The milestone puts the Internet Computer block count far ahead of competing networks, including Ethereum, Solana, and Bitcoin
14th July – The DFINITY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization based in Zürich, which is the leading developer of the technology that makes the Internet Computer blockchain network possible. This blockchain has now exceeded 1 billion blocks after little more than 1 year in production, reflecting how it is able to scale-out its capacity and host any volume of smart contract software and related computations and data. The blockchain is intended to provide a foundation for mass market web3 services that run 100% on-chain, and are therefore fully decentralized, and to eventually replace traditional IT, such as cloud computing services.
Dominic Williams, Founder and Chief Scientist of the DFINITY Foundation said, “The Internet Computer is a unique blockchain powered by game-changing “chain key crypto”. It runs at web speed, with web efficiency, can scale its capacity without limit, and uniquely, the smart contracts it hosts can serve interactive web experiences directly to users. The Internet Computer aims to host the world’s mass market web3 services 100% on-chain, and then one day to completely replace traditional IT, such Big Tech’s centralized cloud computing services. Naturally, a blockchain like this must process enormous numbers of blocks. I’m incredibly proud to have played a part in producing a blockchain that has now processed 1 billion blocks in just over a year since genesis. This milestone bears testimony not only to the potential of the Internet Computer, but to the efforts of those involved in the years of groundbreaking R&D that made this possible”.
The Internet Computer processes vastly more blocks than other blockchains. By comparison, to reach one billion blocks, Bitcoin will take 18,000 years (it is currently at ~750,000 blocks), Ethereum will take 5,000 years (it is currently at ~15 million blocks) and Solana will take over 18 years (it is currently at ~120 million blocks). The Internet Computer network initially stores a copy of every block of transactions it processes, but after a while it can delete old blocks because they are not required to verify the veracity of the blockchain, thanks to an advanced new cryptography framework – known as “chain key crypto”.
Jan Camenisch, Chief Technology Officer at the DFINITY Foundation said, “The purpose of the Internet Computer blockchain is to host most of humanity’s online systems and services, and it should be no surprise that a blockchain network designed to scale to this extreme also processes a vast number of blocks. What’s so exciting about the Internet Computer is that it’s not a cloud service. It enables you to build almost anything, entirely on-chain, using advanced smart contract software, which is tamperproof and unstoppable, can process value in the form of tokens, and can be made autonomous. I’m so proud of everyone in R&D who have helped make this dream a reality. This technology is truly revolutionary.”
The Internet Computer was dreamt up by entrepreneur and crypto theoretician, Dominic Williams, who proposed an infinitely scalable blockchain and related applied cryptography in 2015. He then founded the Dfinity Foundation in 2016, and began a long process of organization building and R&D, which has taken the project to where it is today.
According to Electric Capital, in 2021, ICP became one of the fastest growing developer ecosystems in Web3. A recent hackathon, titled ‘Supernova’, attracted a record-breaking 3,700 developers, who made more than 400 submissions, which was sponsored by notable VCs and crypto organizations. The ICP is also the no.1 blockchain with regard to GitHub commits.
The Internet Computer blockchain currently runs on a network of hundreds of special “node machines” that are run by independent “node providers” from independent data centers around the world. Dfinity explains node machines as being roughly equivalent to the network routing devices that host the internet itself. The blockchain runs under the control of an advanced DAO that is integrated into its network protocols, called the Network Nervous System (NNS). The NNS regularly adopts proposals that update the network, which are automatically executed by the node machines.
Users of services and decentralized applications built on the Internet Computer, authenticate using “Internet Identity”, which allows them to cryptographically easily create a session using multiple authentication systems, including fingerprint sensors and Face ID. It supports a “reverse gas” model, which allows users to interact with web3 services without holding tokens, as required on all other blockchains. Services and applications can be built on the blockchain without need for traditional IT, such as Big Tech’s cloud services, allowing them to be completely decentralized.