Decentralized applications (dApps or dapps) are digital applications or programs that exist and run on a blockchain or peer-to-peer (P2P) network of computers. Dapps run without any control of a single authority. They can’t be influenced or owned by a single entity (think facebook).
Often built on the Ethereum platform (deploying smart contracts), dapps can be developed for a variety of purposes including gaming, finance, and social media. Dapps can have benefits like additional user privacy, more secure data, ownership, and lack of censorship. Centralized applications like Facebook control of the information, content, and data that is shared.
Some arguments against dapps include the potential inability to scale, challenges in developing a seamless, easy-to-use UX & UI, and difficulties in changes to improve coding.
Popular centralized apps include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and so on. Popular dapps include Uniswap, MakerDAO, and OpenSea.
Dapps are still in the early stages. However, thousands of dapps exist out there already running games, finance applications, and NFT trading.