This major milestone means that the Internet can now act as a decentralized global computer – marked by the release of the source code for all Internet computers into the public domain.
The Internet Computer is the world’s first blockchain to operate at unlimited capacity and network speed, solving the scientific challenge of the “blockchain impossibility triangle” – that is, creating a decentralized, secure and scalable blockchain.
The launch of the Internet Computer also brings a scientific breakthrough called “Internet Identity” – allowing the Internet to securely manage user identities locally without usernames, passwords or encryption keys.
Dfinity officially launches the Internet Computer
Zurich, Switzerland, May 7, 2021 – Today, the DFINITY Foundation, a Zurich, Switzerland-based nonprofit organization, launched the Internet Computer, transforming the public Internet into a decentralized global computer.
The Internet Computer extends the capabilities of the Internet, upgrading it from a network connecting billions of people to a more powerful network, and it also provides a revolutionary public computing platform for millions of developers and entrepreneurs worldwide, for crypto industry startups and businesses ready to embrace blockchain.
At the heart of the Internet computer is the world’s first blockchain with unlimited capacity and operating at network speed – solving the “blockchain impossibility triangle” puzzle by creating a decentralized, secure and scalable blockchain network. It does this through a set of cryptographic protocols called “Chain Key technology,” a scientific achievement that allows the Internet Computer’s Network Nervous System (NNS, an algorithmic governance system that controls the entire network) to absorb thousands of independent data centers and millions of special node machines into the network. The Internet Computer is an open platform that frees the world from dependence on centralized server clusters and makes it possible to host software and data directly in cyberspace without relying on traditional IT facilities such as proprietary cloud services, servers, software stacks, databases and firewalls.
Figure: The “Internet Computer” was created by the ICP protocol and is now part of the public Internet
For the crypto industry, the Internet Computer was designed to complete three major innovations in the public blockchain – starting with Bitcoin, evolving to Ether, and ending with the Internet Computer. The creation of the Internet Computer has now made possible a new type of software: open mass-market Internet services run by tokenized governance systems (aka autonomous software), such as open versions of TikTok, WhatsApp and LinkedIn, decentralized applications that use less than a thousand lines of code and can support millions of users.
Photo: CanCan – an open and tokenized version of TikTok that runs on an Internet computer and can be accessed from any browser or mobile device.
The release of the Internet Computer also brought about a scientific breakthrough called “Internet Identity”. This is a revolutionary operational mechanism: it allows the Internet Computer to manage user identities locally and securely, without the need for user names, passwords or encryption keys. End-users will use the “Internet Identity” to register or log in to applications such as CanCan or OpenChat, while ensuring end-to-end cryptographic security through Chain Key technology.
Dominic Williams, Chief Scientist and Founder of DFINITY, said, “I want you to imagine a world where you can securely access online services using only your device, where you can securely authenticate yourself in online services without having to provide a username and password or access encrypted key material; where you can use different Internet services can be free from tracking; here, everything is much more convenient than any authentication service you use today.”
Figure: Screenshot of “Internet Identity” – an online identity solution for accessing Internet Computer applications.
The Internet Computer is the culmination of five years of intensive research and development by many of the world’s top cryptographers, distributed systems and programming language experts. The result is a decentralized, global computer platform that is independent as part of the public Internet – marked by the release of all relevant open source code into the public domain.
“Looking ahead, the DFINITY Foundation, the newly formed Internet Computer Association and many other organizations will work tirelessly to optimize Internet computer technology and support all those involved in the ecology. The DFINITY Foundation also plans to continue to expand its research and development operations.” Dominic Williams, founder and chief scientist of DFINITY, said. “Over the course of the next 20 years, the open Internet will end up being much larger than the closed proprietary ecologies of some of the tech giants, which are now in terminal decline, but just as ancient codes like COBOL are still running, these closed ecologies are not going away. Many of the critical information infrastructures, systems and services of our global society will now operate on an open, unstoppable and tamper-proof Internet computer blockchain network. This will bring about a profound shift in the way things work and support an incredible and richer Internet ecosystem that contains more innovation, collaboration and dynamism that can drive positive economic growth globally.”
At launch, Internet computers are supported by 48 separate data centers – spread across North America, Europe and Asia – running 1,300 nodes. The network will continue to grow exponentially to support the next generation of large applications, with 123 data centers expected to run 4,300 nodes by the end of this year, and eventually thousands of data centers running millions of nodes to support the next decade of Open Internet construction.
Finally, ICP application tokens are native governance tokens that play three key roles in the network: (1) facilitating network governance; (2) paying for hosted software; and (3) rewarding participation in governance or providing computing to the hosted network. On May 10, in the final decentralization step, the “Genesis Block Unlock” proposal will trigger the release of ICP governance tokens from the Network Nervous System (NNS). This will allow thousands of Internet computer token holders to create “voting neurons” that will control the NNS and, by extension, the entire network.
The DFINITY Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Zurich, Switzerland, that manages research centers in Palo Alto, San Francisco, Tokyo and Zurich. Its mission is to make the world a better place by building, promoting and maintaining Internet computers. The Internet Computer extends the capabilities of the Internet from connecting billions of people to a public computing platform for millions of developers and entrepreneurs, thereby creating a revolutionary new way to build websites, enterprise systems and Internet services in an open environment. The public software development platform was created by independent data centers around the world that use an advanced decentralized protocol called ICP to aggregate computing power. This revolutionary shift in computing is thus designed to thwart the tech giants and return the Internet to its free and open roots and origins. DFINITY was founded by Dominic Williams in 2016.
About the Internet Computer
The Internet Computer extends the capabilities of the Internet from connecting billions of people (via TCP/IP protocol) to a public computing platform for millions of developers and entrepreneurs (via ICP protocol) and creates a revolutionary new way to build websites, enterprise systems, pan-industry platforms, DeFi applications, and open Internet services. Now, businesses and government agencies have a real choice: deploy software and services securely directly on the public Internet or continue to use proprietary and insecure servers controlled by tech giants.
All rights reserved. DFINITY is a trademark and/or registered trademark of DFINITY Foundation in the United States and/or other countries. DFINITY is a trademark and/or registered trademark of DFINITY Foundation in the United States and/or other countries.
++ NOTES TO EDITORS ++
The Internet Computer is published alongside a number of well-known entrepreneurs and applications built on this network. Including.
Enso Finance – decentralized exchange that has received $5 million in funding
Tacen – High-performance non-custodial exchange that has received $2.5 million in funding
SailFish – portal for open financial services
Distrikt – a decentralized professional social media network. This is the open version of Collage presented by DFINITY at the World Economic Forum 2020 in Davos and is now available to the market.
OpenChat – an open version of the standard chat application, not controlled by any tech giants
CanCan – an open version of TikTok that demonstrates the power of scalability and functionality of Internet computers
Capsule — a decentralized social media platform free from censorship, etc., has raised $1.5 million
Fleek – allows one to easily build open websites and applications. There are already 14,000 websites running on this platform.
Origyn – A pan-industry platform for tracing luxury goods to their source, starting with luxury watch traceability
Governance tokens (ICP).
All 469,213,710 governance tokens now sit on top of the network and are overseen by the Network Nervous System (NNS). The NNS is the autonomous software that manages the Internet’s computers and is responsible for managing everything from economic models to system upgrades to taking independent data centers on board.
In 2018, the DFINITY Foundation raised a total of $102 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital.
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