Home Cryptocurrency Constructing a free-to-use social DApp

Constructing a free-to-use social DApp

Constructing a free-to-use social DApp


Cointelegraph is following the event of a completely new blockchain from inception to mainnet and past by means of its collection, Contained in the Blockchain Developer’s Thoughts, written by Andrew Levine of Koinos Group.

In my first article on this collection, I defined why Ethereum and Steem haven’t been in a position to ship a mainstream social decentralized utility (DApp). In my second article, I defined how EOS tried to mix options of each chains but it surely did so in a approach that also required customers to purchase high-priced random-access reminiscence (RAM) for accounts and sensible contracts.

On this article, I wish to take a unique method to this drawback, not based mostly on comparisons to current platforms however based mostly on first rules. As an alternative of constraining our imaginations based mostly on the restrictions of the earliest makes an attempt at general-purpose blockchains, let’s, as an alternative, have a look at the issue from the developer’s perspective. What do they want with a view to ship the consumer expertise that mainstream customers require? In my earlier article, I described this as “fee-less with out exceptions.” In different phrases, they need completely free-to-use functions.

Constructing a free-to-use DApp from first rules

The very very first thing {that a} consumer might want to use an utility of any type is an account, so introducing a charge right here would instantly create a adverse consumer expertise. We wish to decrease friction for the consumer in order that we are able to maximize virality — we actually don’t wish to pressure them to purchase an account. However, we don’t wish to remedy this drawback by merely forcing the developer to pay that account creation value as a result of it will improve their prices.

Associated: Gasoline-free transactions will revolutionize Web3

This drawback is a simple one as a result of it has already been solved by Bitcoin and Ethereum, each of which permit customers to create addresses totally free. Pondering from first rules then, if we don’t need builders or end-users to should pay for accounts, we want a blockchain with addresses that perform as accounts.

Who pays?

Utilizing Bitcoin or Ethereum-style addresses permits us to create accounts with out both the end-user or the DApp developer having to eat the charge. Nice. However, now we would like individuals to truly use the decentralized utility which signifies that we would like them to run a pc program on a decentralized laptop and devour a number of the laptop’s sources. We wish to allow them to do one thing that may have a real-world value that somebody has to pay. It’s only a matter of who, proper? Effectively, this assumes that there’s just one option to cost individuals.

That is exactly the place first-principles considering supplies a lot worth. Charges are the standard approach we cost individuals for utilizing blockchains, so if we simply assume that that is the one resolution then the one conceivable possibility turns into who pays the charge, not whether or not there may be another method to the issue.

Associated: The facility of low-cost transactions: Can Solana’s development outpace Ethereum?

Charging alternative value

Taking individuals’s cash is one option to impose a value (i.e. reducing their token stability) however there may be one other form of value: alternative value. Taking individuals’s potential to make use of their tokens (i.e. their cash).

If we might create a decentralized system for “charging” individuals to make use of the blockchain, not by taking their tokens, however by taking away their potential to make use of their tokens (for a time period), then we might permit them to make use of the blockchain with out taking any of their tokens.

Not solely that, however as soon as that time period is over, they might select to make use of the blockchain extra, that means that they wouldn’t should always be shopping for extra tokens simply to have the ability to proceed utilizing the applying they love. This may dramatically improve consumer retention and additional maximize development.

Online game expertise

We now have a mechanism for charging customers that doesn’t really feel like a charge, however our goal is to ship a mainstream consumer expertise. Requiring individuals to consciously lock cryptocurrency tokens earlier than they will use an utility isn’t a mainstream consumer expertise.

If we are able to’t require individuals to consciously lock tokens, which means we want a system that enables individuals to easily use the blockchain with none thought. All which means is that the system has to resolve the dimensions of the chance value as an alternative of the consumer. Taking this resolution out of the arms of the consumer permits us to design the system in order that the dimensions of the chance value is as little as doable, all whereas sustaining financial sustainability. This offers the consumer confidence that they’re by no means “overpaying” (even when it’s only a chance value) whereas once more maximizing development by reducing obstacles. The cheaper transactions are, the much less they really feel like charges — the higher the consumer expertise — and the quicker we are able to count on the consumer base to develop.

