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Blockchain 101

dApps vs. Samart Contracts

dApp vs Contract Image

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

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

ItemSmart ContractdApp
AccessibilityAccessible mainly via the blockchain client(s)Depending on the platform those can be accessed via the web, desktop client, blockchain client etc.
PlatformOperate solely on the top of the blockchain networkIt can either be web-based, desktop based or blockchain based
StorageSince the code is self-executing and deployed directly on the blockchain, all of the Smart Contract data is stored in the same networkdApps can utilize different on-chain and off-chain storages depending on the needs and design.
InterfacesSmart Contracts directly interface only blockchain network where these are deployeddApps can have multiple interfaces for any desired resources like databases, storages or other web services
TransactionsBlockchain based transactionsBlockchain-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.

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