DFINITY 2019 — Community Review

Michael Hunte
Jan 20 · 8 min read

The DFINITY team has made great strides last year in building the Internet Computer. Read on as we recount milestones and progress from 2019 and look ahead into 2020, which we expect to be an exciting year for the DFINITY ecosystem.

With 2019 having come to a close and looking back, the DFINITY community has much to be proud about as we march towards realizing the Internet Computer vision. So let’s recount all of the progress made and milestones hit this year as well as take a look at what’s to come in 2020. Since our founding four years ago, we have greatly appreciated your support and, most importantly, your faith in our mission to build the Internet Computer — capable of spawning open internet services to mirror and rival today’s tech giants, and replacing today’s $3.8 trillion dollar legacy IT stack.

Web Summit 2019 | Center Stage

We’ve continued to share our vision with the world.

The DFINITY team has been hard at work sharing the Internet Computer vision and a reimagined tech stack capable of reinventing the internet. The events of 2019 have brought us closer to delivering on that vision and we’ve been fortunate to be able to share that vision on some grand stages this year.

DFINITY | The DFINITY Developer Network

In May of 2019, following an appearance at Consensus we gave audience members a first look at the native programming language optimized for the Internet Computer as well as the first application built on the platform. The Produce Exchange demoed at the event was an important milestone in testing the development environment that would be released later in 2019.

How DFINITY Is Reinventing the Internet | Bloomberg

In August of 2019, Dominic Williams, Founder & Chief Scientist at DFINITY appeared on Bloomberg Technology to share our vision for an open and free internet, and commentary on the existential risk startups face today due to platform risk associated with Big Tech players today.

Web Summit FullSTK | The Internet Computer: Reinventing the Internet Using Software with Superpowers

If you’d like to learn more about the Internet Computer stack, this Web Summit presentation on the FullStk Stage from November 2019, details how DFINITY intends to provide developers with a new suite of tools so they can build software with super powers.

The unique Internet Computer framework drastically simplifies how software is designed, built and deployed; and the Internet Computer hints at ground-breaking features that only the Internet Computer provides such as: (1) orthogonal persistence that does not rely on an external database or storage volumes, (2) tamper-proof message handling and validation, and (3) the ability to release software that can be maintained by a community or cannot be modified (aka, autonomous software).

You can get started today by visiting the DFINITY Developer Portal.

Speaking of which…

DFINITY | 2019 Canister SDK Version Status

Copper Release: DFINITY Canister SDK and Motoko.

Introducing the DFINITY SDK & Motoko | San Francisco Blockchain Week 2019

On November 1st of this year, the DFINITY team introduced the Motoko programming language and released the first public version of the DFINITY Canister SDK — V0.4.0. Since that time, we have been working diligently to collect feedback from our partners and community members in order to continuously improve the developer experience with both Motoko and the SDK. The results of this effort include the release of eleven new public versions of the SDK, bringing us to today’s V0.4.11, real-time updates to our documentation, and more sample applications and tutorials written in Motoko.

As Dominic Williams, during his SF Blockchain Week presentation, stated…

“DFINITY is now moving into a phase where enterprises and developers will see a series of releases… and allow them to capitalize on the infinite possibilities of building on the Internet Computer.”

More on Motoko…

Motoko is a powerful new programming language optimized for creating tamper-proof software and open internet services on the Internet Computer. Designed for the Internet Computer and WebAssembly (Wasm), Motoko was created by a DFINITY team led by Andreas Rossberg, who co-created WebAssembly during his previous tenure at Google. Motoko is a modern language designed to be approachable for developers who have a basic familiarity with JavaScript, Rust, Swift, TypeScript, C# or Java. Most importantly, Motoko drastically lowers the barriers to entry for developers looking to build decentralized applications (dapps) on the Internet Computer, as they no longer need to have blockchain-specific knowledge as a prerequisite.

DFINITY | Employment Statistics 2019

We’ve welcomed new faces to our growing team.

DFINITY | 2019 Team Growth

As we aim to reverse Big Tech’s monopolization of the internet, and shift power back to entrepreneurs and developers who will rebuild the internet, a growing number of talented engineers and operations experts are leaving Big Tech to work at DFINITY on the next frontier of computing. In 2019, we welcomed new team members from Facebook, Google, Amazon, IBM, Oracle, and other outstanding organizations. Overall, the team has scaled out by 130% over 2019.

