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dApps for people: A guide to decentralized social networks, streaming platforms, file storage and other services

Decentralized applications, or DApps, are services that store data on a large number of computers distributed all over the world rather than a central server. DApps are an alternative to traditional services, offering far greater anonymity, security, and resistance to censorship, thanks to the use of the blockchain and cryptographic encryption.

A large number of DApps are linked to cryptocurrency markets, and many people strongly associate the two. All kinds of platforms operate on distributed registries, however, including social networks, chat rooms, streaming services, file-sharing sites, and more. We’ll take a look at some of them in this article.

Social networks

Policy on decentralized social networks isn’t decided by specific companies or individuals –instead, users can set the rules themselves. The growth in popularity of Web3 social networks can largely be attributed to the emergence of the DeSo blockchain, which serves as a platform for people to build them.

Steemit     
steemit.com
One of the first social networks on the Steem blockchain was created in 2016. Users are rewarded with STEEM tokens for being active on the platform. The native coin of this social network is minted every day and added to the community pool before being transferred to user accounts. The size of the reward sent to users depends on the number of votes their content has received.

Mastodon
mastodon.social
Another popular decentralized social network has been described as an answer to Twitter’s centralization. The platform consists of a network of many servers that act as different social networks, coexisting in one unified and decentralized space. Anyone can host their own social network and connect it to others or join existing networks.

By the way, after Elon Musk bought Twitter, about 500,000 users switched to Mastodon.

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Mind
minds.com
This social network positions itself as a kind of anti-Facebook. Minds has a native token, MINDS, which can be earned by creating interesting posts, helping to manage the platform, and other activities that benefit the social network.

Music streaming platforms

Decentralized music streaming services are becoming more and more popular among artists and listeners alike. They are also steadily increasing their market share at the expense of centralized platforms.

Audius      
audius.co
A decentralized music streaming service, originally created in 2018 on the POA Network (Ethereum sidechain), before being migrated to Solana in 2020 in order to improve performance.

Audius allows performers and creators of musical works to sidestep intermediaries. They can distribute their work for free or charge for access to exclusive works. Musicians receive 90% of the income generated in the platform’s native coin, AUDIO, while stakers who maintain the network get the remaining 10%.

AUDIO is an ERC-20 standard governance token, which allows holders to vote on various proposals related to the functioning of the platform, as well as providing access to unique functionality.

OPUS     
 opus.audio 
A decentralized music streaming service built on top of Ethereum, which also allows musicians to collect royalties directly from their fans and without any intermediary in the OPT token.

Performers receive almost 100% of the profits on Opus, and listeners can also earn. All you need to do is create a playlist with your favorite songs and share it.

The app can be downloaded from Google Play and the App Store.

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Bitsong 
bitsong.io
A blockchain ecosystem was created in order to expand the horizons of the music industry. The BitSong developers hope that the platform will solve a number of issues associated with centralized services, including problems around royalties and the protection of intellectual property rights.

BitSong allows artists and their fans to interact quickly, easily, and transparently, respecting the interests of all parties.

The service has its own token, BTSG.

Video services

The development and popularization of blockchain technology have spawned a number of video-sharing services that are giving YouTube some serious competition and deserve our attention. Let’s look at a few of them.

LBRY
lbry.com
This decentralized answer to YouTube uses blockchain technology and the BitTorrent protocol to distribute content such as movies, images, games, books, and more. Users can view, post, download, and upload all kinds of digital content.

There is no compulsory advertising or censorship on the platform, and the service doesn’t take a cut from content creators’ incomes. The platform’s users set the terms on which they are willing to share their files. The service’s native currency is LBC (LBRY Credit), which can be used within LBRY or traded for other crypto on exchanges where it is supported.

D.Tube      
d.tube
Another popular decentralized video platform built on top of the Steem blockchain allows users to exchange all kinds of digital content. Censorship is carried out through user voting, and there are no ads on D.Tube by default. Instead, users can decide whether or not to place ads in the videos they upload.

D.Tube users do not need to pay transaction fees or make initial deposits. Payments for videos are made in the STEEM token.

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Dlive 
dlive.tv     
A decentralized streaming platform built on top of the Lino blockchain. It was developed in order to solve numerous problems in the industry, including the unfair promotion of certain content, censorship, and ever-increasing service charges.

All viewer donations go directly to the content creators without any commission. Viewers themselves can also earn the native LINO currency through their activity, subscriptions, comments, and more. 90% of all subscription payments go to creators, while 10% goes to a pool where it is used to incentivize user activity.

dVPNs

Because of the large number of nodes that are used in order to establish a connection, it’s fair to say that decentralized VPNs are more efficient than regular VPN services. dVPNs allow you to choose the fastest route to your chosen website.

Sentinel      
sentinel.co
A global network of autonomous dVPN applications providing private and censorship-resistant internet access.

Users who host nodes get paid in network tokens (DVPN) and are able to set a rate based on the amount of bandwidth provided in the application. The tokens can also be bought on exchanges and staked.

Connection speeds vary depending on the node the user is connecting to and the geolocation.

Mysterium Network
mysterium.network      
Another ecosystem that allows users to connect to different nodes around the world. Built on top of Ethereum, the project uses the native MYST token. The application can be downloaded on both PCs (Windows, Linux) and smartphones (Android, iOS). There are more than 11,000 nodes in the network, representing 100+ countries around the world. Users can pay for this dVPN using crypto, PayPal or a bank card.

Orchid      
orchid.com
The Orchid network also uses a dVPN. The application is available on iOS, Android, macOS and Linux. Connectivity providers are rewarded in the OXT network token. The Orchid network operates a staking system where anyone can provide bandwidth resources after staking the OXT token. The higher the staked amount, the more likely providers are to receive a reward on the network, as users select nodes based on the deposit size.

File storage services

Data storage is another segment that has seen relatively high adoption of blockchain technologies. Instead of centralized platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox, users increasingly opt for decentralized data storage solutions.

Sia       
sia.tech
A file storage service with its own blockchain, using free space on the hard drives of network users located all over the world in order to store data. The saved files are encrypted, divided into parts, and stored on multiple nodes. Private encryption keys are required to access the data, and the storage cost is set by the network participants offering the storage space.

Filecoin       
filecoin.io
Another popular blockchain-based P2P network that allows users to store data securely. Network users provide free space on their hard drives, which are rented by other users. Payment for data storage is made in FIL tokens.

In the Filecoin ecosystem, miners compete by offering customers the lowest price for file storage.

BitTorrent       
bittorrent.com/token/btt/
Another very well-known decentralized peer-to-peer protocol that allows millions of people to download and upload files of any type.

Seeders (users who distribute files) began to receive cryptocurrency for distribution after BitTorrent was bought by TRON Foundation (TRX) founder Justin Sun in 2018. The service was integrated with the blockchain and received its own TRC-10 standard token, BTT. Now, BitTorrent users can host movies, books, music, and other files while earning crypto for their distribution efforts.

Conclusion      

Blockchain has long since moved beyond DeFi. Every day, more and more DApps with all kinds of functionality are being launched, including blogs, forums, social networks, chat rooms, file hosting services, and much more.