Why The Internet Computer Is The Only Blockchain Capable Of Serving The Web/Internet?

It’s Time For Blockchain Projects To Live Up To Their Promises & Deliver Web3 Experiences

The Internet Computer is not just about cryptocurrencies, it’s not just about purely blockchain, and it’s not just about dishing on Web2. The Internet Computer is rather a full-stack technology solution built using blockchain technology that can serve the true version of Web3 to desktop and phone internet users alike.

People throw around Web2 and Web3 terminology casually, to the point where a lot of Web3’s innovations, technologies, and visions are clouded and confused with sentiment around cryptocurrency prices and the general bull and bear markets. However, this couldn’t be farther from what Web3 is and what it’s striving for.

“Web3 is about the next iteration of the Internet where users can browse the web in a decentralized way, control their data, and own their online (or) digital property.”

When you look at the market today, really only the Internet Computer can realize this definition of Web3 and serve the web to users in a Web3 way.

Sure, many blockchains are decentralized, but at the same time, many of those blockchains don’t give users control over their data, they route users through centralized websites and web servers, and those blockchains store users’ digital property on centralized cloud servers. That’s not Web3, that’s Web2 masqueraded as Web3.

So to help you understand how the Internet Computer changes the game, let’s elaborate on three areas and technology solutions the Internet Computer provides that give users direct Web3 experiences.

How Does The Internet Computer Serve The Web3 Web?

On-Chain DApps

First, DApps built on the Internet Computer and their code are fully hosted and executed on-chain.

What does this mean? This means that smart contracts on the Internet Computer serve web content directly to users. Smart contracts on other blockchains cannot do this, nor are other blockchain DApps hosted and (their transactions) executed on-chain.

For example, if you go to Safari or Google Chrome (whatever your preferred browser is) and go to a website like https://www.google.com — all these domains are processed via registrars accredited by ICANN and are subsequently hosted on a centralized web hosting service.

(Source: This is what the Web2 Internet looks like visually (and structurally). On the left, you’ll see how central servers serve the Internet directly to your devices like phones, tablets, and desktop computers. However, the Internet Computer’s architecture resembles more of the right side, especially with decentralized independent data centers that route the Internet to users in the nearest geographies)

Essentially, in this case, every part of the web backend and frontend are dominated by centralized players, registrars, web hosting platforms, etc. This is Web2.

Unfortunately, on many blockchains today, the consumer-facing aspect of DApps and their web interfaces are also hosted on centralized servers and cloud providers such as AWS. However, the Internet Computer on the other hand hosts all of this on independent servers and executes the code and protocols on-chain — there’s a lot technically going on in the background.

Because Internet Computer DApps and their code are hosted and executed entirely on-chain, this allows them to unlock the true Web3 potential of smart contracts — thus unleashing the real power of blockchain smart contracts.

Below is an example of what this looks like in practice. When going to an Internet Computer hosted website called Fastblocks, the URL address in the search bar doesn’t give you a .com ending domain, but rather it shows an ICP DApp address.

Therefore, when you see this it means the application/website is a completely on-chain-hosted Internet Computer website/DApp, thus independent of any centralized server like AWS or Cloudflare.

But what’s great is it’s also Google and Safari compatible, so you can just copy and paste the address and get the Web3 internet served directly to you. Hence, you get Web3 without having to cross loopholes and do a bunch of sign-ins and get accustomed to a different type of web browsing experience.

This is the first way the Internet Computer serves the web directly to users.

Reverse Gas Model

Second, the Internet Computer’s Reverse Gas Model allows users to access on-chain Internet Computer DApps without logging in to blockchain wallets such as Metamask or Trust.

The Internet Computer blockchain and tech stack have a different architecture and method for creating and accessing DApps compared to Ethereum, Solana, Avalanche, and Polygon.

For example, Ethereum-built DApps require users to have a wallet and project-specific tokens to use DApps and experience the ecosystem.

It’s a ‘pay-to-enter’ club with a bouncer at the front door checking tickets and claiming entry fees. So by requiring users to (metaphorically) have a downloaded wallet as well as already purchased and transferred blockchain tokens or cryptocurrencies, it creates an unnecessary barrier to entry that beginner/regular users may find deterring.

To see what this looks like in practice let’s look at The Sandbox, a popular metaverse game built on the Ethereum blockchain.

As you can see below, when you go to the homepage it requires the user to sign in, create an account, or download an app version of the game. It’s a similar process to Decentraland, which requires users to connect their blockchain wallets and purchase the in-game native token MANA. It’s standard practice in the industry.

While there are reasons for this, as well as certain benefits and opportunities, there’s also the downside of complexity and being not-so-user friendly.

This slows down DApp adoption because using these DApps above is not as simple as clicking on an Internet Computer DApp (which uses a website link). On the contrary, as mentioned above, it requires users to buy tokens and install browser plugins.

How the Internet Computer improves on this and serves Web3 DApps directly to users is through an excellent blockchain innovation called the Reverse Gas Model. This is a fancy term for code and blockchain functionality that allows users to interact with a DApp without having to pay in the app’s native token.

This is possible because Internet Computer smart contract canisters that are running the app can store a certain amount of Cycles, which are essentially app gas tokens that keep the application running — and subsequently allow the user to experience the app without paying.

For example, if you want to play a metaverse game called Cubetopia you can go directly to the ‘URL’ https://mqkdm-zqaaa-aaaah-ablsa-cai.raw.ic0.app and play without having to connect a wallet or buy things.

This is made possible by the Reverse Gas Model (*thanks Reverse Gas Model*).

So when you arrive on the Cubetopia homepage, you’re directly integrated and interacting with the DApp and Web3 with no intermediary. It’s you and the DApp one-on-one, just how Web3 is designed to be.

In summary, the Internet Computer blockchain tech stack allows users to get Web3 served to them directly without any intermediaries (made possible by the Reverse Gas Model).

This is the second way the Internet Computer serves the web directly to users.

Internet Identity

Third, the Internet Identity blockchain authentication system serves the web directly to users by allowing them to enter Internet Computer DApps and services without entering long seed phrases and private keys.

Generally speaking, before using certain layer 1 blockchain apps, you need to download and fund a blockchain-capable wallet. For example, Ethereum DApp users need Metamask, and Solana DApp users need Phantom or Trust. What this means is there are ‘walled gardens’ and limited freedom with regards to what wallets you can use to access and get authenticated within a layer 1 blockchain ecosystem.

The Internet Computer, however, has created a solution innovation for this problem called Internet Identity.

What is Internet Identity? Internet Identity is a blockchain authentication system that enables users to sign in securely and pseudonymously to Internet Computer DApps. Internet Identity is a simplified login system that makes logging into DApps and Internet Computer services easy and safe.

Internet Identity is the next iteration of safe logging in amidst cybersecurity, hacks, and crypto ransoms. It does this through advanced cryptography and biometric integration.

Internet Identity is the third way the Internet Computer serves the web directly to users because it allows them to access these web services and DApps directly on their browsers in a safe, encrypted, and on-chain manner.

Serving The Future Web3 Internet

In summary, having on-chain DApps, a Reverse Gas Model for running DApps, and an innovative and secure way to log in to Web3 DApps allows users to have authentic Web3 experiences. This is currently only possible because of the Internet Computer blockchain and tech stack.

However, it doesn’t end there. The Internet Computer has a packed roadmap that will further deliver on its promises to make Web3 feel more real and usable.



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Moses On-Chain ♾️

Moses On-Chain ♾️


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