DFINITY | 2019 New Hire Breakdown

Of the new hires in 2019, 62% have joined our Research and Development team and 38% have joined our Operations team.

DFINITY | 2019 Leadership Breakdown

Of the new hires in 2019, 21% were placed into leadership roles at DFINITY. 50% of these leadership positions are held by women.

In 2020, we hope to welcome more new faces to the DFINITY team. We welcome you to view open positions and work with an extraordinary team to assist in our mission of building The Internet Computer.

We’ve continued to support bright students doing great things.

The first iteration of the DFINITY Scholarship Program was launched in 2018 and we were happy to offer this opportunity to students again in 2019.

For the 2019 DFINITY Scholarship Program, we expanded the pool of applicants to include both graduate and undergraduate students. We’ve awarded three $10,000 scholarships to graduate level students researching secure distributed systems, and two $2,500 awards to undergraduate students studying Computer Science or associated fields.

If you’d like to learn more about the scholarship winners, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn where we’ll be sharing share spotlights on their individual journeys.

We’re racing to help save the Internet.

WIRED25: Stories of People Who Are Racing to Save Us

In an October 2019 article titled WIRED25: Stories of People Who Are Racing to Save Us, where they sought to highlight the people and projects that are working to solve some the great challenges of humanity. In his depiction of Dominic Williams and the Internet Computer, WIRED journalist, Gregory Barber writes…

The idea is that little guys should be less dependent on Big Tech for computing infrastructure. But Williams goes further. He thinks the Internet Computer could spawn consumer tech companies that will build open services to mirror (and rival) tech giants. It’s a fix, he says, for “platform risk”: when a big company lures in startups to build products that rely on the giant’s troves of user data, only to cut off access to that data later.

Breaking Big Tech’s monopoly on cloud computing remains key to our mission at DFINITY. In providing a public option, that is an extension of the internet, with the tools of cloud computing baked into the protocol, we aim to do just that.

The evolution of Web 3.0 and taking on Big Tech.

In a blog post titled Disentangling DFINITY and Ethereum, penned in May 2019, Dominic Williams shared commentary on the evolution of DFINITY and the Internet Computer. For those interested in learning more on exactly how DFINITY differs from Ethereum, this post is a highly recommended read.

Just one area of note would be the manner in which the network is comprised. Dominic states…

For example, in contrast to traditional cryptocurrency mining, the Internet Computer will be produced by independent data centers combining computing power via the open DFINITY protocol, in a similar way that independent ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and other organizations connect via TCP/IP and other open protocols to create the Internet’s connectivity.

DFINITY | Fortune Brainstorm Tech: Building the Internet Computer

Although it is important to note the areas in which DFINITY and Ethereum differ, there are areas in which the ecosystems remain synergistic. At Fortune Brainstorm Tech, in August 2019, Dominic Williams of DFINITY and Joseph Lubin, Founder and CEO of ConsenSys and Co-Founder of Ethereum, discuss the evolution of Web 3.0 and taking on Big Tech.

We’ve opened a new home for our developer community.

As we released the DFINITY Canister SDK and Motoko language, we debuted our newest community channel. The DFINITY Developer Forum is now home to a group of Internet Computer enthusiasts learning, collaborating and helping others get started in building. We invite you to head over to the forum to connect with other community members building with the Internet Computer.

We have so much more to share with you all in 2020.

  • Subsequent SDK & Motoko releases
  • A refreshed Github with new open repos
  • Sample applications
  • Many more surprises

2019 has been a year worth celebrating for the DFINITY team, community and all of the Internet Computer supporters around the world. We’ve collectively hit major milestones and will continue to do such. Expect that in 2020 we will build upon this momentum.

Over the past two months, the DFINITY team has progressed from giving developers a Software Development Kit and new programming language to running web applications on the Internet Computer. DFINITY will continue on its schedule until the Internet Computer is fully released in 2020. For those interested in building with the Internet Computer or collaborating, be sure to keep track of the DFINITY Github as we prepare for a series of new releases. You can now find older repositories within the new organization DFINITY Side Projects.

To stay up to date on all things DFINITY, follow us on Twitter, join the newsletter, or look for DFINITY mentions in your favorite technology focused media outlets.

Finally, do stay tuned for information regarding our next major milestone, to be debuted at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2020.

As always, onward and upward!


The Official Blog

Michael Hunte

Written by

Advocating for all things community at DFINITY.



The Official Blog

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