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A Startup-Friendly Guide to Blockchain App Development: Tips, Tricks, and Practices

For businesses, building blockchain apps isn’t just a way to play the long game—it’s also a way to gain an advantage over competitors. Startup owners are excited to find new ways to develop decentralized applications, also known as dApps.

Blockchain development makes business processes more scalable, transparent, accessible, and secure, and there are many ways to use the technology. Are you ready to get in on the action? Read on to learn more about blockchain app development and how it can help build a more robust business.

What is a Blockchain App?

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A blockchain or decentralized app is unique in that it’s not controlled, managed, or owned by an authority or individual. Therefore, it can’t have downtime or be deactivated. A blockchain app must:

·   Be open-source and operate without user intervention

·   Be decentralized, with all records made public

·   Offer incentives to users, such as cryptographic tokens

·   Have a way to demonstrate its value

While the concept of dApps is still in its infancy, it shares many qualities with standard apps. Functionality is similar, but the most notable difference is that, while regular apps run on private networks, dApps run on the blockchain and other peer-to-peer networks.

How dApps Work

Blockchains are peer-to-peer networks with one purpose: to record data in an open ledger. The information is stored in blocks before it’s shared by members. If a transaction takes place on the blockchain, every user has proof that it happened.

Data blocks are associated with chains, and once they are, it’s impossible to change the information. The blockchain’s security makes it quite challenging for hackers to steal data. Blockchains fall into two categories depending on the network type.

·   A permissionless blockchain is accessible to all network members, and all retain the right to verify transactions, access code, and interact with other users. Bitcoin is an excellent example of a permissionless blockchain.

·   A permissioned blockchain only allows authorized users into the network. Every member has unique permissions and roles, and there are rules for in-network transactions. This blockchain type is found primarily in intra-organizational management.

Why Startups Need Blockchain Apps

Blockchain gives entrepreneurs the ability to bring their businesses to another level—and that’s one reason for their rising popularity. Decentralized apps are commonly used in:

·   Gaming

·   Finance

·   Exchanges

·   IoT startups

·   Healthcare

·   Real estate

Blockchain can simplify business processes and change them for the better. Below, we’ll discuss some of the steps involved in blockchain development.

Ideation

While blockchain apps are enormously popular, startup owners shouldn’t jump in without ideas that solve customers’ problems. The first step in app development must include an evaluation of ideas, which may include potential users’ pain points. Then, these ideas can be formalized.

Market Research

During the market research phase, entrepreneurs collect crucial data before moving forward with development. The data should outline available solutions and help app creators figure out how they can improve upon them.

Choosing a Consensus Mechanism

Because it’s decentralized, a blockchain’s transactions must be authenticated via network nodes in a process known as consensus. For instance, Bitcoin uses the proof of work mechanism, which is quite popular. However, other options are available, including proof of stake and proof of elapsed time. After determining use cases, creators can choose the right consensus mechanism for their processes.

Evaluating Options

There are four ways for businesses to develop blockchain apps. A decentralized app can be built on an open blockchain, a private network that uses blockchain software, with BaaS or blockchain as a service providers, or on a purpose-built blockchain network.

Finding a Platform

There are a few platforms used for the development of blockchain apps, and startup owners can choose one that fits their concept. Ethereum, multichain, R3 Corda, Hyperledger, and Ripple are some of the most common choices.

Designing Architecture

A blockchain app may be built in the cloud, in-house, or as a hybrid. Creators may choose from multiple software and hardware configurations, such as disk size, memory, processors, and operating systems. The chosen architecture must meet the blockchain app’s requirements.

Development

After considering the above factors, the development process begins. It consists of five stages, including business analysis, design, preparation, development, and finally, quality assurance.

Deployment and Maintenance

At the end of the development cycle comes deployment. When a dApp is ready, it will be revealed on app markets such as Apple’s App Store and Google Play. This is a great time for creators to gather data about their apps and see how users are responding. Maintenance is another crucial step, and apps must be updated often to support new operating systems and library versions.

Use Blockchain Technology to Build a Stronger Business

Blockchain app development has some notable trends to look for in 2022 and beyond. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and UX/UI improvements are taking the stage. With these advances, startup owners must leverage the power of decentralized apps to gain an edge over their competitors. To do so, they’ll need to develop solutions that make their business models more versatile and resilient.

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