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DFINITY

DFINITY is building an open, decentralized blockchain that runs smart contract software systems with vastly improved performance, capacity, and algorithmic governance.

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Overview

Project industryBlockchain Infrastructure
FoundedUnited States

What is DFINITY

The Dfinity blockchain computer provides a secure, performant and flexible consensus mechanism. While first defined for a permissioned participation model, the consensus mechanism itself can be paired with any method of Sybil resistance (e.g. proof-of-work or proof-of-stake) to create an open participation model. Dfinity’s greatest strength is unfolded in the most challenging proof-of-stake case.

At its core, Dfinity contains a decentralized randomness beacon which acts as a verifiable random function (VRF) that produces a stream of outputs over time. The novel technique behind the beacon relies on the existence of a unique-deterministic, non-interactive, DKG-friendly threshold signatures scheme. The only known examples of such a scheme are pairing-based and derived from BLS.

The Dfinity blockchain is layered on top of the Dfinity beacon and uses the beacon as its source of randomness for leader selection and leader ranking. A "weight" is attributed to a chain based on the ranks of the leaders who propose the blocks in the chain, and that weight is used to select between competing chains. The Dfinity blockchain is further hardened by a notarization process which dramatically improves the time to finality and eliminates the nothing-at-stake and selfish mining attacks.

Dfinity’s consensus algorithm is made to scale through continuous quorum selections driven by the random beacon. In practice, Dfinity achieves block times of a few seconds and transaction finality after only two confirmations. The system gracefully handles temporary losses of network synchrony including network splits, while it is provably secure under synchrony.

PROLOGUE

DFINITY is a decentralized network design whose protocols generate a reliable "virtual blockchain computer" running on top of a peer-to-peer network upon which software can be installed and can operate in the tamperproof mode of smart contracts. The goal is for the virtual computer to finalize computations quickly (using short block times and by requiring only a small number of blocks as "confirmations"), to provide predictable performance (by keeping the time between confirmations approximately constant), and for computational and storage capacity to scale up without bounds as demand for its services increases (using novel validation mechanisms and sharding systems discussed in our other papers). The protocols must be secure against an adversary controlling less than a certain critical proportion of its nodes, must generate cryptographic randomness (which is required by advanced decentralized applications) and must maintain a decentralized nature as it grows in size to millions of nodes.

Dfinity will be introduced in a series of technology overviews, each highlighting an independent innovation in Dfinity such as the consensus backbone, smart contract language, virtual machine, concurrent contract execution model, daemon contracts, peer-topeer networks and secure broadcast, governance mechanism and scaling techniques. The present document will focus on the consensus backbone and cryptographic randomness.

Dfinity has an unbiasable, verifiable random function (VRF) built-in at the core of its protocol. The VRF not only drives the consensus, it will also be the foundation for scaling techniques such as sharding, validation towers, etc. Moreover, the VRF produced by the consensus layer is available to the application layer, i.e., to the smart contracts and virtual machine. In this way, the consensus backbone is intertwined with many of the other topics.

Legal

Blockchain Platform: Ethereum
Office address: Gotthardstrasse 20, 6300 Zug, Switzerland

