A decentralized application (sometimes called a Dapp) is a piece of software that communicates with a blockchain (or other P2P network) using a smart contract as its business logic.
A standard, centralized application calls its data from a centralized server; for example, if a user logs into an online banking app on their smartphone, the bank’s app will check its data server in the bank’s data center to ensure that the password is correct, and then to load the user’s account balances. All of the user’s information is controlled by that one entity, and the user must trust the bank that it is accurately maintaining a record of the user’s account balances and securely maintaining other personal data.
A decentralized application calls its data from a blockchain (or other P2P network), generally using a combination of wallets and smart contracts. Because the decentralized application's data and business logic is stored in a blockchain, which is decentralized in nature, the application itself is also decentralized. No one entity controls the user’s data; smart contracts and cryptography can be used to share or spread the storage of the information around the network in a secure manner.
If a criminal wanted to manipulate the account information of the decentralized app user, the criminal would have to falsify that information across the entire peer-to-peer network rather than only needing to manipulate it in one location.
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We also make it easy for anyone building Web 3.0 applications to connect to blockchain data from 32 protocols with Query & Transact (QT). Our goal is for the entire blockchain ecosystem to flourish by providing robust infrastructure for the pioneers of tomorrow.
In January, 2021, we announced Bison Trails joined Coinbase to accelerate our mission to provide easy-to-use blockchain infrastructure, now as a standalone product line. The Bison Trails platform will continue to support our customers. With Coinbase’s backing, we will enhance our infrastructure platform and make it even easier to participate in decentralized networks and build applications that connect to blockchain data.