Blockchain is among the hottest technologies today that will also dominate several coming years. While people know about blockchain because it is the underlying technology of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but this is a lot more than just a cryptocurrency technology.
Over the last few years, blockchain has revolutionized the way businesses across distinct industries work and make transactions. When we talk about digital transformation, blockchain is considered among the top five technologies enabling it.
According to Statista, blockchain spending around the world will be more than $6.6 billion in 2021. The banking industry will contribute the highest to this spending.
Silicon Valley venture’s co-founder Marc Andreessen counts blockchain as the most vital invention ever after the internet. The ledger technology is being recognized all over the world for the benefits it brings in terms of optimizing costs of operations, compliance, while enhancing efficiencies.
Implemented in both financial and non-financial applications, it is also playing a huge role in mobile app development. Since it has a decentralized architecture, it helps in getting over numerous shortcomings in mobile applications and software development.
Let’s understand what is blockchain technology, its benefits, the role of blockchain app development, how to develop a blockchain-based application, the cost required to build such an app, and much more.
Blockchain technology is based on a distributed digital ledger which stores and processes data, information, as well as transactions without the need of a middle man or intermediary.
The core reason behind using blockchain is that it makes almost impossible to compromise or hack the data being transmitted. It enables complete transparency between the users on a blockchain network, while maintaining anonymity of transactions. Nobody is there on the network to manage transactions, handle databases, or keep a track of stats.
Initially, it was seen as the best technology for securing financial transactions, which is why its implementation is higher in blockchain wallet app development and banking applications. However, it is now disrupting almost every industry, including healthcare, real estate, education, insurance, to name a few.
Before starting the development of blockchain apps, it is crucial to understand how it works. The data and transactions being processed in a blockchain network are saved in a chronological order in the form of blocks. Eventually, a long chain of such blocks is formed. That is why it is called blockchain.
For instance, if some activity happens on a blockchain network, a record of the activity is shared with all the members. It makes blockchain highly transparent. Moreover, once a record is added to the chain, nobody can compromise or remove it. Hence, it becomes impossible for anyone to tamper the data or do fraudulent activities.
Cryptographic methods are used to enable high security and provide users the control over the data & transactions. So, when a new transaction is processed over a blockchain network, a new block gets created. After the creation of a block, the transaction is transmitted over a peer-to-peer network where it is validated.
Following its validation, the block is added to the chain which can be viewed by all the members on a network. The transactions can be related to data, records, contracts, cryptocurrencies, etc.
There are more than 70 million users of Blockchain-based wallets around the world. The number was very low just a few years back. In 2017, there were nearly 20 million users only. It reveals tha massive growth rate of blockchain adoption globally.
Healthcare is another top industry that is implementing blockchain at a fast pace. It is because they store and process confidential health data of patients. It is expected that 55% of healthcare applications will use blockchain technology by 2025.
In 2021, there are already more than 3,600 decentralized applications processing nearly 5 million transactions every day. The research also shows that the number of blockchain applications is rapidly on the rise.
As per the data by MarketsandMarkets, the blockchain market around the globe will grow at a massive CAGR of 67.3%, reaching $39.7 billion by 2025, up from just $3 billion in 2020. The report says that the increased adoption of blockchain is driven by the demand for simplifying business processes and managing supply chains in various industries.
When it comes to app development with blockchain, another common question that is asked frequently is which programming languages are used to develop a blockchain-based app.
The answer is multiple languages can be used for blockchain app development, depending on the purpose of the app and the skills of the teams. Below are some of the most popular coding languages for blockchain development:
As mentioned earlier, the language chosen for a project depends on the requirements and purpose. For instance, some languages are preferred for apps with smart contracts, while others can be used for apps with asynchronous apps. Sometimes, the language is also chosen on the basis of the availability of app developers in the market.
A major concern between the app users and developers is the security of personal data. Mobile apps today access almost the entire device, ranging from contact lists, camera & gallery, social media networking, as well as banking apps.
