CloudFlare’s IPFS Gateway Will Power Extra-Decentralized EOS dApps
LiquidEOS has announced a project that will make dApps more decentralized than ever before. The group is using Cloudflare’s IPFS gateway to host EOS dApps on a decentralized filesystem.
LiquidEOS’s new platform, which is simply called “the dApp Network”, will allow users to access dApps that never go offline. Meanwhile, developers who host their apps on the network will benefit from lower hosting costs.
Backend vs. Frontend Decentralization
In general, dApps are decentralized on the backend: this means that an app’s underlying smart contracts are executed by nodes on a blockchain. Although dApps can be frozen due to security issues, they generally operate as long as the blockchain is functional. This means that social, legal, or political pressure cannot shut down a dApp.
In that regard, dApps are virtually unstoppable. However, dApp frontends are generally not decentralized or hosted on the blockchain. Users typically access dApps via a web page that is hosted on a traditional, centralized web server. Unfortunately, websites can be hacked or suffer downtime.
There are ways to mitigate these problems: multiple sites can mirror a dApp, and developers can offer downloadable apps, but these are not universal practices. A better solution to downtime is needed, and this is the problem that LiquidEOS is solving.
By using IPFS, a new web protocol developed by Protocol Labs, the group is allowing a network of peers to take on the task of hosting dApp frontends. As LiquidEOS explains:
“IPFS is a peer-to-peer distributed file system…In some ways, IPFS is similar to the World Wide Web, but IPFS could be seen as a single BitTorrent swarm…. IPFS has no single point of failure, and nodes do not need to trust each other not to tamper with data in transit.”
Apart from that, everything else will remain the same: dApps will continue to run on the EOS blockchain behind the scenes, and users will continue to seamlessly access dApps through their browser.
Suggested Reading : Learn how EOS differs from Ethereum.
Already In Action
LiquidEOS’ dApp Network is already live. The testnet version of the platform is currently hosting a selection of dApps, including a Bancor-powered crypto converter and a block explorer.
Although the app selection is fairly limited, it is a good start. LiquidEOS is also inviting other developers to host their dApps on the network:
“It would be awesome to see utilities such as eostoolkit, apps and games hosted and published in the network for easy browsing and discovery.”
EOS is not the only blockchain project to take advantage of the IPFS protocol. Other crypto-related projects, such as the Ethereum-powered CryptoKitties, also intend to use IPFS to store their assets. Additonally, Sia and Decentraland are reportedly using the network.
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