$ 223 million for internet computer makers – but the community is cautious

Zurich-based Dfinity Foundation has announced a fund worth CHF 200 million, or around $ 223 million, to support development on the Internet computer – a blockchain-based decentralized network with ambitious plans to one day take over much of the Internet ‘replace’.

The non-profit scientific research organization announced the “Developer Ecosystem Program” on May 26th and is now accepting applicants for development grants.

Separately from the $ 14.5 million Beacon Fund announced in September 2020, these grants are a dedicated venture fund that helps developers create open internet services on the platform.

In a blog post announcing the new grants, Dfinity founder and chief scientist Dominic Williams stated:

“Our goal is to support the redesign of all systems and services in new forms using smart contracts on an infinite public blockchain, and nothing else.”

Founded in 2014 by entrepreneur Dominic Williams, Dfinity has received investments from Andreessen Horowitz and PolyChain Capital, who supported the project in 2018 in a $ 105 million financing round.

The goal of the Internet computer is to replace much of the Internet with a self-managed blockchain-based decentralized platform that enables smart contracts at web speed directly to users with unlimited scalability, while offering greater efficiency and ease of use than systems based on traditional infrastructure .

The internet computer relies on a decentralized Cloud 3.0-like Web 3.0 protocol called the Internet Computer Protocol (ICP), which is a combination of data centers and high-end node machines or validators used around the world to run a network of computers to create host this new version of the public internet.

The ICP was intended “as a complete replacement” for the existing Internet infrastructure, Williams told Forbes in 2019.

Dfinity proposes decentralization by introducing a consensus model called Threshold Relay, accompanied by its Network Nervous System or NNS – algorithmic software that regulates the Internet computer, economy and structure.

The Internet Computer (ICP) token enables participation in governance by staking ICP in the NNS and enclosing it in “voting neurons”. The longer an owner stakes out ICP, the more voting rights they receive.

Dfinity’s grandiose vision for the ICP has been greeted with a mixed response by many in the crypto community, raising questions about how decentralized the project’s governance actually is.

In an illustrative thread on the r / dfinity subreddit on May 25, user u / Additional_Plant commented, “I don’t doubt this is a powerful, groundbreaking project. That doesn’t mean it’s good for us normal people People is. “

“There are too many red flags. In all respects, Dfinity has complete control over the NNS. Is it Really a Crypto? Not really. Is it actually decentralized? Far from it.”

Coinbureau posted a popular review and breakdown of the ICP on Youtube on May 23, highlighting various issues related to privacy and decentralization.

The breakdown raised issues such as Dfinity’s apparent “complete control” of the network, the NNS’s undisclosed power over governance, and the potential impact of users giving their private data to the project as they help create a only data required are “Internet Identity” for operation in the network.