The Internet Computer Welcomes Third-Party Developers to Tungsten

The Internet Computer Review
6 min readJul 8, 2020


DFINITY launches Tungsten with an event that explores the game-changing promise of decentralized computing.

Future-forward entrepreneurs and software developers have been waiting for the next seismic shift in computing that unleashes a tidal wave of innovation and new user experiences. The use of blockchain to create an infinitely scalable open protocol is catalyzing this shift, representing a profound opportunity to restore an open internet and make entirely new varieties of web services possible.

Founded by Dominic Williams in 2016, the DFINITY Foundation is a Zurich-based not-for-profit that is building the Internet Computer, the world’s first web speed, internet-scale public blockchain that transforms the internet into a limitless public supercomputer that the world shares, providing an alternative to centrally controlled databases and servers owned by corporate giants.

“The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.”

For the more than 250,000 community members who are closely following the development of the Internet Computer, William Gibson’s words capture the potential of this technology to redistribute the power of the internet.

Similar to the transition from 1960s mainframes to PCs and client servers, and then from the opening of the internet to the dominance of cloud, mobile, and social platforms, the Internet Computer is the next evolutionary step in computing — a blockchain computer that natively runs next-generation applications, tamper-proof enterprise systems, and open web services.

Read more: Copper, Bronze, Tungsten: Tracing the Internet Computer’s Rapid Progress

“It’s very rare that major, new computing paradigms come along, and we think this is on the scale of cloud and mobile for the internet,” said Chris Dixon, Andreessen Horowitz general partner, in April as he announced the firm’s new fund focused on blockchain technology. A backer of the Internet Computer, Dixon noted that he was looking forward to seeing the debut of this groundbreaking platform in 2020.

The Internet Computer has been on a public release schedule that started last November, when our Copper release introduced the Motoko programming language and the first public version of the DFINITY Canister SDK, followed by the Bronze release of our demonstration network in January at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Tungsten, the third milestone out of five, is an even more momentous step forward, opening the Internet Computer to third-party developers as we progress toward the Sodium and Mercury releases that will launch the public network later this year.

Read more: Tungsten Hackathon: All Systems Go for Developer Network Launch

To mark the occasion, on Tuesday, June 30, the DFINITY Foundation hosted an online Tungsten launch event from our research centers in San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Zurich, with thousands of participants watching as DFINITY Founder and Chief Scientist Dominic Williams unveiled the Tungsten release of the Internet Computer.

Joining Dominic for a series of discussions and demos were prominent venture capitalists (Chris Dixon, General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz; Olaf Carlson-Wee, Founder & CEO, Polychain Capital; Bettina Warburg, Founder & Managing Partner, Warburg Serres Investments), academics (Dan Boneh, Professor of Cryptography & Computer Science, Stanford University), distinguished engineers (Andreas Rossberg, co-creator of WebAssembly), and third-party developers who are already building on the Internet Computer.

Following below are a selection of presentations and talks from the Tungsten launch event:

An Overview of the Internet Computer

Remarks by Dominic Williams (DFINITY)

Dominic Williams explains how the Internet Computer frees developers from a dependence on the proprietary tech stack’s complex and insecure layers by offering a new kind of blockchain computer with unbounded capacity and performance.

Based on a decentralized network of data centers running a revolutionary open protocol, the Internet Computer blockchain supports interoperable software, open internet services that can share irrevocable APIs, and transparent, open governance systems — setting the stage for mutualized network effects that can effectively reboot the internet.

Rebooting the Internet

A conversation with Chris Dixon (Andreessen Horowitz) and Dominic Williams (DFINITY)

Chris Dixon and Dominic Williams discuss how the Internet Computer combines cloud computing’s advanced functionality with the openness of the original internet, providing a free market where services and applications create new engines of innovation free from platform risk.
Read more here…

Billions of Dollars Waiting to Invest in the Open Web

A discussion with Olaf Carlson-Wee (Polychain Capital) and Bettina Warburg (Warburg Serres Investments)

Olaf Carlson-Wee and Bettina Warburg join DFINITY COO Artia Moghbel to discuss how venture capital is on the brink of financing a new ecosystem of business models, growth models, and services that are uniquely enabled by open web computing, including decentralized financial services and internet sovereign corporations.
Read more here…

Building on the Internet Computer

A discussion with David Phan and Rick Porter of the ORIGYN Project and Enzo Haussecker (DFINITY)

Software engineers David Phan and Rick Porter of the ORIGYN Project, a team focused on building solutions for the Internet Computer, join DFINITY senior software engineer Enzo Haussecker and Alexa Smith, who leads DFINITY’s Developer Partner Program, to discuss how the Internet Computer simplifies software architecture as well as the development experience.
Read more here…

A Technical Overview of the Internet Computer

Remarks by Dominic Williams (DFINITY)

Dominic Williams provides a technical overview of how the Internet Computer works — from software canisters to subnets to machines/nodes to data centers. He also explains the role of the Network Nervous System in the governance of the Internet Computer, as well as how canisters — an evolution of smart contracts — enable internet services to scale to billions of users.

WebAssembly & Motoko on the Internet Computer

Remarks by Andreas Rossberg (DFINITY)

Andreas Rossberg, co-creator of WebAssembly and technical lead of the languages team at DFINITY, discusses the advantages of using WebAssembly implementations of different languages to program on the Internet Computer, and talks about how DFINITY designed Motoko to make a highly optimized language for the new environment available to developers.

Motoko Coding Demo

With Joachim Breitner (DFINITY)

This live-coding demo of programming in Motoko on the Internet Computer by Joachim Breitner, senior researcher and engineer at DFINITY, shows how developers can evolve the interface of a running service and swap out its functionality and code without losing the state of the program.

Autonomous Chess Demo

Rust on the Internet Computer with Hans Larsen (DFINITY)

This demo shows how to build an autonomous chess engine running on the Internet Computer in Rust. Hans Larsen, senior software engineer at DFINITY, explains how developers can use a language other than Motoko to build canisters and run them on the Internet Computer as though they were native code.

CanCan Demo

Motoko on the Internet Computer with Stanley Jones (DFINITY)

CanCan, an open version of TikTok, is a mobile video-sharing app that operates across distributed data centers, enabling it to quickly scale storage as needed. This demo by Stanley Jones, engineering manager at DFINITY, illustrates how developers can write a scalable app on the Internet Computer in less than a thousand lines of code.

A Generational Shift in Technology

Remarks by Professor Dan Boneh (Stanford University)

Decentralized computing architectures and the new class of applications that they make possible represent the next major stage of computer technology. Dan Boneh, who heads the applied cryptography group and co-directs the computer security lab at Stanford, discusses how this can bring a huge explosion in services running on decentralized platforms in the coming years.

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