With the growth in number of blockchain-based decentralized apps (Dapps) that are running on various networks and protocols, it is becoming increasingly difficult for users to locate and make use of these Dapps. According to the announcement, the Blockstack Dapp Store is “a discovery tool for decentralized apps built on Blockstack, Ethereum, EOS, IPFS, Steem, and more … serving as an aggregator of usable Dapps for gaming, social networking, productivity, and financial services.”
The store features decentralized counterparts to many popular applications, such as Stealthy for WhatsApp, DTube for YouTube, Peepeth for Twitter, and Graphite for Google Docs. Many of these Dapps are not yet at a 1.0 release level and, depending on the network they are running on, may require you to pay processing fees for the network, like gas for Ethereum.
The store is nicely arranged, clearly showing the category that the Dapp is part of as well as the blockchain protocol it supports, such as Ethereum or Steem. A usability feature that is currently missing is the ability to search, sort and filter, which needs to be addressed in the near future to allow the platform to scale. There is a simple form to fill in to add your Dapp to the store, but it is not made clear what the process and timeline for approval might be. According to their announcement, Blockstack uses the following criteria to evaluate if an app is in fact a Dapp:
- Do customers own their network identity? Can anyone else revoke that identity?
- Is private user data encrypted with user-owned keys?
- Is customer data stored on decentralized networks with reconfigurable APIs?
- Is the app open source? Can community members contribute or fork the software?
- Is the app publishable and hostable by others or only a single company?
- Is the app running client-side or on a server?
- Does the app limit or clearly communicate the scope of data logging?
Blockstack PBC will initially curate and maintain the Dapp Store, but have plans to eventually implement user ratings for ranking Dapps across the ecosystem as it gains wider acceptance. Their goal is for wide-scale community involvement to show how a truly decentralized experience can work outside of the stranglehold of a few large corporations on software and information.