DFINITY Raises $102 Million to Build a “World Computer”

World computer blockchain
Image credit: flckr, Michael Coghlan

Solving for scalability

Looking over the developments of recent years, scalability has proven a thorn in the side of blockchain networks. Developers are always vying for ways to make blockchain solutions available to billions of users. While Bitcoin is the largest currency in the market, it often struggles with scalability, and its rivals like Ethereum are not entirely free from this, either. As the popular wisdom goes, if the developers can crack this problem, no other technology can contest with blockchain.

That’s why much of the hyper surrounding DFINITY can be understood in terms of its approach to scalability, its ambition to break barriers, and an impressive band of talented developers. As per the updates, the primary aim of the Switzerland based startup is to build the “Internet Computer”, a blockchain-based, decentralized and non-proprietary network for powering all sorts of mega-applications. Also dubbed as “Cloud 3.0”, the first version of DFINITY’s public network will go online towards the close of 2018.

Round and round

In the funding round held by Polychain Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, the startup raised $102 million for its ICO. As evident from the earlier developments on the blockchain, both of these influencers invested in the project in the $61 million round announced in the first quarter of 2018. Boasting a profit of at least $1.3 billion, the event was a blockbuster in its own right. Delving into the figures, DFINITY has raised a striking $195 million since its inception in 2015. Among the big names investing in the latest round of private token sale are Aspect Ventures, Village Global, Multicoin Capital, Scalar Capital, and Amino Capital, KR1, and DFINITY community members.

In the airdrop conducted in May 2018, over 35 million Swiss Francs worth of tokens were distributed to DFINITY community members with the objective of registering them as early entrants. Invigorating fresh interest in the users, the startup has scrapped the public sale in favor of a private sale. The fact that the project has managed to attract a significant number of investors is a factor to watch out for, but what’s more appreciated is its ambitious attempt to build a powerful network that can cater to a series of mega-applications.

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DFINITY plans to launch the next gen of cloud computing. Image credit: pixabay; CC0

Autonomous software

Founder and chief scientist Dominic Williams defines the Internet Computer as “a public infrastructure that aims to host the world’s next generation of software and services.” Because the network is open source and non-proprietary, the company ensures security and low maintenance costs.

Chris Dixon of a16z crypto observes, “We are excited to back DFINITY’s Internet Computer and their vision to host the world’s next generation of software and services on a public network. The Internet Computer is on track to become a critical piece of the future technology stack. This is groundbreaking and a real testament to Dominic and the incredible team at DFINITY.”

The core of DFINITY’s strategy towards resolving the scalability issue involves bridging the gap between full decentralization and delegating node and / super node mechanisms, aka centralization. On the onset of the success of network trials, DFINITY has confirmed that it can now execute software computations within a matter of just 5 seconds, a record-breaking milestone. By contrast, Bitcoin and Ethereum achieve this in 3,600 seconds and 600 seconds respectively.

Today, almost all internet networks and significant market players are proprietary entities with their own set of commercial and strategic agendas. Departing from convention in many ways, DFINITY aims to broaden its scope by becoming “autonomous software.”  The selling point of the company is its new form of consensus algorithm, which discards the Proof-of-Work method adopted by Bitcoin, EOS, and Tezoz in favor of a more inclusive method, where miners are chosen in a provably random way, preventing a small group of elected miners from controlling the operations.

With its improvements to scalability and its ambitious plans to create the next generation of trustless blockchain, DFINITY is a company that demands our attention.


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