After several years of research and development and numerous breakthroughs in cryptography and computer science, Dfinity launched the mainnet of its “Internet Computer” on Dec. 18.
The Internet Computer promises to be the first blockchain computer running at web speed with unbounded capacity. It achieves this speed through something called Chain Key Technology, which splits calls to smart contracts into two types: update calls and query calls.
Update calls are finalized in one to two seconds, based on the time it takes for new blocks to be produced. However, query calls can be executed in milliseconds, as any changes in state are discarded after execution.
This allows blockchain developers to create user experiences that compete with existing web-based applications.
Dfinity founder and chief scientist Dominic Williams explained the purpose is to “extend the functionality of the public internet using an advanced, novel blockchain network that also eliminates the need for legacy technologies such as cloud services, databases, and firewalls.