- Dfinity’s Dominic Williams says there are ‘billions and billions’ in VCs ready for crypto startups.
- The Swiss nonprofit has launched a decentralized global computer to break Big Tech’s stranglehold.
- Tech firms have invested heavily in the “old way of doing things,” according to Williams.
Mainstream venture capital firms are sitting on “billions and billions of dollars” that they’re ready to invest in crypto and so-called “open internet” startups, according to the founder of $2 billion technology nonprofit Dfinity.
Cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, Ethereum’s ether, and even meme token dogecoin, have all attracted widespread investment this year with companies including Tesla, Jack Dorsey’s Square, and software firm MicroStrategy, all taking up positions in digital assets.
Now, venture capital firms are ready to pour billions into startups that are best placed to leverage blockchain technologies. That’s according to Dominic Williams, the chief scientist and founder of Swiss not-for-profit Dfinity.
“There are billions and billions and billions of dollars in major venture capital funds ready to go to fund crypto and open Internet enterprises,” Williams told Insider.
“If you’re an entrepreneur, this is your chance, this is the next big wave … Entrepreneurs all over the planet are going to start participating in the tech economy in a way that they’ve never been able to before.”
Williams was speaking as Dfinity launched the “Internet Computer”, a new blockchain-based protocol that hopes to tackle the monopolization of the web by a handful of Big Tech companies.
Effectively, the Internet Computer aims to allow developers and entrepreneurs to build their technology directly onto the internet, instead of relying on cloud-hosting systems provided by the likes of Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft’s Azure, and Google’s Cloud.
Dfinity has already captured investment from high-profile VCs Polychain Capital and Andreessen Horowitz in a round that valued it at in excess of $2 billion. The nonprofit claims its “open” version of the internet will be faster, more secure, and cheaper, than existing services provided by the Big Tech companies.
The Internet Computer, which is a culmination of five years of research by a host of top cryptographers, has become the world’s first blockchain that runs at web speed and with unlimited capacity, according to Williams. He also insists the new protocol creates a world where users are “no longer tracked across internet services”.
“There’s a lot of people in the corporate space, who invested an awful lot of money in the the old way of doing things,” Williams said.
“People have spent the last 10 years getting the most-valued professional exam from AWS, or wherever, and are very proud of those qualifications. When you ask them about the Internet Computer, they’re going to say something like AWS is faster, they’re not going to be persuaded easily. It will take years.”
But for Williams, the business case for porting across to an open internet is very clear. He said the game of traditional IT was that cloud providers tried to “lock you in”.
“At a business level, you know, it makes absolute sense for corporations to migrate to the Internet Computer as soon as they can to hightail it out of a traditional IT,” he said.
Williams believes his version of the internet will dramatically reduce the cost of running a business online. As a result, it will open up a world of new tech talent beyond San Francisco.
“We all know what an advantage proximity to the network of angels and VCs in Silicon Valley has meant for people creating companies here,” he said.
“Only a tiny fraction of the world’s technical talent is in Silicon Valley. It’s not so easy (to start a tech company) in Europe. It’s damn near impossible from Africa.”
The Dfinity founder insists his technology will enable someone with a “banged up Chromebook” in Africa to start a new business.
“That’s incredibly exciting, it’s not only democratizing and spreading opportunity around the world, but it’s going to just bring in an incredible amount of human intelligence and creativity to bear,” he said.
“This is going to drive growth like no one has ever seen.”
Dfinity has a host of high-profile backers. Polychain Capital is a San Francisco-based hedge fund that was set up in 2016 to invest in blockchain startups. Polychain itself is invested in a by an array of high-profile VCs, including early Apple and Google-backer Sequoia Capital. For Andreessen Horowitz, its investment into Dfinity represented the first time it had invested into the development of a digital process rather than a company.
In 2019, Williams spoke to Insider about how Google’s acquisition of DeepMind was “an outrage”.