Institutional Giant A16Z Leads $102 Million Funding Round in Dfinity ‘World Computer’

Cloud computing giants Amazon Web Services and Salesforce may soon face blockchain-based competition that aims to trifle their dominance with a decentralized, cheaper alternative.

Dfinity’s Web 3.0 Push

Dfinity, a Switzerland-based blockchain startup, has secured $102 million in funds from venture capitalist firm Andreessen Horowitz (A16Z) and crypto fund Polychain Capital to support its “world computer” project, according to Fortune.

In March 2018, Dfinity raised $61 million from the same set of investors, which indicates a robust, and presumably competitive, product offering is in the cards for the “Web 3.0” advocate.

A16Z’s Chris Dixon, meanwhile, believes the project is unlike the majority of other blockchain startups, courtesy of Dfinity’s impressive technology team. In this regard, Dfinity boasts several blockchain breakthroughs, primarily relating to scalability and network security, with the seed capital it raised earlier.

The team highlighted such developments help to “remake the computing industry” and mitigate monopoly from a handful of computer players. The company added that its decentralized methodology toward cloud computing, which sees millions of nodes across the world support the network, cut down high-costs and supply sufficient computing recourses to all economic strata.

A blog post by A16Z elaborated on Dfinity’s vision:

“Decentralized computation networks like Dfinity stand to bring us closer to a world where digital platforms can be constructed from trustless, autonomous, and open source software that is owned and governed by communities of users and developers, rather than companies.”

In short, Dfinity’s decentralized computing vision cuts out intermediate, monopolized servers, middleware and costly cloud-based services, all while allowing the creation of open-source programs and dApps.

Tech Houses Unlikely to Adopt

Although the project seeks widespread adoption, Dfinity founder Dominic Williams acknowledged infiltrating a market led by Amazon and Microsoft is a mammoth task. However, he believes startups and academic institutions, instead of corporations, would lead the “world computer” adoption.

Williams added that the project’s private stable version is scheduled for a late 2018 launch, primarily to allow developers to test compatible software and bugs before a full-scale public launch in 2019.

Early tests showed positive results from Dfinity’s stables; the globally distributed testnet completed a sophisticated set of computations within 1 second, compared to Ethereum’s 300 seconds and Bitcoin’s 3,600 seconds.

Accessing the Dfinity network is done via its token, TBA. Earlier this year, in May, over $35 million of the tokens were “airdropped” to registered participants and crypto-enthusiasts.

A16Z Receives TBA Tokens

Reports ascertain Dfinity’s competitors, apart from tech houses, include platforms like Ethereum. The latter, however, offers more of Dfinity’s capabilities and triumphs at providing robust smart contracts to customers, despite older code and lack of institutional backing.

That said, Dixon believes the blockchain giant will complement Dfinity’s offering, citing a mix of Ethereum’s youth-led energy and the latter’s large-scale ambitions.

Meanwhile, A16Z received TBA tokens instead of equity for the Dfinity investment, signaling the start of a sharp turn in the way traditional investments are made.

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