Cloud computing is a highly centralized sector, controlled by a handful of big-name services such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.
And when their servers go down, the internet goes darker than any sky.
Fluence Labs is one of the Web3 projects looking to change the landscape of computing by helping blockchain applications ditch their reliance on centralized cloud computing and go fully peer-to-peer. To get its network into the hands of Web3 projects, Fluence Labs has raised $9 million in a Series A led by Multicoin Capital. Alameda Ventures, Arweave, Protocol Labs and others pitched in funds, as did the founders of decentralized protocols Liverpeer and Ren.
Unlike AWS or other centralized alternatives, Fluence touts itself as totally decentralized, using peer-to-peer infrastructure. That should leave it unaffected by server outages and resistant to any government orders to take down websites or applications.
To Fluence Labs' co-founder Tom Trowbridge, peer-to-peer computing is a logical next step for Web3: “Just like the cloud became the obvious alternative to individual data centers, peer-to-peer computing is the natural evolution of the cloud given its inherent resilience, censorship resistance, and scalability," he said in a statement.
According to Fluence, the decentralized network is flexible yet speedy. To get started on it, developers use the network's native programming language, Aqua.
Multicoin Capital Managing Partner Kyle Samani sees it as a "crypto-native" tool for Web3 developers who have mostly remained begrudgingly reliant on legacy services. "Fluence creates an entirely new way to compose applications and protocols powered by robust, flexible, and infinitely scalable p2p infrastructure," he said in a press release.
Fluence insists it's not just providing a way for applications to become more decentralized—it's doing so itself. Fluence Labs says that it will transition toward a DAO model "in the coming months" with token-holding members of the decentralized autonomous organization making protocol decisions and treasury allocations. Fluence Labs says it will stick around "as the core development and ecosystem partner."