After it was launched, the crypto market was hit by the Internet computer storm. This is an ambitious project, supported by some big names in the industry. Designed and created by the Definition Foundation, its goal is to empower people through the Internet, and it could potentially take it to a new level powered by its platform.
Now, Internet computers have taken another step into the future. Its community recently voted and approved “extended canister storage” as Internet computers continue to integrate more features and upgrade its platform.
Next, the community will use the power provided by the Internet computer governance model to vote on integration with the Bitcoin blockchain. In practice, this will allow Bitcoin to transact at a lower cost and execute smart contracts (or canisters, as the Internet computer is called) on Internet computer networks with faster finalization. Thus, decentralized ecosystems in both networks could expand into an unprecedented era.
We sat down with Dominic Williams, founder and chief scientist of the DFINITY Foundation, to talk about this proposal, its impact on Bitcoin and Internet computers, and more. This is what he told us.
Question: About 4 months have passed since the deployment of Internet Computer, how would you describe the current state of the project and the role that the community is playing?
DOM: Developers and entrepreneurs have recognized its potential. As a result, Internet computers are experiencing increasing growth as measured by the number of canister smart contracts, the number of developer buildings, and the number of active users creating DAP, and arguably the fastest growing blockchain. Be careful with these metrics. Moreover, developers have proven that Internet computers can be used to create things that cannot be created in any other blockchain today. For example, one of the most popular DAPs on Internet computers is “Open Chat”, which already has thousands of users even though it is still in alpha. It runs entirely from blockchain, which means smart contracts are used to process chat messages, and smart contracts securely communicate interactive web content users directly to the browser – something only Internet computer blockchain is capable of today. Therefore, Web 3.0 is not only real, the purpose for which blockchain can be applied has been greatly expanded.
Question: Internet computer is a relatively new project in a relatively new industry, why do you think people are attracted to it, what makes the platform unique?
Dom: I think more and more people are coming to realize that blockchain is the Internet of the future and that it has huge potential. Because of this, many, many developers, early in their careers and trying to decide which technology sector to dedicate their lives to, are magnetized in the blockchain. Internet computers are one of the oldest original crypto projects but one of the last blockchains to be launched because of the huge amount of R&D work involved in redesigning blockchain architectures and developing new cryptography structures. But now that internet computers are available, it provides full power like other blockchains.
It is the first blockchain to provide a seamless environment for smart contracts so that it can host any number of smart contracts, and any volume of smart contract calculations and smart contract data, it is the first blockchain to run on web speed “Can serve which does not change state in milliseconds), the first blockchain to efficiently run smart contracts while running software on conventional IT systems, and the first blockchain that enables smart contracts to securely deliver interactive web content directly to DAP users (today, other In all blockchains DAP has to host their websites in centralized infrastructure, such as Amazon web services, which creates all kinds of security and other issues). These capabilities mean that Internet computers can even be used to create decentralized versions of mass-market social media services, which run entirely from the chain and can be integrated into next-generation DFI services. If you want, it can even be used to create secure enterprise systems, allowing organizations to move from traditional IT to blockchain. This has the potential to truly expose the blockchain gene.
Question: Can you tell us more about the process that will allow Bitcoin to manage smart contract power through Internet computers? And how will this differ from the synthesized version of BTC already operating in Etherium?
DOM: Today, the Bitcoin network hosts nearly a trillion dollars worth, in the form of indivisible bitcoin, which plays the role of digital gold. However, the Bitcoin network does not currently host the “smart contract” software introduced by Etherium six and a half years after the introduction of Bitcoin. The Smart Agreement is a new type of software that is irresistible and temperproof, ensuring safe operation without blockchain and firewall protection, can process pricing in the form of tokens and even run autonomously in addition to a person or organization controlling them. They allow blockchains to be applied as a new type of general-purpose platform and facilitate the defy (decentralized means) revolution that is the etherium pioneer. If Bitcoin achieves smart deals, developers will be able to process Bitcoin and create all sorts of exciting new systems and services powered from blockchain, which will add value to Bitcoin as well as create huge new values.
