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Are you thinking about blockchain application development but not sure where to start? Are you overwhelmed with the technical complexity and high costs of this process? You're not alone! Many businesses face the same challenges when exploring this innovative technology.
At Softermii, we understand all the pain points and have a team of experienced developers who can guide you through the process and bring your vision to life. In this article, we will walk you through the stages and crucial aspects of blockchain app development and provide examples of how other companies have benefited. Also, we will share our expertise in building applications for Radiant and Extobit.
How Do Blockchain Applications Work?
Such applications are decentralized systems that rely on a distributed database known as the blockchain. The technology stores a growing list of transactions in blocks linked and secured using cryptography.
Before discussing how to develop blockchain applications, understanding how they work is crucial. Their architecture typically consists of the following components:
Nodes participate in the blockchain network and hold a copy of the blockchain. They can be miners, validating transactions and creating new blocks, or full nodes, storing a complete copy of the blockchain and relaying information to other nodes. Nodes work together to ensure the blockchain is always up-to-date and all transactions are properly validated.
Transactions are the data records added to the blockchain. They can represent anything from cryptocurrency transfers to smart contract executions. Each transaction includes sender and recipient addresses and the amount of data being transferred. Nodes on the blockchain network validate transactions to ensure they are legitimate and have not already been added.
Smart contracts are self-executing ones, with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code. They eliminate the need for intermediaries and ensure that transactions occur automatically. Smart contracts can be programmed to execute under certain conditions or trigger specific events. For example, a vendor automatically receives a payment when a product is delivered.
The consensus mechanism is the network's algorithm that validates transactions and adds them to the blockchain — through proof-of-work, proof-of-stake, or other methods. It ensures that all nodes on the network agree on the validity of each transaction and the order in which they are added to the blockchain. It helps to prevent fraud, hacking, and other malicious activity.
Cryptography is the method used to secure the blockchain. It ensures that transactions cannot be altered once added to the blockchain and that only authorized parties can access the information. Cryptography also helps generate new blocks, validate transactions, and protect user privacy. The most common techniques include hashing, digital signatures, and public-key encryption.
The user interface (UI) allows users to interact with the blockchain application. It can be a web interface, a mobile app, etc. UI lets users view their account balances, send and receive cryptocurrency, and interact with smart contracts. It also provides a way to access private keys to sign transactions and secure their accounts.
Seven Reasons to Develop Blockchain Application
Why should you make your own blockchain application? Let’s discover the several benefits that can improve your operations and help you gain a competitive advantage:
Blockchain technology provides public verification of transactions. Anyone can view all the activities so you can enhance trust between parties.
Everything is recorded on a public ledger. It helps prevent fraud and corruption by making tracking transactions easier and ensuring they are legitimate.
Also, with blockchain, you guarantee high privacy and confidentiality. For example, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin allow users to transact without revealing their identities.
Blockchain technology uses cryptographic techniques to secure transactions and prevent unauthorized changes. Everything added to the blockchain cannot be altered or deleted.
Blockchain simplifies transactions by removing intermediaries and automating the process. This can help businesses reduce costs and improve efficiency by streamlining processes and reducing the required time.
Blockchain-based applications offer a fast and secure way to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. They have a user-friendly interface, low fees, and fast transaction processing times.
Using cryptographic techniques, you secure transactions and prevent unauthorized access. Also, the decentralized nature of blockchain apps makes them less vulnerable to hacking and other cyber threats.
How to Build a Blockchain Application?
Here are the main stages of developing blockchain applications, along with the problems you need to solve at each stage:
Development Team Building
Blockchain is a relatively new and rapidly evolving technology. Such solutions often involve multiple software layers, protocols, and data structures and require regulatory compliance.
To build a blockchain application, you should find developers with the necessary skills and experience.
Here, you have several options:
- Invest in training and development programs to help existing staff members acquire the required skills
- Look for external talent — freelancers, extended or dedicated team
- Outsource product development to a reliable vendor and forget about hiring and management issues
The planning stage is the first and one of the most critical phases of the project. Its key activities include:
- Identifying the problem that the solution will solve and defining the project’s scope
- Prioritizing app features and functionalities based on their importance
- Assessing the most suitable blockchain platform and technology
- Creating a plan and roadmap with timelines, milestones, and budget
- Establishing the project manager, key stakeholders, and communication plan
It is crucial to identify the key challenges and risks associated with the project and develop a strategy for their addressing and mitigating the risks.
