Dfinity Project Hits Mercury Milestone, Launching Its ‘Internet Computer’ Mainnet
Dfinity, a startup that has been building the ‘Internet Computer’, launched its Mainnet quietly on Dec. 18 according to a blog post update from the company’s founder Dominic Williams. The firm which was valued at around $10 billion last year enjoys the backing of heavyweight VCs such as Polychain Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.
Dfinity’s internet computer is an advanced computing system built on blockchain technology; it is set to compete with the likes of Amazon Web services. This new internet computer leverages Chain Key technology which basically reduces the computing workload by splitting smart contracts into two; query calls and update calls. The former can be executed in milliseconds while the latter can take between one and two seconds, depending on the rate of block production.
According to the 18,000-word blog post, Dfinity’s purpose is to extend the functionality of the public internet through blockchain technology, hence eliminating the need for legacy techs such as firewalls, databases, and cloud services. The blog goes on to highlight that,
“Ultimately, the Internet Computer allows entrepreneurs and developers to reimagine both how and what they build — a paradigm shift that will change everything.”
While Mainnet had met its release date target of Q4 2020, Dfinity had yet to go mainstream on this milestone. According to Williams, this release is more of an Alpha version given that the project is still on its path ‘Genesis’. Some of the required metrics for the Genesis version to be met include network stress testing as it grows, the release of documentation, and significant amounts of the source code.
Currently, the internet computer is decentralized and runs on nodes located in 7 independent data centers spanning Switzerland, Germany, and the U.S.A. However, the project has issued only a fraction of its 469 million governance tokens; these were allocated to the Dfinity team, early investors, and other stakeholders who will be obligated to vote once the Genesis is met.
The update, which also outlines a 20-year plan is fundamentally bullish on the prospects of an internet computer in the coming decades. It outlines that,
“The Open Internet will finally be significantly bigger than Big Tech’s closed proprietary ecosystem, which will now be in terminal decline, but will take forever to disappear for similar reasons COBOL code is still running.”
Dfinity believes that open versions of existing applications like TikTok, Uber, and Google Photos can be built on its advanced blockchain-based computing ecosystem. In fact, the firm has previously built a TikTok ‘replica’ which it dubbed CanCan to demonstrate the feasibility of its tech. Per the blog, Dfinity anticipates unlocking the Genesis version of its Mainnet within the next 2-3 months, after which the network will transition to beta.