The Internet Computer

Originally posted on SogetiLabs:

Recently I stumbled upon something called The Internet Computer Association.

The Internet Computer Association (ICA) is a Geneva-based independent members organization that advocates for the Internet Computer network while supporting and coordinating ecosystem participants.

The Internet Computer

To sum it up, basically the idea is to decentralize everything and create a unlimited computer, A.K.A. The Internet Computer. According to the ICA, any software can run decentralized, removing the needs for big cloud vendors. Obviously you still need servers to host your Internet Computer nodes on, so yes there is still need for datacenters IMHO.

Some big tech companies are stated as fellows but the showcases on the main contributor site look like nice players: The main contributor is DFINITY, and as with everything blockchain, I’m always highly skeptical of the actual goals that people want to achieve.

A closer look

Ok, so what does it mean? How does it work? ‘The Internet Computer is a public blockchain that hosts smart contracts’. Well smart contracts on the blockchain aren’t new, they’ve been around since 2015 and can be seen as small programs that run when some conditions are met. Sounds a lot like a dApp, a decentralized application.

A decentralized application is an application that can operate autonomously, typically through the use of smart contracts, that runs on a decentralized computing, blockchain system.

Investigating this also led me to similar technologies, like Solana and Polkadot. The difference here is that The Internet Computer is running everything on the blockchain, not just the contracts. This means you do not need a separate hosting for the cloud workloads, but actually run everything on The Internet Computer.

Blockchain Singularity

Will The Internet Computer actually take over the web 3.0? Will it change everything we do in the public cloud and render AWS, GCP and Microsoft Azure useless? Well I’ve heard the same talk about bitcoin and the likes, but I truly find it intriguing from a technical perspective. I see use cases arise from this and if the ICA is “truly independent” it could be something to watch in the upcoming years.