After all, the consumer deserves to understand how a lot of their tokens will likely be locked in the event that they select to carry out the motion. What we would like is principally a mana bar from a online game. The consumer ought to be capable to see how a lot free utilization of the blockchain they’ve based mostly on the liquid tokens that they’ve of their pockets. After they go to carry out some motion that consumes blockchain sources, they need to be capable to see how a lot of their mana will lower once they carry out the motion. In the event that they discover that value acceptable, they merely carry out the motion, similar to minting a nonfungible token (NFT), their mana is consumed and the correct quantity of tokens are locked for the set time period. Wouldn’t that be nice?

The ultimate barrier

There may be one final drawback: With the system we’ve got described, the end-user nonetheless has to have some tokens of their pockets. Usually, that signifies that they nonetheless should make a purchase order (of tokens) earlier than they will use the applying. Whereas we nonetheless have a reasonably good consumer expertise, telling individuals they should spend cash earlier than they will use an app is a barrier to entry and winds up feeling an entire lot like a charge. I’d know, that is precisely what occurred on our earlier blockchain, Steem.

To unravel that drawback, we added a characteristic referred to as “delegation” which might permit individuals with tokens (e.g. builders) to delegate their mana (referred to as Steem Energy) to their customers. This fashion, end-users might use Steem-based functions even when they didn’t have any of the native token STEEM.

However, that design was very tailor-made to Steem, which didn’t have sensible contracts and required customers to first purchase accounts. The most important drawback with delegations is that there was no option to management what a consumer did with that delegation. Builders need individuals to have the ability to use their DApps totally free in order that they will maximize development and generate income in another approach like a subscription or by means of in-game merchandise gross sales. They don’t need individuals taking their delegation to commerce in decentralized finance (DeFi) or utilizing it to play another developer’s nice sport like Splinterlands.

We would like customers to have the ability to use a selected DApp with out having to purchase tokens first, and, as all the time, we don’t need the developer to should spend any cash to make this occur. That final half is hard as a result of the standard option to remedy this drawback is by designing the sensible contract in order that the developer can select to pay the charge as an alternative of the consumer. However, keep in mind, we’ve already solved this drawback as a result of nobody is paying a charge for something, simply a chance value. So long as the developer has tokens, they will select to pay the “mana” that somebody wants to make use of their utility.

Free for builders?

However, what if the developer doesn’t wish to purchase tokens? What if they’ve an current utility with a thriving consumer base that the platform can be fortunate to draw? It’s in the most effective curiosity of enormous token holders to draw prime quality builders to a platform to allow them to simply do the identical factor. The stakeholder might let the developer set them (the stakeholder) because the “payer” of mana for the developer’s sensible contracts.

The stakeholder isn’t dropping any cash by doing this however they’re nonetheless in a position to deploy their capital to help worth creation and development, which is nice. If the stakeholder supplies their mana to a developer whose app provides large worth to the platform, then the worth of their token holdings will go up. If the developer’s app doesn’t add worth, the stakeholder has an incentive to cease offering their mana to that developer and discover another person who could make higher use of their mana.

We now have now found out not solely the right way to make a DApp free-to-use for the end-user, as an added bonus we’ve got found out the right way to make the blockchain free-to-use for builders whereas giving giant stakeholders a option to spend money on development and worth creation with out sacrificing any of their token holdings.


However, all of that is simply in concept proper? Truly, no. What I’ve described right here is strictly how we’re constructing Koinos. In truth, all of those options are already stay on our present testnet with the third and closing model of the testnet coming quickly. If you wish to be taught extra about mana, you may learn the white paper right here.

This text doesn’t comprise funding recommendation or suggestions. Each funding and buying and selling transfer includes danger and readers ought to conduct their very own analysis when making a choice.

The views, ideas and opinions expressed listed here are the creator’s alone and don’t essentially replicate or signify the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Andrew Levine is the CEO of Koinos Group, a staff of trade veterans accelerating decentralization by means of accessible blockchain expertise. Their foundational product is Koinos, a fee-less and infinitely upgradeable blockchain with common language help.