What is dApps? The concept of decentralized application is still in its fancy, so there might not be a single definition for it, but you can familiarize yourself with dApps in different ways. Decentralized applications have been in existence since the advent of P2P networks. The idea behind designing dApps was to have a software program available on the internet that would not be controlled by any single entity. These apps run on a P2P network of computers, instead of a single computer and do not require a blockchain network. The traditional dApps like Bittorrent, Tor, Bitmessage and many others run on a P2P network, instead of a blockchain. In other words, decentralised applications are blockchain enabled in which Smart Contracts helps them connect to the blockchain. Features of dApps An application can be considered as a dApp in context to block chain only if it meets the following criteria. An app must be able to operate independently and no entity should control majority of its tokens. It should be able to acclimate its protocol as per market feedback and suggested improvements. At the same time, consensus of its users must decide all the changes, thus making it open source.According to a standard cryptographic algorithm, the application must generate tokens as a proof of value. For instance, bitcoin uses proof-of-work algorithm. The application should use cryptographic tokens only. This is essential for gaining access to the application. In addition to this, any value added by the miners should be rewarded in the form of application tokens. All the data and records of the application must be stored cryptographically in a decentralized & public blockchain so as to avoid any kind of failures or tampering. Difference between dApps & Smart Contracts A traditional web application utilizes Java, CSS and HTML for rendering a page and grabs details from a database using an API. If a user opens a Facebook page, it calls an API to get all the personal data and makes it visible for the user. So, for a traditional website, front end connects API and API connects Database. In a dApp enabled website, front end uses the same technology for rendering the page. However, instead of a API, Smart Contracts comes into picture and connects to a blockchain. So, for a dApp enabled website front end connects Smart Contracts and Smart Contracts connect Blockchain. Ethereum dApps Ethereum creates a protocol for developing decentralized applications. It provides a blockchain with a built-in Turing programming language called Solidity that allows any developer to write Smart Contracts with ease. Ethereum also provides decentralized applications where developers can create their own rules and transaction formats. There are three types of applications on top of Ethereum, namely governance apps, financial apps and semi-financial apps. Examples of Ethereum based dApps Ethereum based dApps have a huge popularity and have already reached million-dollar market cap, including Augur, Golems and Melonport. These projects aspire rewiring the economy using blockchain technology, thus moving a step closer to decentralized world. Augur: This project combines the decentralized network with the prediction market and creates a forecasting tool for trading gains. It stands on the market cap of $200 million, but is currently under beta test.Golem: This is the first global project for idle computer power, which stands at a massive market cap of $220 million. Its first version, Brass Golem is awaiting its release and will be tested on its capability to tackle CGI rendering. If this project becomes a success, frictionless sharing and pooling of resources will create a sensation in the digital space. Melonport: This is a blockchain protocol for digital asset management. It allows people to invest in digital asset management strategies in a competitive and open manner. Blockchain technology helps reduce time and cost drastically in Melonport. The auditable and transparent track record enables a never-seen-before competitive environment in asset management. dApp is successfully applying blockchain technology to its niche, thus making it a huge revolution in the digital space. You can also become a part of it. All you need to do is just create a whitepaper, gain a following, initiate a crowd sale and welcome new developers to begin development.