Strong Cup of Crypto: BLOCKSTACK.org and its dApps

Intro

What happens to this blog if WordPress goes under or if this blog+files were stored on my own server and it went down? It’s time to start thinking decentralisation and web 3. Time to start looking into a permanent, decentralised alternative, even to WordPress. That’s not to say I’m ready to jack in all the nice features, integrations and plug-ins that WordPress has to offer. But… it’s time to check up on the progress of this better future.

I’ve been exploring into the Blockstack ecosystem and am impressed. It took me a while to get a grip on how it differs with say, full Ethereum dapps, and how it uses blockchain (or not at all), but its primary focus is on utility (decentralised apps), encouraging their creation, where the user retains full control over their data, identity, funds (if used) and storage. So in short, yes, they are decentralised. It also means you don’t need lots of different usernames and passwords.

I hope maybe this page (synopsis and links), can provide quick access into Blockstack ecosystem for anyone (re)-visiting, (and also myself).

What is it?

Read the FAQ, and also for differences between Ethereum and Blockstack.
Storage: the user is still given a choice and degree of control over their choice of storage.
Bitcoin: this is used for a couple of dapps including Graphite docs.

Access!

Users: Use the Blockstack web browser (browser.blockstack.org). You’ll need to create your BlockstackID, an important profile which can then be used for all the dapps that feature with this browser. You will need to preserve your mnemonic words carefully (for restoring your ID for other devices) and to protect your in-built bitcoin wallet.

Now, you will see some of the major Blockstack dApps clearly. If whatever reason you’re unable to use one (eg. you use a chromebook) then all is not lost. You can bookmark this link (browser.blockstack.org) in your smartphone instead. They should all work there, and more simply.

It’s a nice array, and their titles mirror Google’s control panel, at the same time as making one feel even more… in control and monetized. But the above is not the full list. Visit the Blockstack category over at App.co.

What you’ll notice about this list is the column which states what blockchain these may use, including Bitcoin itself or Gaia storage. Just btw, App.co is a great site that lists tons of dapps for all different blockchains or decentralised platforms.

Developer?: Use the v. encouraging Blockstack.org website for all you need to know about making a Blockstack dapp or App Mining, which is a nice way of putting it, as you can earn rewards towards development.

There are many interesting projects underway, and although early days and their more simple nature is still apparent, just having in mind this new, fresh sense of data control and privacy is enough to start the move away from temporary castles in the sand, and also, move away from life on the centralised, dangerous, exposed beach altogether.

App.co

There are a few portal sites now popping up that chronicle the emerging progress with dapps. App.co is a good one.

Quick List of Major Dapps to Try

You can start moving away from Castle Google, Microsoft, Amazon etc… and into a world where you control your data, and where companies are unnecessary. This ensures longevity and security, provided the ecosystems gain a foothold and can thrive. The following are some that I’ve tried out:

Graphite docs
Collaborative, decentralised docs. Works ok.

Graphite Publishing
Decentralised blogging platform, but where data is encrypted and under user control. You also control storage. It works, but pretty stark.

Sigle blogging
Decentralised blogging platform. Nice, clean interface.

Recall
A Google photos alternative. I uploaded a photo on mobile and it works ok, if a little slow.

There are messaging apps, note apps, forum listing apps, crypto portfolio apps, and community governance projects.

Stay tuned! or subscribe to this blog to receive sporadic or weekly notifications of posts about new or useful dapps.

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