actualizing ambition of the innovative minds. 

 

The design is to allow users to take control of the internet they use. Now, you may have winced at the authoritative vibe of that statement, but the current internet we use is much more of a dictatorship.

 

Centralization allows service providers to obtain and record your online data and browsing patterns, including interests and activities. They share these data to consumer brands to bring you tailored advertisements that you or others with the same interests will, let’s say, appreciate. Though it is convenient, the mechanics behind that can make some of us feel icky and disconcerted.

 

That’s not to dismiss the utility of our current internet as it’s still the best form of communication we have, but the aspiration for an environment free of prying eyes has been calling for something new. Changes that, admittedly, are still a ways from realization.

 

Web3 aims to eliminate the central authority of any platform. Instead, a network of computers share the hosting responsibility. This reduces vulnerability and makes it so data only gets shared to authorized users.

 

Since there’s no centralized server, users will not face the risk of service denial or censorship. On the flipside of that, however, a lack of moderation also means harmful materials and content can run wild. Free range propaganda or worse could exist without repercussions, but putting a fence around it would defeat the purpose of decentralizing in the first place.

Blockchain and dApps

Blockchain is what started it all – the origin of decentralization. If web3 is the main story, then blockchain is the prequel. It’s what provides a foundation for a decentralized web and numerous other platforms.

 

Originally, blockchain was created to facilitate transactions – an infrastructure that allows users to transfer data and interact with one another securely and without intermediaries.

 

All transactions are public and congregate into blocks. Each block contains a certain amount of transactions and are visible and accessible by anyone on the blockchain.

 

dApps, or decentralized applications, are software built on blockchain technology. They function much like the regular apps on our phone, except they aren’t monitored and managed by a central server. This means no single entity has more control over the app than the rest. dApps are powered by smart contracts and usually come with a utility token, which is the main currency to access services or digital products. Users often need to purchase these tokens to start using dApps and that creates an economy for the blockchain.

 

There’s a wide variety of dApps on the market, including games and financial services. Some of them contain social and content sharing elements, similar to the social media we know. All of this comes together into an ecosystem that is web3.

Blockchain and dApps on atato custody

Blockchain and web3 will continue to develop, and atato keeps up with every aspect of it.

 

One of our most innovative features is Bring Your Own Chain/Token (BYOC/BYOT). Use this to add any EVM-compatible blockchain to your atato workspace. An average custodian may take months to integrate or not even support a particular chain you want, but BYOC allows users to do that on their own in a few seconds. Once our WalletConnect is live, users will also be able to add their desired dApps and acquire a high level of freedom found hardly anywhere else. 


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