In brief

  • The Dfinity Foundation has launched a $200 million fund to promote development on the Internet Computer.
  • Dominic Williams, the non-profit's founder and chief scientist made the announcement at the Consensus event today.

The Dfinity Foundation has announced a $200 million fund to attract developers to build on The Internet Computer, a decentralized blockchain network that aims to expand the functionality of the Internet.

“Our aim is to support the reimagination of all systems and services in new forms using smart contracts on an infinite public blockchain,” said Dfinity founder and chief scientist Dominic Williams, in an announcement released today during Coindesk’s Consensus event. “What the world now builds to take advantage of blockchain’s new capabilities shall be an important and fascinating next chapter,” he added.

The Internet Computer was launched, amid much fanfare, on May 11, after five years of development, and a $102 million raise from investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital.

Dfinity’s ambitious plans are to transform the internet into a giant, global computer with the use of smart contracts, and take on the $370 billion cloud computing market—in an attempt to free the world of its dependence on centralized server farms.

“What I am excited to fund is a service or product that is native to the new system rather than what feels like a porting of an application from Web 2 to Web 3,” said Olaf Carlson-Wee, Founder and CEO of Polychain Capital.

But having deep pockets isn’t enough to build the new generation of mega apps that will populate the Internet Computer—including decentralized versions of Linkedin, TikTok, WhatsApp, and more.

However, its protocol is not yet battle-hardened. And despite the many attractions of the platform, the Internet Computer has caused one Adweek review to claim that despite having published the Internet Computer’s code, Dfinity has held back “a fair amount.” The reviewer also pointed to Dfinity’s “super-big VC” funding, its opaque valuation and asked how the project was different from AWS, Google, or the cloud service providers it seeks to replace.

Dfinity can't be sure developers will jump on board. But it can be certain that they'll have plenty of resources.