This is a general FAQ intended for users of decentralized applications. If you are a developer, refer to the [technical FAQ].
- What is the decentralized internet?
- What is Blockstack?
- How do DApps differ applications I typically use?
- Where is my identity kept?
- Can Blockstack control my data or ID when I use it?
- Do DApps uwork with a regular browser?
- What is the Blockstack Browser?
- Are Blockstack applications usable today?
What is the decentralized internet?
The Blockstack ecosystem enables the new decentralized internet. Decentralization means authority moving from central authority to local authority. Simply put, in a decentralized interent, you your data, not the applications or services you use.
Blockstack envisions a world where users control their own data, and power flows back to the users. For example, when you buy something from an online company, that company collects and stores data about you:
- your name
- the information about the product you bought
- the number on your credit card
In the decentralied internet, that information stays with you and it isn’t collected or stored by anyone. Applications that operate in the decentralized internet are called decentralized applications or DApps for short.
What is Blockstack?
Blockstack is an ecosystem to support both DApp users and DApp developers. For users, Blockstack makes software to create Blockstack identities and find DApps. For developers, Blockstack develops an ecosystem of software and services that developrs can use to build DApps.
Blockstack through its
How do DApps differ applications I typically use?
DApps differ from Web applications in two ways:
- Users have identities not accounts. The user brings their identity to the applications; applications do not require the user to create accounts and passwords.
- Users own their data. Users control access to their data. Users decide where to store their data and which applications can read or write to your. Companies and their decentralized applications don’t keep or save your data.
Where is my identity kept?
Your identity is a unique string you and other people can read such as
moxiegirl.id. A private key is a string of letters only you know. When you create an identity, a hash is made of your id and your private key registered with Blockstack.
Your personal data storage is built around this ID. Apps that want to access your data use your permission and identity to find it.
You have to remember and keep your private key in a safe place like a password manager. If you lose a private key, no one else, no person, no software, can help you get your identity back.
Can Blockstack control my data or ID when I use it?
No. When you’re using a Blockstack client you control your data and ID with a private key. As long as no one gets access to your private key, no one can control your data or ID. When you use Blockstack, by design, your private keys are never sent to any remote servers.
Do DApps uwork with a regular browser?
Yes! DApps run in the web browsers (Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.) you know and love.
What is the Blockstack Browser?
The Blockstack Browser is the DApp users use to create and manage their identities and configure their data storage. The browser is also where users can go to discover and use apps using Blockstack.
The Blockstack Browser also handles login requests from DApps that allow their users to log in with Blockstack. When a user clicks a Log In with Blockstack button, they are redirected to the Blockstack Browser to approve the request before being logged into the app.
Are Blockstack applications usable today?
Yes! Blockstack applications are as easy to use as normal Web applications, if not easier. Moreover, they are just as performant if not more so.