In the previous posts of the Blockchain 101 series, we have discussed dApps and Smart Contracts and the way both work. Due to the fact, there are some confusions between both of these, we’ll discuss in more details the differences between these two.
Smart Contract is a self-executing software application deployed on the top of the blockchain network, where the rules and conditions are enforced programmatically.
dApp (Distributed Application)
dApps are computer-based programs designed to operate on the distributed computing systems rather than a single computer.
Difference between dApp and Smart Contract
|Accessibility||Accessible mainly via the blockchain client(s)||Depending on the platform those can be accessed via the web, desktop client, blockchain client etc.|
|Platform||Operate solely on the top of the blockchain network||It can either be web-based, desktop based or blockchain based|
|Storage||Since the code is self-executing and deployed directly on the blockchain, all of the Smart Contract data is stored in the same network||dApps can utilize different on-chain and off-chain storages depending on the needs and design.|
|Interfaces||Smart Contracts directly interface only blockchain network where these are deployed||dApps can have multiple interfaces for any desired resources like databases, storages or other web services|
|Transactions||Blockchain based transactions||Blockchain-based transactions or Type II dApps|
Summarizing, Smart Contracts are simple, self-executing computer programs with limited interfaces and accessibility methods. In contrast, dApps can range from simple “Hello World” applications to very complex tools with access to external resources and storages as long as they adhere to the main characteristics discussed in the previous post – “What are dApps (Distributed Applications)?“. Due to the popularity of Smart Contracts, often dApps are utilizing Smart Contracts to transact over the main blockchain network.