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Tag: decentralized applications

How Will Crypto Wallets Lead Us To The Wild World of Blockchain Apps? 

We’re a long way from the wallet becoming the next browser. But there’s more than one way to get there.

I wrote another article that was published on the week-end in Fortune, entitled The growth of Web3 depends on crypto wallets—and how we choose to use them.

The article discusses the question, Will the popularity of wallets lead users to a Web3 world, or will current web apps move more quickly in that direction by first incorporating built-in wallet functionality?

It’s a bit of a trick question because both paths will be valid, in my opinion.

Having more built-in wallets inside apps is inevitable, and that trend is going to increase. In these cases, the app itself is the main attraction, and the wallet takes a second-class position to it. In these cases, there is tight integration between the app and wallet experiences.

Then what happens when you own a variety of cryptocurrencies? You will need a multi-currency wallet to hold them. That’s where the standalone wallet comes in. In that standalone category, there is more than just holding currency. These wallets also function as a bridge to “decentralized apps”, ones that use the wallet as a user login or for authentication and pseudo-identity purposes, such as for Decentralized Finance.

Today, we have an abundance of choices in standalone wallets, while there is a shortage of useful apps that use the built-in wallet in a significant and essential way.

With that backdrop as a set-up, I invite you to click on the link and read (no paywall) the full article, The growth of Web3 depends on crypto wallets—and how we choose to use them.

P.S. The image above was generated by starryai with the prompt “A bridge depicted by cryptocurrency wallets.” I was pleasantly surprised that it also included the hamburger menu alluding to apps, although I didn’t give it that directive.

Understanding Semi-private Blockchain Applications

 public-privateI believe that the semi-private blockchain application segment will be the upcoming hot flavor in the blockchain world of software applications.

For background, one of the primary differences between public and private blockchains is that public blockchains typically have a generic purpose and are generally cheaper to use, whereas private blockchains have a more specific usage intent, and they are more expensive to set-up because their operating details are borne by fewer stakeholders. Blockchain Applications can use either public or private blockchains infrastructure, and sometimes they will use both.

Among these choices of implementations, lies a nuance: the semi-private blockchain application.

In contrast to public chain applications where anyone can participate, and private chain applications (consortium or not) where participants are tightly managed, semi-private chain-based applications are run by a single company who grants access to any user who qualifies, and they typically target business-to-business users.

Semi-private blockchain applications will be similar to private Web applications in terms of how they are managed. As long as users qualify according to pre-established criteria, credentials or profile, they are given access. There should not be significant discrimination for access. And in some cases, access might be completely open. For example, when we check the tracking status of a package on a carrier website (FedEx, UPS or other), we don’t need to identify ourselves, but we just enter the tracking number. In the near future, companies will provide “trust-related services” that consumers can use to check a particular status or update.

Here’s a quick table depicting these variations.

Semi-private blockchain applications

Examples of semi-private blockchain applications might resemble the ones that we hear government entities are planning to launch, such as record-keeping, land titles, public records, etc. They could also come from any company who launches a blockchain application to serve their business. Just to name a couple of examples in this category,-  the Chicago Cook County property title transfer application, or the Thomson Reuters identity tools application.

We might see a greater variety of blockchain applications from this segment potentially faster than from the private consortium flavors, for a few reasons:

  • Launching them most closely resembles how a company runs a website.
  • The business case is typically well thought out ahead of the implementation, and it supports an existing business, so the risks of failure are low.
  • Companies can more easily integrate blockchain features into their own back-end and meld it with a familiar Web interface. They control all of that directly.

I’m bullish on the semi-private flavor of blockchain applications for large companies. Possibly, semi-private blockchains might become the preferred way to introduce applications that have a blockchain component behind the scenes.

With the proliferation of public, private, semi-private, special purpose, and other types of blockchains, a world of millions of blockchains will be achievable.


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