DFINITY to Combine Thousands of Nodes to Drive Blockchain Apps

    A non-profit consortium dubbed DFINITY Stiftung plans to demonstrate a network made up of thousands of nodes that it expects one day to be used to process blockchain transactions.

    Dominic Williams, chief scientist for DFINITY, says the DFINITY Network borrows concepts pioneered by the Ethereum blockchain platform to provide a means to build and deploy massive blockchain applications inexpensively without having to be concerned about capacity limitations.

    “We see this as the third evolution of blockchain computing,” says Williams.

    Ethereum has emerged as an alternative open source project to the Hyperledger blockchain platform that IT vendors such as IBM have embraced to provide access to blockchain databases as a cloud service.

    Williams says the DFINITY Network will enable developers to employ a functional programming model within a web browser to essentially assemble blockchain applications. All the developer will really need to concentrate on is developing the business logic for their application, says Williams.

    By combining thousands of nodes to drive those applications, Williams says, blockchain applications will run 50 percent faster on the DFINITY Network than they can today on alternative blockchain platforms. Because the DFINITY Network is decentralized, each blockchain application is run in isolation, which Williams says means one blockchain application can’t compromised the performance of any other application on the network because unlike other approaches, not every node on the network needs to participate in every transaction.

    It’s unclear to what degree blockchain technologies will transform transaction processing. At the very least, the days when organizations needed a trusted third-party to process a transaction may soon be coming to an end because a blockchain database is for all intents and purposes immutable. In fact, Williams notes there may one day in the distant future be a need for sites such as eBay and Amazon to conduct a transaction between two parties. Regardless of the eventual outcome, the one thing that is apparent is that thanks to networks such as DFINITY, access to blockchain technologies should be broadly democratized a whole lot sooner than anyone might have previously anticipated.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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