Blockchain based Decentralized Applications: Technology Review and Development Guidelines

03/16/2020
by   Claudia Pop, et al.
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Blockchain or Distributed Ledger Technology is a disruptive technology that provides the infrastructure for developing decentralized applications enabling the implementation of novel business models even in traditionally centralized domains. In the last years it has drawn high interest from the academic community, technology developers and startups thus lots of solutions have been developed to address blockchain technology limitations and the requirements of applications software engineering. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive overview of DLT solutions analyzing the addressed challenges, provided solutions and their usage for developing decentralized applications. Our study reviews over 100 blockchain papers and startup initiatives from which we construct a 3-tier based architecture for decentralized applications and we use it to systematically classify the technology solutions. Protocol and Network Tier solutions address the digital assets registration, transactions, data structure, and privacy and business rules implementation and the creation of peer-to-peer networks, ledger replication, and consensus-based state validation. Scaling Tier solutions address the scalability problems in terms of storage size, transaction throughput, and computational capability. Finally, Federated Tier aggregates integrative solutions across multiple blockchain applications deployments. The paper closes with a discussion on challenges and opportunities for developing decentralized applications by providing a multi-step guideline for decentralizing the design of traditional systems and implementing decentralized applications.

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