App developers have had enough. This time, they’re taking their fight all the way to the highest court in the U.S. Apple has been called to appear before Supreme Court judges to determine if the company has indeed monopolised the sale of applications.
As it stands, there are few portals that app developers can utilise to prominently place their digital offerings. As a result of using the Apple Store, the Cupertino, CA tech company forces developers to relinquish 30% of their profits for featuring their app within Apple’s digital storefront.
It has been argued that this greatly limits a developer’s potential to profit from their creation (particularly if a publisher is taking a piece of the pie as well). This becomes rather challenging to argue against when you understand that Apple bars developers from selling iPhone apps through channels outside of the brand’s store, effectively preventing external sales revenue.
A similar notion holds true for iPhone owners as these individuals have been admonished from downloading unapproved applications; doing so would cause Apple to void their warranties.
This is the kind of malicious intermediary behavior that threatens indie developers with potential bankruptcy. Many of the blockchain community’s proponents seek to annihilate this kind of conduct through the decentralisation movement.
However, the question is: Can developers feasibly move their apps to the blockchain (thereby creating decentralised apps, or dApps) with the current limitations of blockchain technology? Some of the constraints this faction faces with the blockchain include low TPS, high transaction fees, political turmoil, and most notably, network sizes.
Break Up Centralisation through Blockchain Technology
These hurdles drive the need for solution as the monopoly and centralisation framework need to be re-addressed. Various blockchain startups are demonstrating their ambition in breaking these monopolies app stores like Google Play and Apple have created, by embracing a full decentralisation approach. Blockstack is an example of one the blockchain projects creating a platform for dApp developers to charge premium fees for their apps and also have access to a wider market. The co-founder, Ryan Shea highlighted that the idea was to create a platform to bring app developers and users together whilst also providing value in connecting the two.
Embracing a more decentralised approach is appearing to be more beneficial to both users and app developers. App developers will have access to getting direct returns on their apps without going through a centralised medium or losing substantial percentage of profits to platforms. Users will also have access to unlimited ranges of apps with no barriers.
Mobius Dapp store is also another leading decentralised app store leveraging on the blockchain technology, allowing app developers access to 100% of the revenue.
Another blockchain project also creating such platform however, in a distinct way is BOOSTO, an influencer-driven dApp store. The organisation recently announced the successful completion of an anchor round led by Bo Shen from Fenbushi Capital, Scry.info, and VenturesLab. The aim here also is to de-monopolise the current app ecosystem
“It is a natural move for developers to build decentralised apps with the maturity of blockchain technology. The saved 30% revenue can now double, lower the transaction costs, and allow developers to focus more on building a better product for their users,” said Vicky Zhang, Partner at VenturesLab.
What sets BOOSTO apart interestingly is that it is led by the team behind SocialBook.io, an advanced influencer search engine touting data from over 350,000 influencers. SocialBook also owns the community website cryptoinfluence.io; a platform aimed at helping people to fight against scammers in the chaotic world of crypto.
The team aims to provide a set of tools, libraries, SDKs, and Oracle services to developers who can build different apps over the network. However, one of the biggest pain points with moving in the direction of decentralisation is that developers currently rely on centralised app stores because they provide access to high volumes of users and traffic. In light of this, the organisation believes it has cracked the conundrum of attracting users to dApps.
Developers will be able to build customisable dApps for individuals influencers on the BOOSTO platform, enabling social superstars to have deeper engagements with their fans. Currently, the interaction paradigm between influencers and their followers is one-dimensional and limiting as fans can merely like or comment on posts.
“We are defining protocols and enabling different types of dApps to exist,” Chen, CTO of BOOSTO said, as opposed to building dApps one by one.
“We will probably still build some dApps to showcase our protocols, but our goal is not to build all of them.” He added: “We have a large pool of influencers, [so] building some customised dApps for them make senses. However, to build a healthy ecosystem, we need as many developers to contribute.”
By tokenising the ecosystem, BOOSTO believes that it will not only help developers to easily build their dApps on the blockchain, but also provide extra financial aid for influencers to fund their creations.
Decentralisation the Perfect Solution
App developers deserve access to the returns on their works and development without having to go through limitations and barriers. For long now, few have companies have been the only ones gaining massively, especially based on the works of others, thanks to the monopolistic set up. However, a full decentralisation is seemingly the only way to go in order to provide transparency, free access to revenues and a wider market reach. Blockchain technology provides this means, and with the recent successes already recorded, the future is brighter for app developers and users alike.
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