Dfinity Foundation has awarded $215 Million to help boost its developer community. This grant is intended to promote the development of distributed applications (DApps), using the Internet Computer blockchain. More than 115 teams received this grant, with more expected in the future.
NewsBTC sat down with Lomesh Dutta, Vice President of Growth at Dfinity Foundation, to talk about the Internet Computer Developer Ecosystem Program, how it’s distributed, and the impact it has had on the blockchain since inception.
NewsBTC: What was the purpose of the Developer Ecosystem Program?
Lomesh Dutta:Developers have the opportunity to access the CHF 200m (215 million) Internet Computer Developer Ecosystem Program, which helps them finance building decentralized apps (dapps), toolsing, and infrastructure over the Internet Computer.
The Internet Computer is the world’s first blockchain that runs at web speed and can scale without bound. Developers can use these capabilities to develop new apps and tools without worrying about the limitations or proprietary infrastructure of traditional blockchains. This program supports the development of an ecosystem that includes developers, entrepreneurs and other community members.
NewsBTC – So far only $2m has been awarded from the $215 million grant program. Do you have plans to boost this amount?
Lomesh Dutta: A subset of developer grants programs is Programs that make up the ecosystem. To supercharge online gaming, we have just made it public. Achievement Unblocked — A $10 million grant pool has been established for game developers by United eSports in order to show how blockchain gaming can eventually become mainstream.
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Grants are non-dilutive and provide funding for teams that build on the Internet Computer. The best way I see the grant program isn’t the dollar amount, but the number of and quality teams that were bootstrapped through the program. There are three tiers for grants: $5,000, $25,000 and $100,000. This initial grant helps teams create prototypes and then raise large grants, VCs, or very soon, community grants. The grants program has funded funding for over 115 projects so far.
What is super exciting is that very soon (if the community accepts the proposal), ICP holders can easily make their staked ICP available for “autonomous contribution” to decentralization auctions. This is basically a community-powered trust fund, which could easily amount to billions of dollars. The funds would be made available for the Internet Computer ecosystem projects.. In return, those contributing their staked ICP will receive governance tokens for the associated ecosystem project — allowing them to shape the direction of the project.
Our team offers financial support as well as technical support for our grantees, developer partners, and grantees. We often offer ad-hoc assistance with design, co-marketing and UX.
The Internet Computer also provides utility and functionality that other blockchains can’t, such as unbounded smart contract innovation capacity beyond what is possible in dapp creation. The Internet Computer offers both marketing and technical support, as well as revenue-generating possibilities that extend beyond the grant amount.
NewsBTC: DInternet Computer has seen an increase in ev activity. Is this having any effect on the blockchain?
Lomesh Dutta: This is a truly amazing amount of developer activity. Since genesis, nearly 13,000 IC smart contract (which we call canisters), have been deployed. This represents a 20% increase in developer adoption week-over-week. The next generation in smart contracts is the canisters. They run at web speed, store data in RAM, and are a new evolution. They have the advantage of being able to build any type of internet app we are aware of completely on-chain.
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We’re talking about services easily as large and complex as Facebook, Youtube, etc., all running on-chain. The world is going to be stunned by what these projects are doing once they add token incentives and decentralized governance to boost their growth.
NewsBTC – What do you think was the most significant draw for Internet Computer Blockchain developers?
Lomesh Dutta: Internet Computer is the sole blockchain that allows developers to build large-scale web-scale games and dapps entirely on-chain. These dapps can run on the web at high speed, and they don’t require that end-users have wallets or tokens in order to communicate with smart contracts. If your ambition, as an entrepreneur, is to build the next Facebook, then you wouldn’t want to settle for any of that friction. Developers have begun to build mass-market software that runs at web scale. Soon, many new unicorns are expected to emerge from the Internet Computer Ecosystem once they implement tokenization and decentralized governance.
NewsBTC: OpenChat is one of the most used dapps in IC. OpenChat is competing with established messaging platforms like Signal and WhatsApp. How confident can you be about this project?
Lomesh Dutta: Openchat is a better alternative to Whatsapp and Signal because it runs entirely on-chain. It is completely decentralized, uncensorable and community controlled. WhatsApp, for example, made it clear that users must now accept that Facebook will share their location and IP addresses with them. They were forced to either accept or lose access to all their accounts.
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OpenChat cannot allow such a thing to happen. It is impossible for developers, nor any other person, to modify, censor or steal user data. This makes us increasingly confident in the blockchain’s future, as more users become disillusioned by the combination of data harvesting and censorship currently happening in many social media platforms.
NewsBTC – Let us wrap up by giving a short overview of Internet Computer. Are there any exciting projects?
Lomesh Dutta: For one, we’re very excited to talk about the upcoming integration with both the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks. With Bitcoin, the Internet Computer isn’t utilizing insecure and cumbersome bridging and wrapping services which effectively entrust users’ funds to a third-party smart contract. The Internet Computer instead will use its Chain Key Cryptography in order to directly integrate with Bitcoin. Each IC Smart Contract will have its own Bitcoin public keys, allowing them to send, receive, and hold their Bitcoins natively.
As a result, the Internet Computer smart contracts will gain access to bitcoin liquidity, and bitcoin will realize powerful new smart contract functionality — opening up the much-discussed possibilities of DeFi capabilities on bitcoin. This power, combined with IC’s native abilities and ultimately bridging to the Ethereum blockchain, will serve as a powerful means to bring together the whole of web 3.0 and the backbone of the coming Metaverse.
Dfinity will also establish an ecosystem-wide, tokenized governance system that allows apps to be managed on the IC blockchain. This is called the Service Nervous System. The SNS upgrade will allow users to vote on the direction of any given platform — from the granular, such as user interface upgrades to the more substantial, including control over app features and user incentivization models.
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With the allocation of governance tokens, the governance system will allocate funding to a service. This allows entrepreneurs and developers to avoid the need for VC funds. As an example, it could mean 25% going to the developers and 25% going to the community. The remaining 50% would go to a reserve for treasury. It doesn’t matter what model you need, it can all be made and used.
This puts the Internet Computer in the heart of the current revolution. This solution not only solves the legacy scaling problems of legacy chains but also brings all users along on the journey. This will unlock web 3.0’s full potential.
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