Blog|Dapps|DApps vs. Smart Contract: Difference and Similarity
Published April 23, 2022|6 min read

DApps vs. Smart Contract: Difference and Similarity

As blockchain technology improves and expands, new opportunities for developing IoT continue to appear. Smart contracts and DApps are programs that use blockchain to provide convenient solutions for various industries. While they are still considered similar, decentralized apps and smart contracts are different technologies designed to perform certain tasks. Read this guide to understand DApps vs. smart contract peculiarities.

What Are the Features of DApps and Smart Contracts?

Understanding DApps, smart contracts, and other blockchain-powered solutions might be difficult for beginners. However, they are not that complex if you dig into their essence a little. Here are the main features of DApps:

  • They are blockchain-based.
  • They have an open-source code that is also decentralized.
  • Users need tokens to gain access to DApps.
  • And as for the smart contract features, they are the following:

  • Smart contracts are also blockchain-based.
  • These programs work only if certain conditions are met.
  • They are automated programs.
  • As you can see, both the smart contract and DApp solutions operate on a blockchain.

    What Is Smart Contract?

    Smart contracts are exactly what they sound like: they are codes or programs written for specific contracts made via blockchain. A smart contract is an automated contract solution which continues to the next task as soon as particular conditions for each step are met. The smart contract rules are used for various business operations and transactions to automate them and ensure that all the conditions are met, and everything goes smoothly.



    Smart contracts are now utilized in various industries. For example, they have become popular in finance thanks to their convenience. Smart contracts offer an alternative to traditional contracts and deals. In gaming, smart contracts are used for in-game purchases, especially now, when crypto and NFTs are more widespread. Smart contracts can also be used in real estate, legal, and more.

    The Most Popular Platforms

    Ethereum is considered the main smart contract platform as it contributed the most to smart contract development. However, there are some great alternatives for your consideration. Some of the top smart contract platforms in 2022 are:

  • Polkadot
  • Solana
  • EOS
  • Binance Smart Chain
  • Transactions on Ethereum are becoming gradually more expensive, so many users seek alternatives.

    What Are DApps?


    A DApp means a decentralized application. This kind of app runs on a peer-to-peer network. They also have a user interface for convenience. These P2P applications are like regular apps but built on a blockchain with the help of smart contracts. When the first blockchain appeared, its developers wanted to add more functionality to their creation. This way, DApps emerged as special applications connected to blockchains. After understanding a little bit more about smart contracts, it is now time to learn about the usage of DApps to sort out the smart contract vs. DApp dilemma.


    There are several types of decentralized apps. First, there are finance applications made for crypto. Such DApps allow managing funds and exchanging cryptocurrencies using blockchains. Another area of application is connected to real-life businesses. For example, logistic companies use DApps to control their shipments and automate various processes with the help of smart contracts.

    The Most Popular Platforms

    Just like with smart contracts, Ethereum is the most popular option for DApps and their development. Of course, there are some other nice alternatives. Top DApps platforms in 2022 are:

  • Tron
  • EOS
  • NEO
  • Cosmos, etc.
  • These are the top picks for DApp development, but you can also check such options as Stellar, Waves, Steem, and more.

    DApps vs. Smart Contract: What’s the Difference?

    Now that the basics are covered, it is possible to look at the difference between smart contract and DApp concepts. These blockchain technologies have some core differences that help in telling them apart:

  • Decentralized apps are either applications or sites powered by blockchain.
  • Smart contracts are program codes or APIs that link DApps with the blockchain.
  • DApps have a code that runs on a decentralized platform.
  • Smart contracts are pieces of code that constitute decentralized apps.
  • A DApp combines a front-end interface and smart contracts, so we can say that DApps’ smart contracts deliver a complete application experience.
  • To put it simply, smart contracts are smaller parts of decentralized applications.

    What Are the Similarities between These Two Systems?

    Smart contracts are the things that do DApps work. They run on a decentralized platform and operate automatically without being controlled by a single governing body. These two technologies were considered the same for a long time, as they worked on the Ethereum blockchain. However, smart contracts and DApps are closely connected, but they are not identical.

    What Role Do Tokens Play in the Smart Contract and DApp Processes?

    Tokens are necessary to use a decentralized application. While DApps are built on Ethereum or another blockchain, they still require tokens unique to each specific DApp. These tokens essentially act as a special currency. For example, you can purchase in-game currency with real money when playing a video game. With DApps, you need to purchase tokens to use their features. In addition, they are cheap and affordable, unlike many cryptocurrencies. Therefore, it is more convenient and efficient to utilize tokens when working with DApps.

    Smart contracts are used for transferring cryptos and virtual tokens. Certain tokens even act like smart contracts. For example, the Ethereum ERC-721 token is a smart contract itself. However, not all smart contracts are tokenized. There are smart contracts on Ethereum that can perform their tasks without involving tokens.


    Blockchain technology has come a long way, and new software emerges every single day. Thanks to the opportunities offered by blockchain, we receive new ways of improving various hi-tech solutions. And owing to cutting-edge DApps and smart contracts, even small businesses with limited assets can reach incredible heights.

    Ethereum-based smart contracts and DApps offer great tools for automating multiple processes and ensuring that each contract or financial operation goes according to plan. This is also a promising solution for increasing your security, as any speculations or alterations in a deal will prevent the smart contract from progressing. This way, you can fend off fraud and always keep track of your business deals.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What Are the Features of DApps and Smart Contracts?

    Smart contracts allow automating various contracts and keeping them transparent and accurate. Thanks to smart contracts, the costs are also reduced. DApps are decentralized apps built on blockchain, which means they are not controlled by a centralized authority.

    DApps vs. Smart Contract: What Are the Differences?

    DApps are like applications or websites connected to a blockchain, whereas smart contracts are the things that connect the DApps to the blockchain. Smart contracts act like API.

    What Are the Similarities between DApps and Smart Contracts?

    Smart contracts and DApps are both technologies developed and running on a blockchain. But how do a DApp and a smart contract interact if they are not the same? While these two things are different, they are still considered almost identical on the Ethereum blockchain. They are connected to this system and perform tasks through it.

    How Do DApp and Smart Contract Interact Same?

    Like classic apps and websites interact with their respective databases, DApps and smart contracts interact with a blockchain. If a regular app acts as a front end and connects to a database via API, DApps use smart contracts as API to connect to a blockchain.