Dfinity is a non-profit organization headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. The Dfinity network is a decentralized computer network of data centers that operate independently. The Dfinity network is an open and public network. Dfinity has given its network the name "internet computer”.
The Internet Computer
The Dfinity network is an infrastructure to host software and data. This is an alternative to the how the internet operates today. At this time, when you use an app, such as LinkedIn or TikTok, the software is located on a server hosted by LinkedIn or TikTok. The server sends data to your device, such as a laptop, smartphone, or game consoles, and requests data from it.
With the Dfinity internet computer, the decentralized network becomes the location for software applications and data. The Dfinity internet computer will use a new standard that is known as the internet computer protocol (ICP). This protocol let developers move software as well as data on the decentralized network. Thus, with ICP it is not necessary for software to have a fixed physical address and to be located on a dedicated server.
It is possible that most current software applications can run on an internet computer. The first type of software applications to use an internet computer will be:
- social media
- other peer-to-peer type interactions.
While Dfinity has plans to do a public release in late 2020, they have shown the following two applications that are in progress:
- CanCan which is equivalent to TikTok
- LinkedUp which is equivalent to LinkedIn.
Dfinity has released its software to third-party developers. They also have made available virtual machine for smart contract creation and execution. Dfinity has its own programming language known as Motoko, but the Motoko code is compiled down to WebAssembly instructions. Since, the WebAssembly standard is supported by all major browsers and most programming languages, developers can start to make apps for the internet computer.
Dfinity has made an internet computer protocol that lets a decentralized computer network to host websites, software systems, and internet services. Most current software applications can run on this internet computer. Dfinity has plans to do a public release in late 2020, and they have released all the tools that are necessary for developers to make applications.