The Dfinity blockchain project has big aspirations for the $61 million it raised from Polychain Capital and Andreessen Horowitz today. The company wants to create a new, decentralized cloud — a “cloud 3.0” — that will cut the costs of running cloud-based business applications by 90 percent and upend the current cloud services model led by Amazon and Google.
The backing of respected VC firms, a sharp team, and the promise of a new type of blockchain able to move fast all indicate this is a project worth watching. But it can be hard to nail down exactly what Dfinity’s mission is. In an interview with VentureBeat, team leader Dominic Williams talked about everything from enabling a new internet populated with open, decentralized versions of popular services like eBay, Dropbox, and Uber to enabling consumers to heat their houses with the specialized, server-grade hardware they’ll be able to use to mine Dfinity coins.
The project’s true selling point, though, seems to be that it would give enterprises access to what Williams calls an “internet computer” — a single, infinitely scalable, internet-based computer. A business that today hosts applications and processes on, say, Amazon Web Services has to rent multiple computer instances, each of which need to be configured and maintained, Williams explained, whereas, once the Dfinity network is available, businesses will be able to run all of their systems in one place:
The Dfinity network … produces a single ‘Internet Computer’ with unbounded capacity. You do not need to manage … individual computer instances yourself, nor need…