How to Build a Blockchain App
Information about blockchain is sketchy: the complexity of technology, expertise scarcity, media hype and a common confusion with cryptocurrencies have created a distorted picture.
However the blockchain development forges ahead: it’s not a long ago when the majority of blockchain-projects our team was involved in were limited to the financial sector (in particular, cryptocurrency apps). Today applications for various business sectors are in the highest demand among our clients - from retail and advertising to logistics and social media.
One of the latest blockchain projects we were working on was the app for a supermarket chain. The project was aimed at the supply chain management automatization. Our app enables to track the products transfer through the complex network from a manufacturer, supplier, and distributor to an end-buyer. Algorithms for smart contracts creating and generating digital signatures are a solid guaranty that the altering or integrity violation of the chain including the product data is impossible.
The number of requests we received and committed projects to develop blockchain-based applications clearly demonstrate that the demand for such projects catches fire.
There are three solutions to build your own blockchain app, the choice depends on what particular purposes you have in mind:
1. Use A Platform For Blockchain-apps
App development with a ready-to-use blockchain on a specialized platform is the easiest and fastest way possible.
The most popular platforms are:
- Etherium is one of the best known versatile blockchain platforms with extended infrastructure featuring smart contracts creation and decentralized apps development. The primary programming language is Solidity, the cryptocurrency is Ether (ETH).
- Cardano is a new generation blockchain platform. Unlike the other platforms, Cardano's key difference consists in separation between computing layers: the first layer is designed for working with cryptocurrency ADA, the second one is meant for smart contracts processing written in Haskell.
The platform choice depends on the complexity and goals of a project. While developing a decentralized project, we usually use Ethereum platform. One of our first project on this platform was a blockchain lottery. Blockchain technology excludes lottery scums and smart contract system enables an automated prize payout directly to the winner’s account. During the development process, we were satisfied with the platform matching all of our criteria: versatility, flexibility and development speed.
However, it's not all that simple because in this case Ethereum blockchain platform is used. For this reason, each transaction and each change in a smart contract is charged an ETH fee for use of platform computing resources. This fee is collected by the miners who keep the network operational. That means that your costs will increase in proportion to your business development and app’s growth in popularity.
- during the early development stages, a blockchain platform requires a minimum of efforts for a developer. It provides a ready-to-use network and infrastructure with its own servers and miners and a needed toolset to develop apps.
- use of the platform computing resources is charged ETH fee which is going to increase proportionally to your app’s growth in popularity and number of smart contracts.
On average the development of the blockchain app’s core using a platform takes 2 weeks.
2. Deploy Your Own Network Based On The Open-source Platform
Once again Ethereum comes to help. Ethereum is a platform with an open-source code that experienced developers can adapt to the tasks and objectives of a specific project and create a unique, self-sufficient, and decentralized project having deployed their own Ethereum-like network.
In the first place, this solution is appealing due to its self-sufficiency: your network - your rules. Open source software saves your time and resources that you need to deploy your own net.
- creating your own blockchain exempts from paying fees for each conducted transaction. All your expenses will be limited to the static monthly pay to keep your servers and infrastructure operational. This pay won’t increase with the growing number of transactions.
- you’ll have to create and keep the infrastructure operational from monitoring and scaling to hardware setup for mining which assumes the systematic extra costs.
App development with a personal blockchain network being deployed takes minimum 1 month.
3: Create a Blockchain Project From Scratch
Blockchain development from scratch implies the creation of an app in one of the high-level programming language (С, С+, С#, Java) including the enormous use of cryptographic algorithms. Cryptographic algorithms are the fundamental basis of the blockchain. Various procedures consisting of complex arithmetical operations verifies the data inside the information block that, basically, transposes the blockchain development to the field of math rather than programming.
- no fee;
- the development of blockchain from scratch is warranted if there are any unique conditions or geographic limitations, as well as in cases when existing algorithms of already-made blockchains are not up to your targeted goals.
- longer development time;
- just as in the case with your own network deployment powered by open-source platform, this case requires the construction of a full-fledged infrastructure (including servers setting and hardware maintenance for mining), which you should monitor and keep it operational by yourself.
Blockchain development from scratch is a time-taking process that takes 6+ months.
From Theory To Practice
Our experience shows that in most cases if you need a blockchain app to be developed, the most preferable solutions will include either using a specialized platform or deploying your own network powered by an open-source platform.
The ready-to-use blockchain enabled us to develop an app for a healthcare. The app helps a user to take a fast and professional medical advice and provides with data security and privacy using cryptographic algorithms. ETH was used as a medium of exchange.
Each party - in our case, these decentralized communication parties are a doctor and a patient - can leave a feedback, which is accessible to anyone and can’t be falsified due to the digital signatures and blockchain network.
The architecture of our app looks like this:
This architecture is universal and suits any industry or business field.
The unique blockchain app made by the experienced developers will become an indispensable tool for your client and a booster for your business.