A blockchain computer with unlimited capacity, incredible performance and algorithmic governance, shared by the world — Cloud 3.0
DFINITY is building a new kind of public decentralized cloud computing resource. This rests upon a new blockchain computer that is similar in concept to Ethereum but has vastly improved performance and, ultimately, unlimited capacity. Business applications running on this computer will be unstoppable and won't need to involve complex components such as databases, backup and restore systems or Amazon Web Services, allowing costs to be cut by 90% or more by reducing the supporting human capital required. Of course, such a powerful public resource requires governance.
The DFINITY project was formed to research ways of enabling public decentralized networks to host a virtual computer of potentially unlimited capacity. The starting requirement was that the systems developed should be useful in joining 1 million or more mining clients. We also sought vastly superior performance than is available today.
Our core approach is counterintuitive and ironically - for such a feat of organization - involves random numbers. A DFINITY network involves a top-level Threshold Relay chain that produces randomness and progresses with minimal "reorganizations" while addressing many of the technical vulnerabilities that have bedevilled the industry such as "selfish mining" or "nothing at stake". The random heartbeat produced by the chain drives other crypto:3 systems the network depends upon, while recording a single root hash that anchors all the data stored in the virtual computer, no matter how large it gets
Threshold Relay generates randomness by applying the BLS cryptography scheme from Stanford University in a new way.
DFINITY is a public network of client computers providing a "decentralized world compute cloud" where software can be installed and run with all the usual benefits expected of "smart contract" systems hosted on a traditional blockchain. The underlying technology is also designed to support highly resilient tamperproof private clouds that provide the added benefit that hosted software can call into smart contracts on the public cloud.
DFINITY is an Ethereum-family technology and is fully compatible with the public Ethereum network - if you can run a Dapp on Ethereum, you can run it on DFINITY too. There exist several fundamental differences between the networks however, and they are really sister systems offering different things. DFINITY introduces new crypto:3 protocols and techniques that aim to deliver extreme performance, unlimited scalability, interoperability and other benefits. Another difference is that whereas in Ethereum "The Code is Law", DFINITY introduces governance by a decentralized intelligence called the Blockchain Nervous System. These differences involve tradeoffs, and DFINITY is best understood as an exciting new extension of the Ethereum ecosystem that will make it much, much stronger.