The UI/UX stage focuses on designing a user-friendly and visually appealing interface for the blockchain-based application. To do that, your designer should:
- Create a wireframe and prototype of the application that illustrates the app layout, navigation, and functionality
- Conduct user research and testing to gather feedback on the prototype and validate the design decisions
- Define the visual style and branding of the application, including the color scheme, typography, icons, etc
- Ensure that the UI/UX design aligns with the technical requirements and constraints of the blockchain platform
The main problem is ensuring the application's UI/UX design is feasible and will provide the desired functionality.
The development stage is where the actual coding takes place. It involves the following activities:
- Front-end development provides the user interface and experience of the application. Ensure the solution is user-friendly, responsive, and accessible and provides seamless integration with the backend.
- Back-end development is all about managing the data and business logic of the software, including blockchain integration and smart contracts. Make sure your app is secure, scalable, optimized for performance, and compliant with the blockchain network and protocol.
The testing stage typically includes unit, integration, system, security, and user acceptance testing. This way, the development team can identify and fix bugs, reducing the risk of delays, errors, and security breaches.
At this stage, the development team:
- Set up the infrastructure, including the servers, databases, network, and security components
- Manage the release by paying attention to version control, change management, and deployment schedule
- Set up the user accounts, permissions, and access controls, and configure the application settings and parameters
- Prepare a deployment plan, user manual, technical documentation, and operational procedures for backup, recovery, and system monitoring.
There are several deployment models:
- Public or restricted to a specific group of users or organizations
- Cloud-based or on-premises owned and managed by the company
- Centralized or decentralized
By deploying the application effectively, the team can ensure that the users access the application securely, reliably, and efficiently and that any issues or risks are addressed promptly.
Once the blockchain-based application has been successfully tested and debugged, it’s ready to launch. But don’t forget about these crucial aspects:
- Social media campaigns, influencer marketing, press releases, and other promotional activities
- Rewards, bonuses, or other benefits for early adopters
- Analyzing user feedback and using it to improve the application over time
The launch stage determines whether the application can attract and retain a loyal user base and generate the desired impact and value for the stakeholders.
Here are some activities that your team typically performs during the maintenance stage:
- Bug fixes and updates to keep the app compatible with the latest software and hardware platforms
- Performance monitoring and optimization by tuning its configuration and settings as needed
- Checking for potential threats, implementing security updates, and performing regular audits and risk assessments
- Ongoing support and engagement to the application's users and responding to their questions and concerns
This stage is critical to long-term success and sustainability, ensuring it continues generating value for the business and the community.
Technology Stack for Building Your Own Blockchain App
The choice of technologies is a critical factor in the success of any blockchain-based application, as it can impact its performance, scalability, security, and overall functionality. When selecting a stack for your solution, it's essential to consider its specifics, the target audience, and the development team's experience and expertise.
Here are some of the key technologies commonly used in blockchain application development:
The blockchain platform is the core technology that underpins the application. We prepared a table to help you choose the most suitable solution:
Definition and Purpose
An open-source blockchain platform that allows developers to create and deploy decentralized applications (dApps).
The large developer community, a mature ecosystem of tools and frameworks, and good support for building decentralized applications.
Scalability issues, high transaction fees, and security vulnerabilities
A decentralized platform that allows users to send and receive digital currency without intermediaries.
High security and robustness.
Limited smart contract functionality and scalability issues.
A blockchain platform developed by the Linux Foundation for enterprise environments.
Strong security and privacy features, scalability, and modular architecture.
A steep learning curve for developers and limited smart contract functionality.
A blockchain platform designed for financial services and other regulated industries.
Strong security features, regulatory compliance, and support for complex workflows.
A relatively new, evolving platform with a limited developer community.
A blockchain platform for fast and low-cost transactions, supporting crypto and fiat (USD, EUR, etc) currencies.
Fast transaction processing times, low fees, and strong scalability.
