We bet you've heard about the terms Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, etc. But how about decentralization, decentralized applications, or smart contracts? You probably haven't heard of those, or you know a little about them. Well, we hope we can add a bit more to that knowledge you have. However, we do not intend to confuse you with those tech lingo but explain these seemingly sophisticated technologies as simple as possible.

The Whole Idea

You probably know the whole idea behind these technologies - cryptocurrencies, blockchain, smart contracts, etc. To eliminate third parties who single-handedly dominate, control, and use things in their favor. However, though these technologies have their disadvantages, which is tied to the fact that bad actors use them a lot as these technologies hide their identities, they are still widely used and appreciated as the solution to worlds/government's dominance, especially in the financial sector.

Now that we've established that let's take a closer look at these technologies themselves.

What are Decentralized Apps?

Decentralized applications or dApps for short are like your conventional applications with a twist. Dapps run on the blockchain, they aren't controlled or owned by a single party. And because they are not hosted on any server, in particular, they can't be shut off, nor neither can they go offline for a whole as regular apps or sites does. These apps, decentralized apps, however, function with the help of smart contracts.

What are Smart Contracts, and What can Smart Contracts do?

Smart contracts are self-executable codes that run on the blockchain. Smart contracts are agreements (trusted agreements) between two or more parties in the form of computer codes. And why are smart contracts trusted agreements, you might ask? With the help of the blockchain, smart contract codes written and sent to the public ledger are run by many nodes in their hundreds of thousands. And to make a change or an alteration tot hat smart contract, you'll need to alter codes on over half of these nodes that could be situated anywhere in the world. Therefore, they are more trusted than third parties who change agreements at will.

However, here is a more logical explanation about what smart contracts do.

Let's assume John and Jane will like to carry out a real estate deal. The conventional method would be for John (who owns a piece of real estate and is willing to see) to contract the services of a real estate agency. There's probably an involvement of legal practitioners from one, two, or all parties involved in the transaction. This is all in a bid to ensure the transaction goes free and fair with no party cheating the other.

However, with smart contracts, real estate agents and lawyers are eliminated. This also removes lots of fees from both Jane (buyer) and John (seller). And then, when an agreement between John and Jane is reached, ownership of the property is transferred from John to Jane with the help of a smart contract. But most importantly, both John and Jane, apart from saving a lot on fees, also trust that the deal isn't bridged at any point, not from the seller nor the buyer.

Now that you got that simple explanation, we think we should introduce you to some popular decentralized applications that use smart contracts to carry out operations on the ecosystem.

Here are a few popular decentralized applications online today.

#1. WeTrust

Need money for a project? Why not get a couple of trusted friends around in a trusted lending circle on WeTrust and make them save up for your project. In turn, every member of the circle also gets the same opportunity. At the end of the circle, you or any member of the circle can choose to continue the program. This process is carried out by a smart contract. This means you can be sure everyone gets paid when due.

#2. JUST

Unlike WeTrust, you don't need to get trusted people to get funds you need for your project. You can borrow from JUST. JUST is a decentralized financial ecosystem that provides stable coin lending to its innumerable users globally. Unlike Bitcoin, stable coins are stable in value. $1 worth of stable coin remains as it is, doesn't increase, doesn't decrease. They are pegged to a fiat currency. To explain how that works is a whole story on its own.

#3. EarnBet, Formerly EOSBet

If you are a fan of online gambling, then EarnBet should interest you. Unlike traditional gambling that can be manipulated, blockchain games are executed by smart contracts and are provably fair. You can bet and earn in 10 different cryptocurrencies at the moment.

#4. Steemit

You probably have come across this one time or the other on the internet. Steemit is an uncensored platform for content publishers. If you know you can provide excellent content, you can get paid for your materials and even get crypto tips from your readers if your articles are outstanding. And yes, Steemit is also a decentralized application on the blockchain.

More dApps

There are several others; in fact, they run into thousands. You can discover more decentralized apps platforms on dappradar.com and stateofthedapps.com.