In this article https://medium.com/@mvmurthy/ethereum-for-web-developers-890be23d1d0c the author writes that

This means, every person who wants to interact with a dapp (Decentralized Application) will need a full copy of the blockchain running on their computer/phone etc. That means, before you can use an application, you have to download the entire blockchain and then start using the application.

Some comments point out that's not correct. What is now true?


You can install a browser plugin such as MetaMask, or you can use Mist in 'Light Client' mode.

These options both allow you to use DApp's without having to download and store the full blockchain.

Your client is then only aware of the transactions related to your accounts, contracts and the DApp's you're using, instead of all the transactions on the network.

  • I installed Mist but it immediately started to sync the full chain. Thats how its supposed to be?
    – TMOTTM
    Oct 16 '17 at 21:07
  • 3
    Mist defaults to full-sync mode. The light client mode is new and not set by default.
    – Macil
    Oct 16 '17 at 21:26

I personally used Metamask with chrome to make a simple payment without having a Dapp. The fact you use Metamask doesn't make your application decentralized but in fact, you are only using a 3rd party software. You don't need to download the blockchain to run your application but rather connect to it to get a response when you send and get data.


It syncs the full chain so when you deploy your DAPP to the blockchain it is up to date and on the most recent block.

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