Advocates of blockchain technology announce decentralization as a key facet of its revolutionary nature.
But most users are still accessing decentralized exchanges, or DEX, decentralized finance, or DeFi, and decentralized applications, or DApps, through web browsers served by centralized cloud services.
Cointelegraph spoke with Dfinity founder and chief scientist Dominic Williams about its Internet Computer platform, which allows direct interaction with the code contained in the block chain, and completely removes intermediaries from the equation.
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One computer (decentralized, autonomous) to govern them all
Williams became involved in blockchain full time in 2013. He got caught up in the buzz around Ethereum and interacted with its early developers.
„I saw the potential of an internet computer that could eventually host everything from search engines to email and everything else.
After all, if all the world’s Internet services were on a single blockchain computer, the benefits of the Web alone would be enormous. The idea went through several short iterations before an oversubscribed fundraiser in 2016 convinced Williams to return to his original vision.
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No easy task ahead
Such an effort would not be easy. Science is several steps away from what is required for a standard block chain. The first step was to build the necessary structure for the organization, which was substantially supported by Andreessen Horowitz.
„Without a doubt, we have the strongest Bitcoin Champion team in the world, without exception. We have a great capacity for research and development. You won’t get the best cryptographers for free at GitHub.
The next problem was scalability. The complexity of standard software is immense, and a large proportion of the $3.9 billion spent globally on IT annually goes to securing systems. The Internet Computer needed a secure protocol that was tamper-proof and unstoppable.
„Bitcoin rewards the burning of electricity, and participation test block chains reward staking on a server, but this doesn’t work for scaling the Internet Computer.
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In contrast, Internet Computer rewards data centers based on the number of computer nodes they run, providing a platform on which to scale. The result is a giant blockchain computer that runs on the public Internet, providing performance and capacity, but also enhanced security.
Hey, you, get out of my cloud
The code in the Internet Computer is stored in bins that essentially run forever, and can be served directly from the block string in a browser as a user experience. This means that users can be sure that they are interacting directly with the underlying block chain.
In contrast, smart contracts and DApps accessed through websites hosted on proprietary closed cloud services offer no such guarantee. The use of cloud services creates an external point of failure, either through hacking or other vectors.
There is also a risk that a cloud provider may block the service based on the whims of its administration or the authorities. Furthermore, a web services account can only be maintained by a legal entity, so it cannot be autonomous by definition.
„Some of the key requirements for blockchain must be uncensored, unstoppable and tamper-proof. This is the foundation of the Internet Computer.
Dfinity recently opened up Internet Computer to outside developers with its „Tungsten“ release. The final public release is scheduled for later this year.