Data breaches around the world are on the rise and happen every now and then. Because of the fear of data security and privacy, many apps remain ignored by users.
By bringing blockchain to the scenario, this concern can be resolved. Blockchain Android app development can boost the security of data using advanced encryption techniques, and encoding data through the cryptographic hash.
Additionally, the decentralized architecture of blockchain prevents third-party apps from causing other security risks. If an app is meant for financial transactions, blockchain adds a timestamp to all the transactions to avoid tampering and manipulation.
All the transactions in a blockchain-based application are stored in a public ledger. All the users on the network can see and track their transactions. It removes the risk of data or transactions being modified, tampered, etc. Furthermore, transparency also helps in getting rid of any fraud transactions.
If the number of mobile app users increases, the developers can easily scale up accordingly. This is yet another reason to choose blockchain iOS app development or Android mobile app development.
A common issue with mobile apps offering in-app purchases is that users need to submit their banking or credit card details to process the transactions. The final cost involves the pricing of in-app purchases, gateway fees, app store fees, and sometimes the bank transaction charges as well. The details submitted there can also be compromised.
In this way, the developers get paid a small amount because they need to keep the costs low considering the additional charges. Else, the users won’t consider the in-app purchases.
The use of blockchain in mobile application development can change the current model, allowing users to pay with app coins. It will reduce or remove the additional charges, helping app developers to earn more for their work.
The infrastructure of blockchain is highly reliable with a robust foundation. Users can blindly rely on a blockchain-based mobile application.
When some data or transactions are processed through blockchain, the nodes in the network sync with each other automatically. This means that the same copy of data is sent and processed across the entire network of devices even if it is dispersed all over the world.
In addition, the system on which blockchain is based doesn’t crash, collapse or face downtime. These characteristics make it a highly reliable platform for mobile app development.
While blockchain mobile app development is not a walk in the park, but the implementation process is quite simple. It is not a complicated technology that needs a massive amount of time and effort to develop and deploy the app. If that was true, it would have significantly impacted the overall cost of app development and maintenance.
However, it is not the case with blockchain. It is an efficient way to develop mobile applications that saves time while creating secure and transparent features for the end users.
An important benefit of using blockchain for mobile apps is that most of the tools, systems and processes are implemented using open-source software. While this technology is technically not open source, but there are no central entities, companies, or government organizations managing or regulating it.
Hence, all the tools and processes required to develop a blockchain app are available easily. This makes things easier for mobile app developers.
We have covered the complete development process for building a high-quality blockchain-based mobile application. Basically, it will cover six primary stages, starting from identifying the business goal to deploying and releasing it to the market.
The first step is to know why you want to develop a blockchain app. Your focus should be clear on what challenges the application can solve, which industry do you want to target, regions where it will be available for use, etc.
If you already have a mobile application and want to upgrade it by adopting blockchain, then also figure out what difference it will make to the audience.
For instance, if you are developing it for the healthcare industry, identify how it will address the challenges of the healthcare organizations. To be very precise, you must know exactly what will be the use cases of your app and how they will be beneficial to users.
Once done, know about the markets, regions, or countries where it will be available. Will it be available globally or for specific countries? Research the existing top competitors in your target market and find out ways to beat them by providing some additional features and functionalities.
Blockchain app development from scratch requires in-depth research and strategy and will take several months to complete. To reduce the total time required for development, a blockchain development company builds the apps on top of reliable blockchain platforms.
The platform you choose will depend on a number of important factors such as what is the need of the app and what functionalities are required. For instance, if the app is for financial purposes, Ripple, Stellar, and R3 Corda are the relevant platforms. For apps meant for digital asset management, the OpenChain platform can be chosen.
So, do some brainstorming about the available platforms to figure out the best one for your application. Making the right decision will be beneficial in the long term.
