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Dominic Williams

Dominic Williams is an entrepreneur and crypto theoretician, serving as the Founder and Chief Scientist of DFINITY and President and CTO of String Labs in Palo Alto. Established in 2016, DFINITY is the company behind and seeks to revolutionize the public internet by creating a decentralized cloud that can effectively host advanced software and services. With a career spanning two decades, Dominic has gained expertise in distributed systems and the internet. He has contributed to various scientific areas, including Threshold Relay and PSC chains, Validation Towers and Trees, USCIDs, and The 3 E's of Sybil Resistance. [1][2]

Early Life & Education

Dominic Williams received his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from King's College London, where he graduated with a 1st Class degree and was also honored with several academic awards, including the Highest Scoring 1st Class Honors in Computer Science and the Sambrooke Exhibition prize. [3]

Career

Dominic started his career as the Founder and CEO of Smartdrivez, a system that offered a multitude of features, including multi-user file sharing and synchronization, online backup, and offline backup to CD-R. The technology was designed to be deployed either in the cloud by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) or on corporate servers.  Afterwards, he created System 7, a Saas platform that created and operated high-end commercial Web portals. The company was sold to Ordovic in 2011. [3]

In 2010, Williams founded Fight My Monster, a multiplayer online (MMO) game and social network for kids based on the Cassandra database, which gained great popularity within the first months of launching. [3]

After some trial runs, my online game and network launched properly New Year 2011, gained thirty thousand users within two weeks, three hundred thousand users within a few months, and went on to gain a million users in just more than a year.

Williams created String Labs in 2015, where he serves as President and CTO. The company is a venture-backed incubator specializing in open protocol and crypto projects, including the DFINITY project. Additionally, String Labs has been involved in various other crypto initiatives, such as "mirror assets," which aimed to provide access to investable assets globally in a democratized manner. Notable investors in String Labs include Amino Capital, FBS Capital, Zhen Fund, and IDG Capital Partners. [3]

Internet Computer

While working for Smartdrivez, he used Wei Dai's Crypto++ Library for several projects, including the development of a certificate scheme. His interest in the decentralization community was piqued by Wei Dai's paper on "b-money," a precursor to . In 2013, while working on various ventures, he studied the fundamentals of blockchain technology. [4]

I love algorithms and distributed computing, and in the distant past at Computer Science undergraduate level won many prizes for this kind of thing. But more than that, I had never encountered a technical field that combined considerations of finance, law, politics, economics and philosophy while holding the promise of driving truly impactful changes in the world. For me, this emerging area is a dream come true. I made a bigger life decision to rededicate my career to this field.

Williams wrote a paper introducing Pebble, a that was scalable and allowed for microtransactions. This paper had limited distribution within the crypto community, but was notable for introducing the concept of decentralized sharding. Pebble's design incorporated shards that reached consensus through asynchronous Byzantine Consensus algorithms. [4]

Subsequently, he shifted his focus towards world computer networks, including , through the Dfinity project, the organization behind . [4]

“Until now, the internet has just been a global network. The Internet Computer extends this functionality… enabling you to build directly on the network. This is a paradigm shift that will change everything.”

The Internet Computer relies on the Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) to function, which operates over the public internet and combines the computational power of specialized machines managed by separate data centers located worldwide. [5]

According to Williams, the platform offers developers an improved and safer way to build both conventional websites and enterprise systems, while also establishing an ideal setting for open internet services, decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, smart contracts, and cross-industry platforms. [5]

“New systems are built without any dependencies on legacy IT, such as proprietary cloud services, server machines, or database systems. The developer of the future builds simply by writing abstract logic into cyberspace, making use of revolutionary new capabilities. In a decade, public cyberspace will host a substantial chunk of humankind’s back-end software and data on a blockchain network, and developers and users will be free.”

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Dominic Williams

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February 28, 2023

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