Summary: An Appchain, short for Application-Specific Blockchain, is a specialized blockchain tailored to a particular application or use case, providing optimized performance and scalability. Functioning on existing Layer 1 or Layer 2 architectures like Avalanche or Cosmos, Appchains like dYdX and Crabada's Swimmer Network illustrate their adaptability and efficiency.
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What is an Appchain?
An Appchain, or Application-Specific Blockchain, is a customized blockchain tailored to support a particular application or use case. Unlike general-purpose blockchains, Appchains are designed with specific requirements, allowing for optimized performance, scalability, and functionality for the targeted application.
Appchains typically function on top of an existing Layer 1 or Layer 2 architecture, like Avalanche, Optimism or Cosmos. For example, Cosmos Zones allows developers to create a Cosmos Zone for their specific project with advantages like increased transaction speeds and inter-blockchain communication.
What is an example of an Appchain?
dYdX is an example of an Appchain, specifically operating as a decentralized exchange. It's one of the projects that utilize the Cosmos Zones, allowing it to benefit from increased transaction speeds and finality, tailored to its specific needs as a trading platform.
Crabada's Swimmer Network is another example, but within the Avalanche ecosystem. It's part of Avalanche's subnets, which are Appchains that developers can utilize by staking the native token $AVAX. Crabada's Swimmer leverages Avalanche's Snowball Algorithm, enabling quick and scalable validation processes, making it an efficient choice for gaming applications.
These examples illustrate the versatility and customization that Appchains offers to different types of projects.
Difference between Appchains and Blockchains
Appchains and Blockchains are both types of decentralized ledgers, but they differ in their design and functionality:
- Purpose: Appchains are specialized for specific applications or use cases, allowing for optimized performance in that area. Blockchains are general-purpose and can handle various applications and transactions.
- Customization: Appchains offer high customization to suit the needs of a particular project, while general-purpose blockchains have more standardized rules and protocols.
- Performance and Scalability: Appchains can be tailored for higher performance and scalability for a specific application. General-purpose blockchains may face challenges in scalability when handling diverse applications.
- Interoperability: Some Appchains come with built-in interoperability features, while interoperability between different general-purpose blockchains may require additional layers or bridges.
In essence, while Blockchains provide a versatile foundation for decentralized technology, Appchains offer targeted, optimized solutions for specific projects or applications.
Appchains to Lookout for in 2023
The most highly anticipated appchains for 2023 are those being deployed on Ethereum-based Layer 2 solutions such as Optimism and Arbitrum. Within the context of Layer 2 and modular scaling, Appchains are commonly referred to as Layer 3. They are constructed using popular development frameworks like Optimism's OP Stack and Arbitrum's Orbit Chain infrastructure.
Some notable examples include Sanko GameCorp (ticker: $DMT), a gaming platform being developed as an Arbitrum Orbit Chain. Another example on Optimism is the controversial WorldCoin, created by Sam Altman, which utilizes Optimism's OP Stack.
In summary, Appchains are tailored blockchain solutions that offer optimized performance for specific applications. Functioning on existing Layer 1 or Layer 2 architectures, they provide advantages like increased transaction speeds and customization. Unlike general-purpose blockchains, Appchains deliver specialized solutions, enhancing efficiency in decentralized technology. Examples like dYdX and Crabada's Swimmer Network underscore their versatility. The developments expected in 2023, particularly on Ethereum-based Layer 2 stacks, emphasize the growing relevance and potential of Appchains in the ever-changing blockchain landscape.