The huge financial value carried by Bitcoin has a lot of utility, and so the current practice is to transport Bitcoins to blockchains that support smart contracts like Ethereum by “wrapping” them, which is unfortunately very dangerous. It involves sending bitcoins to an organization known as a “bridge”, which keeps them in custody and then issues “wrapped bitcoins” to the destination blockchain, which can be processed through smart contracts. The disadvantage of this method is that the bitcoins are handed over to the custody of the bridge operators, who have to trust to wrap the wrapped bitcoins properly if needed later. It opposes the blockchain mission, which aims to eliminate the need for trust. The method demonstrated by the recent hack of the Poly Network Bridge on 10 August 2021 is therefore extremely risky. Millions of dollars were stolen (it was later recovered by hackers).
Write the revolutionary “chain key cryptography” that powers Internet computer networks. This will enable direct maintenance, transmission and receipt of bitcoins to smart deals hosted by Internet computers, which actually live and immediately move to the original bitcoin network, reducing the need to bridge dangerous bridges and tokens. This is possible because the Internet Computer Protocol uses the digital key ECDSA signature involved in bitcoin transactions on behalf of smart contracts to create secure and seamless signatures, using chain key cryptography. Meanwhile, Internet computer nodes will communicate directly with the Bitcoin network node, so that transaction and balance information is moved backwards and ensures that it is always available. Effectively, the scheme will merge the two networks, expanding Bitcoin rationally with the world’s most powerful smart contract power.
Question: Once the power of smart contracts is implemented, what are the potential uses that will benefit people using these internet computer smart contracts with Bitcoin?
DOM: The possibilities are endless. The Internet can drive unlimited volumes of computer scale, and smart contract calculations at web speeds. Its smart contracts enable first-time Internet users to securely serve web content without intermediaries, while the new Internet Identity allows users to sign in to DAPs (decentralized applications) using devices with fingerprints in support of anonymous blockchain authentication systems. Hardware keys and wallets such as YubiKey and Laser. This means that in the future, your Bitcoin wallet can be securely served in your web browser and you can quickly, securely and conveniently prove using your fingerprint sensor before sending Bitcoin to any address of your choice through the user interface. What’s more, the Internet is allowing the creation of social media services powered by computer blockchain, which can later be merged with Defy. In the future, your Bitcoin wallet could be a blockchain chat app, and you could send Bitcoin with a message, or make a nuclear transaction for NFT after negotiation. For many, it will begin to realize the aspect of applying Bitcoin in Internet services that Satoshi originally described.
Question: Can the same process of introducing smart contracts on Internet computers to be compatible with Bitcoin be applied to other networks? If so, what could be the next cryptocurrency and why?
DOM: It is possible to integrate Internet computer blockchain with Bitcoin because of the new “chain key cryptography” framework that powers its protocols. This enables them to create transactions in favor of smart contracts, such as not having to manage their personal key contents themselves. Once Bitcoin is integrated, the same thing will be done to integrate Internet computers directly with Ethereum. This integration will enable two-way calling between Internet computers and smart contracts in Ethereum, for example, Ethereum DFI Daps will enable their websites to deliver blockchain-centric cloud services such as Amazon web services instead.
Implementing a blockchain that supports chain key cryptography requires many years of R&D efforts led by a strong team of expert cryptographers. Because of this, it is unlikely that any other blockchain will be able to achieve the same feat in the future.
Question: How do you imagine the future of the crypto industry, where one “Etherium Killer” has beaten its competition or where multiple blockchains are operating for the benefit of their users? Do you think Bitcoin, Internet computers and others are important to be inter-operable?
We believe in a blockchain trinity consisting of bitcoin, etherium and internet computers. They all definitely satisfy different niches and complement each other. Although both Ethereum and Internet computers support smart computing, the capabilities offered by the Internet computer environment are very different and much wider. Arguably, Etherium could become the world’s DFI settlement level, and the Internet would offer computers a “world computer” approach, designed specifically for many years to realize that approach that cannot be easily replicated through R&D.