Limited community and a less mature ecosystem of tools and frameworks.
A blockchain platform that supports smart contracts.
Fast transaction processing times, high scalability, and support for complex decentralized applications.
Concerns about centralization, security vulnerabilities, and a steep learning curve for developers.
Smart Contract Languages
Smart contracts automate the execution of transactions on the blockchain. To create them, you can use different languages, including Solidity (used for Ethereum), Chaincode (used for Hyperledger Fabric), and Simplicity (used for Bitcoin).
The backend framework manages the interactions between the blockchain and the application's frontend. Some popular options include Node.js, Django, and Ruby on Rails.
The frontend framework creates the user interface and manages the user experience. You can choose between options such as React, Angular, and Vue.js.
APIs and SDKs
APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and SDKs (Software Development Kits) can interface with the blockchain platform and build custom functionality into the application. Popular APIs and SDKs include Web3.js (for Ethereum), Bitcore (for Bitcoin), and Hyperledger Fabric SDK (for Hyperledger Fabric).
Cloud solutions can host the application and manage its scalability and performance. We recommend you use Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), or Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
How to Integrate a Blockchain App With Your Business
We’ve already discussed how to make a blockchain application. But is it worth it? Technology has the potential to revolutionize many industries by offering new and innovative ways to handle transactions, data management, and security:
Finance and Banking
Blockchain technology streamlines transactions, reduces costs, and enhances security. With it, you can create crypto exchange platform or other financial instruments.
- JP Morgan has developed its blockchain platform, Quorum, for interbank transfers and settling securities transactions.
- Bank of America uses the blockchain-based digital payment network Ripple for cross-border payments and remittances.
Blockchain improves the efficiency and accuracy of medical record-keeping. It enables the secure sharing of patient data and facilitates medical research.
- MedicalChain uses blockchain to create a secure and transparent platform for storing and sharing medical data.
- Blockchain allows Pfizer to track the distribution of drugs and prevent counterfeit products from entering the market.
Blockchain technology in real estate businesses streamlines buying and selling property. You don’t need intermediaries, and your record-keeping is secure and transparent.
- Propy enables buyers and sellers to securely exchange property titles and funds while reducing the need for intermediaries.
- Deedcoin uses blockchain to build a platform for buying and selling real estate, lowering transaction costs and increasing transparency.
Supply Chain Management
With blockchain, you can get greater transparency and traceability in the supply chain. Let businesses track goods from origin to destination, reducing the risk of fraud or counterfeiting.
- Walmart has developed a blockchain-based software allowing real-time checking of food products from the farm to the store shelf and guaranteeing their safety.
- Maersk enables real-time cargo tracking and provides a transparent solution for exchanging information between shippers and suppliers.
Energy and Utilities
Blockchain technology can create decentralized energy markets, facilitate sharing of renewable energy resources, and provide greater transparency in energy trading.
- Power Ledger uses blockchain technology to build a peer-to-peer energy trading platform.
- With blockchain, Grid+ allows consumers to pay for energy in real-time and provides a secure way for exchanging information between suppliers and consumers.
Gaming and Entertainment
Think about metaverse app development, facilitating the sale and exchange of virtual goods. Also, blockchain provides a more secure and transparent environment for online gaming.
- The Enjin implements blockchain to create a transparent gaming and virtual asset trading environment.
- Theta Network built a decentralized video streaming platform where users earn tokens for sharing their bandwidth and securely exchange information with others.
Blockchain enables secure and tamper-proof document storage, facilitates the execution of contracts, and provides greater transparency in legal transactions.
- The OpenLaw platform uses blockchain to simplify the execution of contracts and the storage of legal documents.
- LexisNexis is another example of a secure solution for storing and sharing legal documents with real-time access.
