Introducing the Internet Computer

Geoffrey Miller
Geoffrey Miller
Introducing the Internet Computer
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Attention all netizens: get ready for the next exciting chapter in the Digital Revolution!

The DFINITY Foundation's Internet Computer is reimagining the way we work, relax, and socialize online. Empowered by blockchain technologies, this decentralized network aims to free us from Big Tech's constrictive proprietary hold on global information infrastructure. The Internet Computer is an inclusive, innovative, and genuinely democratic exchange of data, services, and ideas whose governance is of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Keep reading to see what the Internet Computer means for you and your future!

What is the Internet Computer?

Simply put, the Internet Computer is the long-awaited backbone for Web3.0, the decentralized Internet of the future. Dominic Williams, the charismatic leader and spokesperson of the DFINITY Foundation, calls it "a paradigm shift that will change everything."

More specifically, the Internet Computer is a public blockchain that empowers online developers to eschew commercial cloud services, database servers, web servers, DNS services, firewalls, and all dependence on Big Tech's proprietary application programming services. Instead, developers are liberated to build and deploy secure, autonomous, and tamper-proof compute units called canisters, which can accomplish nearly anything imaginable. This includes, but is not limited to: tokenized Internet services, pan-industry platforms, DeFi and smart contracts, enterprise systems, and traditional websites.

The technical details of canisters get pretty complicated, but the key takeaway is that canisters are an evolution of smart contracts that run software in a distributed, replicated way that also captures the complete history of that software's program states. Users interact with these canisters via an Internet Identity, an anonymous blockchain authentication framework that associates online activity with physical tech gear, such as a smartphone or laptop.

Want to learn more? Dominic Williams's concise video primer on the Internet Computer is an excellent place to start!

Why does the Internet Computer matter?

Bitcoin brought us digital gold, then Ethereum launched the decentralized finance revolution and popularized the notion of running software on blockchains. Now, the Internet Computer heralds the third great innovation in blockchain technology by extending, decentralizing, and enhancing the World Wide Web. For the first time ever, all public internet users can enjoy the privacy and peace of mind that comes with end-to-end blockchain security.

Indeed, the Internet Computer marks an advancement in the development of decentralized computing that's so significant some people refer to it as a blockchain singularity. What they mean is that prior ways of evaluating, building, and thinking about how to use blockchain technology are now incomplete and increasingly obsolete, thanks to the Internet Computer's astonishing architecture and capabilities.

The Internet Computer matters because:

  1. The Internet Computer is democratically governed by its network nervous system, in which participants who have skin in the game via staked ICP shape the future of the Internet Computer.
  2. The Internet Computer secures your digital identity and activity against advertisers, hackers, and other malicious agents; also, no more proliferation of passwords across dozens of Web services!
  3. The Internet Computer reimagines smart contracts and software in a decentralized, integrated ecosystem that synchronizes services to best meet your needs.
  4. The Internet Computer's governance token, ICP, presents an exciting new theoretical model of value that will complement Bitcoin by associating cryptocurrency with fiat currency's tokenization of utility, without the weaknesses of centralized administration.
  5. The Internet Computer is environmentally friendly, so transacting ICP or NFTs or doing other everyday tasks consumes only about as much electricity as sending an email. This makes the Internet Computer sustainable, with a minimal carbon footprint in contrast to other blockchains and cryptocurrencies.

How does the Internet Computer compare to its Web3.0 competitors?

In addition to its groundbreaking use cases, security, governance, and ecological considerations, the Internet Computer vastly outperforms other major blockchains on nearly every metric. For example, the cost of storing 1 GB of data on-chain for Ethereum and Solana, respectively, are $240 million USD and $840,000 USD. Storing 1 GB of data on the Internet Computer costs only $5 USD!

Plus, transaction fees on the Internet Computer are about 0.0001 ICP, which translates to a fraction of a cent in USD. This is substantially cheaper than any other blockchain except Solana. However, unlike Solana, the Internet Computer can change transaction fees over time to accommodate rising or falling ICP price.

Furthermore, no other blockchain comes close to rivaling the Internet Computer's speed at processing transactions. With no limits on the number of transactions per second (TPS), the Internet Computer takes only about 2 seconds to attain finality. Thus, at Web Speed, the Internet Computer guarantees that cryptocurrency transactions cannot be altered, reversed, or canceled after they are completed.

Lastly, to encourage participation in governance via the network nervous system, the Internet Computer offers incredible staking rewards!

For a full comparison of the Internet Computer to other major blockchains, check out Berto Parga Pena's article, Internet Computer VS Other Top Blockchains: Competing To Build The Future. When comparing the Internet Computer to its competitors, the strengths of its cutting edge technology are astounding!

How do I join the Internet Computer revolution?

Joining the exciting new era of Web3.0 is as easy as creating an Internet Identity. Follow our easy guides on setting things up and getting started with investing and participating in the network nervous system. You'll be surfing an entirely new Internet in no time!‌             ‌‌                                                    

  • Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original author and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the Dfinity Community staff and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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