Developing blockchain solutions since before it was cool and I'm in Auckland, NZ
Today, apps are used by many people for many things, from ordering a taxi to planning dinner, they have become an integral part of our daily lives. It’s no accident that global app revenue grew 35% in 2017, reaching $60 billion. The industry has a huge amount of potential and will continue to grow as our lives become increasingly digital.
In the last year or two, a new kind of app has emerged known as a decentralized application or a dApp. As opposed to regular apps, dApps are built on blockchain technology and are decentralized with no central server or endpoint. This gives them several advantages over regular apps, offering more security, transparency, easier payment systems, and better data storage.
The dApp industry is young and growing fast with currently well over one thousand dApps available serving a variety of functions. The space represents a new way of looking at software, and a new era for the digital world.
The app industry is not without its problems, however, and both apps and dApps have issues that need to be resolved. The current infrastructure is somewhat fragmented with apps and dApps sectioned off from one another and little to no way of sharing features or content. This can be a problem for a number of reasons:
One of the main inconveniences of apps and dApps is the subscription model which dominates the cloud-based app market.
It’s cumbersome for users as they find themselves subscribed to many apps they have no interest in being subscribed to, which they only use sparingly or just forgot to unsubscribe from. It can get expensive too, when a user is subscribed to many apps which isn’t good for the industry as a whole because is discourage users from purchasing more apps.
This is largely why, even though the average smartphone user has between 60 and 90 apps installed, on an average day they only use nine. The difficulty of switching between multiple separate apps and managing all those memberships often just isn’t worth the time and effort.
dApps have a similar problem, but instead of subscriptions, users are forced to manage a range of cryptocurrency tokens in their portfolio. This can be even complicated and stressful and so people who aren’t especially enthusiastic about crypto will be put off using dApps.
As the industry develops, it’s becoming more and more important to bring these separate entities of software together and create a more cohesive space, where users can switch between apps and dApps comfortably while managing and keeping track of everything they are signed up for easily.
Cardstack is building a space where dApps and apps can work closely together, with the goal being to provide a space where users can mix and match features they like from different apps and dApps without having to download or subscribe to a ton of different services, bringing cohesion to a currently chaotic space. They plan on the platform including in the future things like free trials of dApps to encourage users to experiment and find out what the technology is all about.
The system is built around the CARD token, which users can spend to access features from various apps. The token is then distributed to app developers based on how popular their software is with users which will ensure developers get rewarded for the specific features they created.
One of the biggest advantages of this kind of platform is that it’ll push towards wider acceptance and easier use of both dApps and apps. It’ll help ordinary users learn more about decentralized software and allow them to experience it for themselves without requiring advanced technical knowledge.
By making it easier for users to access apps and dApps, and rewarding developers more fairly, the industry as a whole will receive a boost. As the space continues to grow, developments like this will help drive it forward.