Let’s summarize in which cases your business may need a blockchain-based app. Think about it if you want to:
- Guarantee that transactions between parties are secure and tamper-proof
- Increase operation trust and transparency, as all parties can see and verify transactions
- Automate processes and eliminate intermediaries, improving efficiency and lowering costs
- Provide end-to-end supply chain visibility and transparency, from sourcing to delivery
- Securely verify the identity of customers, employees, or partners
- Protect your intellectual property, such as patents, copyrights, or trademarks
Building Blockchain Applications: Cost & Timeline
It is difficult to estimate the exact cost and time required to develop a blockchain-based application as it depends on various factors:
- App complexity
- The number of features
- The type of blockchain technology
- The experience and location of the development team
- Security measures
- Comprehensive testing
- Deployment model
However, we can provide a general overview of the cost and time required for developing such an application:
Development of Web and Mobile Applications
When you make the decision to construct a blockchain app, the first phase is its technical setup. This process spans across various elements, from the administrative panel to the specialized app functions and technologies, including features like video chat or push notifications.
It's essential to recognize that the integration of more complex features will naturally escalate the development expenses.
Furthermore, you need to make a decision about whether to design your app for iOS or Android platforms. We recommend the creation of cross-platform applications that are compatible with leading operating systems, so as to accommodate all user tastes.
The estimated cost for web and mobile application development is up to 900 hours, roughly amounting to $27,000.
An outstanding UI/UX design aims to design adaptive user interfaces and promote enjoyable user experiences by comprehending your target audience. Additionally, a flexible event app design assures uninterrupted functioning on any device, which is particularly vital for cross-platform applications.
The estimated cost for UI/UX design is up to 200 hours, roughly amounting to $6,000.
Testing and Quality Assurance
Prior to the product launch, rigorous testing is a must. At Softermii, we use a blend of manual and automated testing to ensure peak performance and to eliminate any potential defects.
Moreover, this phase provides crucial data on app usage, which can contribute to improving features and user interfaces.
Quality Assurance cost is up to 200 hours, estimated roughly at $6,000.
The responsibility of a project manager is to make sure that project goals are met, and that the project's scope is consistent with your vision. They also carry out risk assessments to identify possible security risks and keep you updated on the progress of the blockchain app development.
Project management typically accounts for 10% to 15% of the total budget. However, based on our current estimate, it will be around $5,500.
What is the final cost of developing a blockchain app? Please consult the table below for detailed information:
Blockchain app Development Cost
Web and mobile development
Testing and quality assurance
It is important to note that these estimates are only a general guide, so contact Softermii for more details.
Softermii is an IT company that provides blockchain software development services. And today, we want to share two of our cases:
Cryptocurrency Exchange Platform
Extobit approached us to improve UI/UX and make the cryptocurrency exchange platform more resilient to heavy loads.
We have deployed a secure cloud infrastructure and integrated third-party APIs. Portfolio management, risk forecasting, market and asset analytics are now available to professional traders. And beginners can perform exchange operations in two minutes.
As a result, 20,000 users joined the platform the first month after its release. It took the company four months to get to the break-even point.
Radiant is an interactive NFT platform that allows users to explore each other's creations through 3D world tours. They can also mint collections and chat in Clubhouse-like audio rooms.
The idea behind the solution was to create a marketplace allowing content creators to monetize their work. Twelve thousand artists have already activated the sales process through the application, and 38,000 users have used it within six months of its release.
Blockchain technology has become increasingly popular because it provides a secure and transparent way to store and transfer data. Businesses can increase efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance customer trust and satisfaction. However, creating a blockchain-based app requires specific expertise in planning, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance.
If you are looking for a reliable partner, contact the Softermii team and discuss all the details.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do blockchain applications make money?
Blockchain-based applications can earn money by advertising and partnering, charging transaction fees, offering premium features or subscriptions, selling tokens or digital assets, and providing consulting or development services. The specific revenue model depends on the type of blockchain application and the industry it serves.
How long does it take to build a blockchain application?
The time it takes to create a blockchain mobile app can vary depending on its complexity, the development team size, and the methodology used. However, building a fully functional solution can take several months to years.
How to reduce the cost of blockchain app development?
To reduce the cost of blockchain application creation, it is important to carefully plan the project and choose the right tech stack, development methodology, and team size. Additionally, leveraging existing open-source tools and platforms can also help lower expenses.
Where is the best place to outsource blockchain application development?
Softermii is the best vendor to outsource blockchain app development. We have the necessary qualifications and experience, as well as flexible models of cooperation. We can extend your team with high-level developers or take full control of software creation. Contact us to discuss your app and the terms of its building.
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