WebFREE EP5: Building Web3 DApps: Web3 Stack

WebFREE EP5: Building Web3 DApps: Web3 Stack

August 4, 2023

Building Web3 DApps: Web3 Stack

The Internet has transformed every aspect of our lives - from shopping, dating, and parenting, to politics, journalism, and macroeconomic trends. Everything has changed, but it’s only the beginning. The Internet keeps evolving from the mindblowing (at the time) but rather bleak and basic web pages of the 90s that we could only read (web1), to Fortnite, YouTube, Instagram, and Amazon, representing the read-and-write era, known as web2. And now, we are on the verge of web3, the read-write-and-own version of the Internet, underpinned by blockchain technology. 

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of web developers is expected to grow 23% from 2021 to 2031. It is expected that among web developers, the ones with blockchain skills will be in higher demand, because of the expected growth of the web3 use cases and applications. If you’re new to the web3 space, we suggest you check out our articles introducing some of the basic ideas and values of web3 and possible first steps in your career as a web3 developer. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the differences between web3 and web2 development and introduce you to some of the tools available to developers, as always - for FREE!

Building in web3 vs web2

The core feature of web3 is decentralization powered by blockchain technology. Web3 applications aim to enable trustless peer-to-peer interactions on a large scale, eliminating the need for intermediaries.

There is a sea of opportunities across the industry to work with and build on top of various blockchain networks like Ethereum, Ethereum L2 networks, Polkadot, Cosmos, Solana, and even Bitcoin

The four basic layers of the developer stack in web3, no matter which chain you’re building on, are the network & infrastructure, protocol, developer tools, and application enablement (although you can go into much more detail). As you enter web3 and start building projects, you will be leveraging instruments that are sitting in the other layers of this stack, such as decentralized storage (IPFS), authorization (Metamask, Wallet Connect), and others.

Web3 Tech Stack Layers

The majority of web3 builders (both technical and business talent) come from a web2 background and bring the learnings with them, both things that need to be adopted and improved upon (e.g., UX of web2), and understanding of the unhealthy sides of web2 (e.g., the addiction to monetizing user’s data and attention). 

Contrary to a popular misconception, web3 does not exist in some sort of war or antagonism with web2. Web3 is not here to kill web2. Just like the previous stages of Internet evolution - web3 is building on top of the previous innovations. And whether a project is web3 or not is not black and white, it’s more of a spectrum. Projects, especially in the B2C segment, often incorporate elements of web3 but keep some of the infrastructure familiar to the users, such as logging in with an email (see Magic.link and Crossmint) or payment with a credit card (see again, Crossmint and Paper). This transitory state is often referred to as web2.5.

Web3 stack is different from what you may be used to, but there are plenty of free educational resources, and most of the teams are very approachable through Discord and will be happy to support you on your journey.

dApps vs. apps

Decentralized Applications, or dApps, are a relatively novel class of applications that operate on a blockchain. Decentralization, as follows from the name itself, is at their core. Unlike traditional apps, controlled by a single authority, dApps are governed by, or at least, as we described before, incorporate some elements of web3 - smart contracts, consensus mechanisms, etc. that bring elements of blockchain principles - transparency, self-custody, composability, immutability, etc.

Moreover, dApps can leverage the tokenization ability. Developers can create their own tokens to incentivize user engagement, foster communities, or implement business models in innovative ways. More on the basics of tokenomics here and in our future articles.

Let’s double-click on three of the main advantages of dApps: transparency, trustlessness, and interoperability.

Transparency & Auditability

Transparency and auditability are hallmarks of decentralized applications. Every transaction or data exchange on a dApp is recorded on a public ledger, the blockchain. This verifiable history of activities is available for anyone to review. This provides an unprecedented level of auditability. Trust is paramount in ay any business interaction, and this transparent audit trail is invaluable. Especially when it comes to finance (including the emergent field of finance called DeFi, decentralized finance) or supply chain. 

But what is better than trust? Trustlessness.


Trustlessness, in the context of blockchain, refers to the quality of transacting, that occurs through code executing the transaction based on the set conditions, and there being no third party that could interfere as the distributed network of nodes is in charge of making the recording in the ledger. Trust emanates from code rather than centralized authorities. 

Thanks to smart contracts (i.e., programs running on a blockchain) and consensus mechanisms (cryptographic instruments that verify the status of blockchain), any operation, whether it’s a financial transaction or data exchange, is transparent and secure without intermediaries. 

Trustlessness means that builders can create dApps that are less prone to having single points of failure. It provides resilience against censorship, fraud, and downtime. 

It also creates an environment where protocols and applications can be interoperable and composable.