Token info

Ticker: DFN

Offices on the map

DFINITY Roadmap

1
2015

IDEA

2
2016 Q1

CORE TEAM

3
2016 Q4

SWISS FOUNDATION

4
2017 Q1

FIRST INVESTMENT

5
2017 Q4

20 PERSON TEAM

6
2018 Q1

COMMUNITY AIRDROP

7
2018 Q3

FOLLOW-ON FUNDING

8
2019

NETWORK LAUNCH

Project team

Dominic Williams
Dominic Williams
President & Chief Scientist
Dominic Williams linkedin
Timo Hanke
Timo Hanke
Chief Research Officer
Timo Hanke linkedin
Jan Camenisch
Jan Camenisch
Head of Research, Director of Zurich Research Lab
Jan Camenisch linkedin
Mahnush Movahedi
Mahnush Movahedi
enior Research Scientist
Mahnush Movahedi linkedin
Gregory Neven
Gregory Neven
Senior Researcher
Gregory Neven linkedin
Jens Groth
Jens Groth
Principal Researcher
Jens Groth linkedin
Yvonne-Anne Pignolet
Yvonne-Anne Pignolet
Senior Researcher
Yvonne-Anne Pignolet linkedin
Bogdan Warinschi
Bogdan Warinschi
Senior Researcher
David Derler
David Derler
Researcher
David Derler linkedin
Manu Drijvers
Manu Drijvers
Researcher
Manu Drijvers linkedin
Andrea Cerulli
Andrea Cerulli
Researcher
Andrea Cerulli linkedin
Yulin Liu
Yulin Liu
Senior Economist
Yulin Liu linkedin
Robert Lauko
Robert Lauko
Research Associate
Robert Lauko linkedin
Mack McCauley
Mack McCauley
Vice President of Engineering
Mack McCauley linkedin
Ben Lynn
Ben Lynn
Senior Staff Engineer & Researcher
Ben Lynn linkedin
Andreas Rossberg
Andreas Rossberg
Senior Staff Researcher & Engineer
Andreas Rossberg linkedin
Chris Baldwin
Chris Baldwin
Director of Compute Infrastructure
Maria Dubovitskaya
Maria Dubovitskaya
Engineering Manager
Maria Dubovitskaya linkedin
Stanley Jones
Stanley Jones
Engineering Manager - SDK & API
Claudio Russo
Claudio Russo
Senior Researcher
Claudio Russo linkedin
John Wiegley
John Wiegley
Senior Engineer & Researcher
John Wiegley linkedin
Joachim Breitner
Joachim Breitner
Senior Researcher & Engineer
Joachim Breitner linkedin
Paul Liu
Paul Liu
Staff Engineer
Paul Liu linkedin
Hassen Saidi
Hassen Saidi
Senior Software Engineer
Hassen Saidi linkedin
Allen Clement
Allen Clement
Senior Engineer & Researcher
Allen Clement linkedin
Matthew Hammer
Matthew Hammer
Engineer & Researcher
Matthew Hammer linkedin
Johan Granström
Johan Granström
Principal Software Engineer
Johan Granström linkedin
Shigeo Mitsunari
Shigeo Mitsunari
Staff Cryptographer
Enzo Haussecker
Enzo Haussecker
Senior Engineer
Enzo Haussecker linkedin
Ximin Luo
Ximin Luo
Software Engineer
Ximin Luo linkedin
Maciej Woś
Maciej Woś
Software Engineer
Paul Young
Paul Young
Software Engineer
Paul Young linkedin
Eftychios Theodorakis
Eftychios Theodorakis
Software Engineer
Eftychios Theodorakis linkedin
Gabor Greif
Gabor Greif
Software Engineer
Gabor Greif linkedin
Nikola Knežević
Nikola Knežević
Software Engineer
Nikola Knežević linkedin
Bas van Dijk
Bas van Dijk
Software Engineer
Max Murphy
Max Murphy
Software Engineer
Christian Müller
Christian Müller
Software Engineer
Christian Müller linkedin
Yan Chen
Yan Chen
Software Engineer
Christoph Hegemann
Christoph Hegemann
Software Engineer
Khushboo Bindlish
Khushboo Bindlish
Software Engineer
Ivan Malison
Ivan Malison
Software Engineer
Prithvi Shahi
Prithvi Shahi
Release Engineer
Franz-Stefan Preiss
Franz-Stefan Preiss
Identity Engineer
Nicolas Mattia
Nicolas Mattia
Software Engineer
Akhilesh Singhania
Akhilesh Singhania
Software Engineer
Dimitris Sarlis
Dimitris Sarlis
Software Engineer
Artia Moghbel
Artia Moghbel
Chief Operating Officer
Gian Bochsler
Gian Bochsler
Foundation Council Member & Swiss Operations
Gian Bochsler linkedin
Sanam Saaber
Sanam Saaber
General Counsel
Michael Lee
Michael Lee
Vice President of Communications
Diego Prats
Diego Prats
Director of Product
Diego Prats linkedin
Jennifer Ok
Jennifer Ok
Head of Partnerships
Jennifer Ok linkedin
Shadia Damra
Shadia Damra
Director of Finance
Juliana Che
Juliana Che
Director of Legal Operations
Josh Drake
Josh Drake
Head of IT, Security, Workplaces
Ryan Newman
Ryan Newman
Director of Recruiting
Edouard Planchat
Edouard Planchat
Swiss Operations & Administration
Tom Ding
Tom Ding
String Labs & Strategic Advisor
Michael Hunte
Michael Hunte
Director of Community Operations
Michael Hunte linkedin
Mamiko Inoue
Mamiko Inoue
Senior Accounting Manager
Mark Rafferty
Mark Rafferty
Technical Recruiter
Mark Rafferty linkedin
Bryan Fail
Bryan Fail
Technical Recruiter
Bryan Fail linkedin
James Fitzpatrick
James Fitzpatrick
Technical Recruiter
James Fitzpatrick linkedin
Elizabeth Yang
Elizabeth Yang
Operations Manager
Tho Nguyen
Tho Nguyen
Recruiting Operations Manager
Tho Nguyen linkedin
Claire Hinton
Claire Hinton
HR Operations Specialist
Claire Hinton linkedin
Sharon Choe
Sharon Choe
Executive Assistant
Sharon Choe linkedin
Tomomi Menjo
Tomomi Menjo
Office Manager
Tomomi Menjo twitter
Johanna Hoby
Johanna Hoby
Office Manager
Johanna Hoby linkedin
Caroline Bevan
Caroline Bevan
Recruiting Coordinator
Caroline Bevan linkedin
Jelena Djuric
Jelena Djuric
Community Manager
Jelena Djuric linkedin

Social media

DFINITY web-siteDFINITY RedditDFINITY MediumDFINITYYouTubeDFINITY TelegramDFINITY BTCTalkDFINITY LinkedInDFINITY TwitterDFINITY FacebookDFINITY Github

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