What Are The Benefits Of Building on The Internet Computer (IC)?

The Dfinity Foundation, the organization behind the Internet Computer, is working on a Web3 solution beyond just blockchain technology. In particular, it’s building a decentralized and scalable cloud-like platform that stores data, performs computations, supports community-wide governance, and addresses the issues with the current internet, such as poor ownership over data and security, and a market oligopoly of Big Tech companies.

Dfinity wants the internet itself to be able to support and host software applications and data, and not just provide a space to create peer-to-peer connections. It also wants to cut the ongoing reliance on the legacy tech stack as well as proprietary cloud-hosting services that handle the backend.

Benefit 1: IC allows anyone to build on an open-access internet

The Internet Computer (IC) is building an open-access internet. Currently, the internet connects people through TCP/IP protocols, but IC, through the Internet Computer Protocol (ICP), takes this concept one step further by offering a public compute platform so developers, enterprises, and other organizations can deploy software and services directly to the public internet. This is the “grand slam” benefit to building on the IC, and the biggest offering that sets the IC apart from other smart contract platforms.

In summary, the IC eliminates the need for database servers and storage management, improves computational efficiency, and simplifies software development.

Benefit 2: IC limits developers and organizations to platform risk

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and services like AWS, Google Play, and Apple’s App Store, present a certain amount of platform risk to developers and consumers because of their centralization and oftentimes precarious “terms and conditions.” As a solution to this, IC seeks to introduce a new generation of software and services that are open-sourced. In fact, this not only reduces platform risk, but also reduces the complexity and speed of building and maintaining systems — IC is simply easier in all areas of the spectrum. IC can be said to be a platform that frees developers and consumers from the limitations and restrictions of Web2 internet platforms.

In summary, the IC supports interoperability, shared functions, permanent APIs, and ownerless applications, all of which reduce platform risk and encourage innovation and collaboration.

Benefit 3: IC provides a solution that challenges the legacy IT tech stack

The IC is designed to act as a complete technology stack, such that systems and services can be built that run entirely on the IC. In particular, smart contracts on the IC can service HTTP requests created by end users, so that smart contracts can directly serve interactive web experiences. This means that systems and services can be created without relying on corporate cloud hosting services or private servers, thus providing all the benefits of smart contracts in a true end-to-end fashion. If the IC solution succeeds at replacing legacy IT, there would be no need for centralized DNS services, anti-virus, firewalls, database systems, cloud services, and VPNs either.

In summary, the IC simplifies the technology stack that IT organizations need to integrate and manage, which improves operational efficiency.

Benefit 4: IC’s blockchain design unleashes the full potential of smart contracts

Many of today’s blockchain smart contract platforms, including Ethereum, suffer from many limitations. For example, high transaction and storage costs, slow computational speed, and the inability to serve frontends to users. As a result, this makes these blockchain applications not fully decentralized, thus making them sort of “hybrids” where most of the application is hosted on traditional cloud platforms and call out to smart contracts on the blockchain to execute a small part of the application’s function. This half-on-blockchain-half-off relationship, unfortunately, makes these applications non-decentralized, while simultaneously opening them to many of the drawbacks of traditional cloud-hosted applications, such as being at the mercy of cloud providers and being vulnerable to many single points of failure.

IC, however, which is a radical new design of blockchain, unleashes the full potential of smart contracts and allows smart contracts for the first time to implement fully decentralized applications that are hosted end-to-end on the blockchain.

Summary of Benefits Of Building on The Internet Computer (IC) Platform

Compared to existing smart contract platforms, IC is designed to be more cost-effective, which allows apps to compute and store data at a lower cost. IC also provides higher throughput and lower latency for processing smart contract transactions. Lastly, it’s designed to be more scalable, where IC can process large volumes of smart contract data as well as do native computation. IC can do this because of its ability to grow in capacity by adding more nodes to the network.

  1. Lower setup costs >>> developers don’t have to subscribe and pay service fees to numerous vendors
  2. Decreased operating costs >>> developers and organizations can save money on not having to pay for security and safety, while also saving on complexity costs
  3. Better development >>> because IC is reinventing software and simplifying the process of building and maintaining systems (all on-chain), this allows developers to focus on development and user experience, rather than wasting time on “logistics” and “operations”
  4. Fewer restrictions >>> IC’s open software guarantees greater access to different functions through APIs (unlike Twitter closing theirs) to other services
  5. Greater transparency >> it’s easier for end-users to access IC-based services because they’re largely transparent, and user personal data is more secure when accessing applications on a public or private cloud
  6. Increased security >>> IC’s secure protocol guarantees reliable message delivery, transparent accountability, and resilience without relying on firewalls, backup facilities, load balancing services, or failover orchestration

Conclusion

IC eliminates many of the costs, risks, and complexities associated with developing and deploying modern applications and microservices. The IC platform is an alternative to the services provided by large technology companies that have monopolized the internet. Building on the IC is about restoring the internet to its open, innovative, and creative roots, and realizing the vision of Web3.

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Moses On-Chain ♾️

- Crypto Analyst & Writer — Commenting on all things Web3 — Interested in smart contract platforms #Dfinity and #InternetComputer