Once the blockchain platform has been chosen, it is time for you to do further brainstorming for ideation with a focus on business needs. Identify and finalize the technologies and tech stack required for the complete ecosystem of the application.
Craft a full roadmap for the app so that you can understand what to expect from the final product and by when it can be executed. Furthermore, at this stage, you can decide whether to lay the foundation of the app on a permissionless network or permissioned network. Based on the type of network, the programming languages and other technical components to be used for the app will also vary.
The role of doing a proof of concept is to determine whether your idea or assumption is practical, feasible, and executable. This is the stage where you get to know if your final product can solve the challenges you assumed or meet the expected requirements.
It will help you to prevent a number of crucial issues and unnecessary risks, such as technical problems in the app. PoC is all the more important if you have to convince the investors or seek funding for the application. If you can’t show if your idea will work and offer real-life value, it becomes difficult to attract investments.
During the PoC, you should also work on creating the app prototype to find feedback from the right parties. It will include designing the sketches, mockups, designs, information architecture, etc. for the application.
Now that the entire planning is done for your blockchain app, you can move on to designing the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) of different components of the application.
You can also include the visual designs to the app at this stage to make it appealing and good-looking. It is recommended to begin with designing the admin console and dashboards, then move ahead to other components.
Coming to the most critical part of the process, i.e. developing the backend and front-end of the application. Some parts of the app will come through API integrations for specific purposes, while most parts will need to be developed.
The complete app is not developed in one go when it comes to mission-critical applications. First, the alpha version of the app will be developed. Here, all the features and functionalities might not be developed.
Then comes the beta version of the app which goes for testing of features and functionalities. A team of QA testers works on the app to find and fix the flaws, vulnerabilities, bugs, etc. so that these things can be fixed before the application goes for deployment.
Following the testing phase, your app will go for production and become ready for deployment on a testing network. The aim of deploying it on the testing network is to ensure that it is working as expected. If everything looks good to go, the application is finally released.
One thing that you must always keep in mind is that if you are outsourcing app development, you should find the best blockchain app development company that has previously worked on such applications. There are not many companies that are great at building great blockchain apps. So, check out their portfolio of existing applications, see their credibility, and make the decision wisely.
While deployment is the last stage of an app development lifecycle, but it doesn’t end here. The app maintenance part comes into play after the release and deployment. Maintenance is important to make sure that the app operates as expected and the users are able to use it seamlessly.
For instance, if your app is available on Google Play Store, check the reviews of users to know what issues they are facing. Respond to them and fix the issues on time. Keep your teams up on their feet for maintenance especially at the initial level. Moreover, when the new updates are available for the operating system, you will need to make changes to the app accordingly.
How much time is required to make a blockchain mobile app? The answer is that it depends on various factors, primarily the requirements of the application. Based on the research and experience of our team, we have categorized the average time taken for each aspect of the app:
On average, the blockchain mobile app development will take around 45 to 75 days in completion, including designing, development, and testing.
What is the cost of developing a blockchain application? Well, the overall cost will depend on a lot of factors, including the experience of developers or the app development company chosen, blockchain platform, operating system for which the app is being developed (Android, iOS, or both), tech stack, the level of app complexity, maintenance, etc.
For instance, if the app development takes only one month to complete, the cost will be low. But if it is complex and needs three to four months for project completion, the final cost will be high.
On average, the blockchain app development cost will be somewhere between $25,000 to $2,00,000.
Blockchain technology is here for the last few years but there are not many blockchain apps in the market. Mostly, it is being used for cryptocurrencies. However, it has a huge potential for several industries including fintech, healthcare, supply chain management, education, and many more.
Blockchain apps are in demand today because of data security, privacy, transparency, and plenty of other advantages. By creating a purposeful app, you can cater to the market demands and current trends, and develop new opportunities. Hope this guide helped you learn about every aspect of blockchain app development.
For further queries, you can contact our experts.