How to Interact With dApps

Filip Dimkovski
By Filip Dimkovski
Kirsty Mac Dougall
Edited by Kirsty Macdougall

Published May 30, 2022.

Woman touching a dapps concept on a touch screen

Decentralized applications, or dApps in short, are applications in every sense of the word with one big difference: they exist and are run entirely on the blockchain. Unless you've been away from the crypto space, you've probably heard about blockchain technology—the technology behind all cryptocurrencies.

Unlike most apps that we use in our day-to-day lives that exist primarily on the internet, a dApp exists on the blockchain. This means that it holds all the benefits that blockchain has to offer, that is, decentralization, security, and scalability. dApps have no central authority governing them; they only have a team of developers behind them that put them on the blockchain.

This is only a brief overview of dApps. To learn everything there is about them, continue reading.

How Do dApps Work?

dApps work slightly differently from the other apps we use in our everyday lives. Let's take Instagram as an example. It is owned and operated by a company and thus, is centralized. It also runs on the world wide web, which is not the case with dApps.

dApps work on a peer-to-peer network like the blockchain. There are many ways to access such a network, but the apps on it are usually open source and public, so they're not hard to work with. A primary benefit of dApps is that anyone and everyone can make a dApp, put it on the blockchain, and even earn money from the dApp. For example, a team of developers can decide to create a new Instagram, but they'll put it on the blockchain and make it fully decentralized.

Why Do People Use dApps?

There are many reasons why people enjoy using dApps, but their primary benefits are:

  • Decentralization Decentralization means there is no government body or powerful company to influence any of the dApp's users' actions. Consequently, it's impossible to control the app.
  • There is little to no downtime Unlike traditional applications, which are on the world wide web, dApps are on the blockchain, which is a peer-to-peer network. Even if many of the computers (nodes) on the network stop working, dApps will continue to be available due to the sheer size of the blockchain and how it works.
  • dApps are open source Since dApps are public and available to everyone, users are encouraged to use dApps and even implement their own ideas on the blockchain with smart contracts. Every day, new and better dApps are built on the blockchain because everyone can access them, and anyone can contribute.

Can dApps Be Accessed on Mobile?

A significant advantage of dApps is that they can be accessed from a mobile device. Most of them have a responsive user interface (meaning that it works well for both PCs and mobile devices) and are easy to access. To access dApps on the blockchain, you'll need a Web3 browser or tool like MetaMask. You can use other tools to access dApps from mobile, like the Trust Wallet app, Argent, or Coinbase's dApp browser.

Which Browsers Support dApps?

Whether it's from a mobile device or a personal computer, there are various options when it comes to accessing dApps. Consider using one of the following browsers or tools for interacting with and using dApps:

  • Dharma
  • Argent
  • MetaMask
  • Osiris
  • Coinbase
  • Guarda

What Can You Use to Interact With dApps?

Keep in mind that most dApps are built on the Ethereum blockchain. So, to start interacting with them, you need to have at least some Ethereum in your wallet (keep in mind that dApps can also be on other networks that are alternatives to Ethereum, like the BNB smart chain).

There are many ways you can go about acquiring Ethereum, but the easiest one is to go to an exchange, buy some ETH with your debit card, and transfer it to your own personal wallet. Ethereum transfer times can range from a few minutes to days.

Then, once you've got some Ethereum, you need to have a dApp browser/tool to start accessing and navigating through the blockchain. There are many ways to go about it—some of which we mentioned above—though we would recommend going with a reputable dApp browser like the Trust Wallet, Osiris, or MetaMask.

Once you've got these both ready, you're well on your way to interacting with dApps on the blockchain. All you need now is the dApp's address (which is usually just like a traditional URL), and you can start using it for whatever means you need it.