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Dfinity Foundation

Dfinity Foundation

Dfinity is a Switzerland-based non-profit developing a decentralized computing network utilizing blockchain technology and algorithmic governance.

Dfinity is a non-profit developing a decentralized computing network, Intenet Computer, using blockchain and algorithmic governance supported by the crypto studio String Labs, based in Palo Alto, CA, USA. The Dfinity protocol is designed to be self-governing through a network Dfinity calls a "Blockchain Nervous System," with a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm using a verifiable random function known as a randomness beacon. It was founded in 2014 and includes chief scientist and president Dominic Williams, CEO Tom Ding, Timo Hanke, Ben Lynn, and others. The company is privately held with funding both from community fundraising and venture capital funding from Polychain Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, and others.

Headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland, the organization has research centers in Switzerland and California and operates remotely in Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Dfinity's objective is to create a "blockchain singularity" where systems and services are rebuilt with smart contracts and operate from infinite public blockchain, excluding traditional IT.


With Internet Computer, developers are able to create DApps as well as install the code on the Internet. The project allows users to quit centralized services plus commercial cloud services. Internet Computer's purpose is to extend the public Internet through the introduction of Chain Key Technology, which is a set of cryptographic protocols involving different components, like Threshold Relay, which is a consensus model; Non-Interactive Distributed Key Generation (NI-DKG); Network Nervous System (NNS), which is an on-chain governance system; and decentralized identity or Internet Identity.

Chain Key Technology powers Internet Computer and facilitates the addition of novel nodes, formation of subnets, implementation of scaling, replacement of defective nodes, restoration of subnets, updating the Internet Computer Protocol, and fixing of bugs. As a result, Chain Key Technology is regarded as the engine of the ecosystem underpinning Internet Computer and driving the network and its operations.

Consensus mechanism

Decentralized consensus is separated into four layers, beginning with the identity layer, then the random beacon layer, then the blockchain layer, and finally a notary layer. Quorum selection is driven by a verifiable random function or randomness beacon, which produces a source of cryptographic randomness.

Bitcoin Integration

In 2021, it was proposed that the Internet Computer protocol be extended to include smart contracts to Bitcoin. Every canister receives a Bitcoin public key via an application of Chain Key cryptography, which will directly integrate the Internet Computer blockchain with the Bitcoin network. Specifically, smart contracts on the Internet Computer will have the ability to hold, send, and receive their own Bitcoin.


May 2, 2022
Dfinity Foundation files lawsuit against Meta over infinity logo
December 24, 2021
Dfinity's Internet Computer opens Ethereum Bridge.
May 7, 2021
Dfinity launches its decentralized network "Internet Computer."
January 23, 2020
Dfinity launches an open-source platform aimed at the social networking giants.
August 2018
Dfinity Foundation raises a $102,000,000 venture round from Amino Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Aspect Ventures, Multicoin Capital, Polychain Capital, SV Angel, Scalar Capital and Village Global.
February 13, 2018
Dfinity Foundation was founded by Dominic Williams.
February 8, 2018
Dfinity announces a $61M fundraising round led by Polychain Capital and Andreessen Horowitz

This is the first cryptocurrency token that Andressen Horowitz has invested in, led by Chris Dixon.

February 7, 2018
Dfinity Foundation raises a $61,000,000 venture round from Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital.
October 26, 2017
Dfinity testnet demo is released.
February 15, 2017
Ethereum-based community seed round raises 4M Swiss francs (CHF)

The round was raised by the DFINITY Stiftung, a not-for-profit foundation entity based in Zug, Switzerland. The foundation held $10M of assets as of April 2017.

Funding rounds

Invested in


Further Resources


An Overview of the Internet Computer


July 8, 2020

Blockchain Project Raises $61 Million from A16Z, Polychain Capital - CoinDesk

Stan Higgins

Dfinity raises $61 million for blockchain-based cloud

Mo Marshall

Dfinity raises $61 million for platform that rivals ethereum

Seema Mody

DFINITY Technology Overview Series Consensus System

Timo Hanke, Mahnush Movahedi, Dominic Williams


Omar Faridi
May 21, 2021
Crowdfund Insider
Björn Tackmann from DFINITY explains how Internet Computer replaces usernames, passwords with secure cryptographic authentication.
Shalini Nagarajan
May 12, 2021
The first day of trading saw its price swing wildly as it hit an intraday high of $700 before declining to around $250.
Michael Cogley
May 8, 2021
Business Insider
The Swiss nonprofit has just launched blockchain-based web hosting capability that aims to break Big Tech's stranglehold on the internet.
Mike Orcutt
May 7, 2021
The Block
Dfinity got a lot of attention in 2018 when it raised $160 million in venture capital. Today it finally launched its blockchain network.
Mike Butcher
January 23, 2020
When Dfinity raised $102 million in funding in 2018 at a $2 billion valuation in a round jointly led by Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital, it represented a step change in the world of blockchain technology. In an area that at the time was more synonymous with cryptocurrency speculation, this was a change in focus, [...]


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