Interoperability and Composability  

Rooted in transparency and trustlessness, interoperability and composability take dApp building to another level.

Interoperability refers to the ability of dApps to seamlessly interact and exchange information with other dApps. This ensures that valuable data can be shared, and expands the possibilities for functionality (again, without relying on intermediaries).

Composability signifies the ability to build dApps by combining different existing services or protocols. One dApp's functionality can be used as a building block for another ("money legos," as they often call it in the DeFi world). 

This modular nature of dApps accelerates growth and technological advancement in the blockchain space.

Free Developer Tools

Let’s now take a look at some of the essential tools for developers working in the blockchain space. 

These tools abstract the complexities of blockchain technology, and provide environments for building, testing, debugging, and deployment of smart contracts. 

These platforms allow developers to focus more on their application logic and less on understanding the nuances of blockchain. 


Thirdweb offers a suite of powerful tools for builders to create, deploy, and manage dApps and smart contracts on any of the 4000 supported chains

It provides APIs for seamless integration with existing tech stacks, and a streamlined interface for designing and deploying smart contracts. It also has specialized kits: CommerceKit, GamingKit, Digital Collectibles, and Minting Launchpad. 

Thirdweb also provides a mobile solution, which is a set of tools and SDKs that support the integration of web3 features into iOS and Android applications.

Among the SDKs are: Auth (passwordless web3-native authentication and authorization), Storage (decentralized file management solution), and Wallet (wallet connection capabilities for dApps).

Whether you're building a web3 game (Thirdweb even built their own - Web3 Warriors), an NFT marketplace, or your web3 email list using Mailchain, Thirdweb empowers you to deliver. 

Finally, Thirdweb puts a significant emphasis on the developer experience. The platform is known for its robust documentation, templates, and educational resources. Its community is also highly supportive.


Alchemy's APIs provide access to multiple blockchain networks, both EVM as well as non-EVM (e.g., Starknet), enabling NFT and other token-based use cases, notifications, account abstraction, and more. Its Supernode infrastructure, touted as the most reliable in the industry, enhances dApp performance with faster, more accurate data.

Alchemy's developer suite also includes Alchemy Monitor, a collection of dashboards that allows builders to keep track of the dApp’s performance as well as collect information about user behavior, and Alchemy Build, a debugging tool that reduces the time spent troubleshooting.

Furthermore, Webhooks, is a notification engine, that delivers real-time updates based on on-chain data, enabling developers to build dApps that respond to blockchain events.


Truffle is a development environment, testing framework, and asset pipeline for Ethereum and other EVM-based chains. 

Truffle’s slogan is ”Smart Contracts Made Sweeter.” Their suite consists of Truffle (a development environment), Ganache (a tool to set up your own local Ethereum blockchain), and Drizzle (a collection of frontend libraries).

Truffle products

Truffle provides built-in smart contract compilation, linking, and deployment capabilities, along with an automated testing framework. Its interactive console allows direct contract communication, while the external script runner executes scripts within a Truffle environment. 

Truffle Boxes are pre-configured boilerplates that can help set up depending on the kind of project one is building: an NFT box, a LENS box, a Chainlink box, and many more. They include templates, modules, and front-end views, empowering developers to kickstart their Ethereum projects.


Foundry is a modular toolkit for Ethereum application development, and its focus is speed.

Foundry suite includes several powerful tools: Forge (a command-line tool that helps you build, test, and deploy your smart contracts), Anvil (a local testnet node), Cast (command-line tool for performing Ethereum RPC calls: smart contract calls, transactions, or retrieving data), and Chisel (which allows you to test the Solidity code on a local network).

Web3 field is growing fast, it can seem intimidating to jump in, and it’s not always easy to keep up with the pace of innovation. It’s not just building a plane while flying it, it’s more like building a rocket as it’s taking off.  

Developers are at the very core of this process, and developer tools like Thirdweb, Alchemy, Truffle, and Foundry, help them build faster and better by simplifying some of the complexities of blockchain. The communities around each of these platforms help new builders acclimate to the environment.

Every developer is a pioneer on the web3 frontier of the Internet, building a more transparent, decentralized, and user-centric online world. We at Mailchain are excited that you are on this journey with us. Stay tuned for more WebFree!

Check out the previous episodes in the series:

Meet the writer

Sasha's background as a producer and copyright lawyer gives her a strong foundation for a grounded point of view on the crypto industry. She makes complex stories relatable and memorable, whether in writing, audio, or video.
Sasha Barrie
Creator of How2Web3 and WCBH podcasts.
Full stack content maker. Lawyer by training, producer by trade, and a web3 idealist at heart.