DFINITY is a name for the DFINITY Foundation, or more correctly “DFINITY Stiftung”, a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland, that was originally founded in Zug in October 2016.
DFINITY contributes technology to the Internet Computer blockchain, provides support for its ecosystem, and advocates for its application as a technology stack. DFINITY holds an endowment of ICP token that are currently worth billions of dollars, which it sells as needed to fund its operations. While DFINITY has no shareholders or members, DFINITY has one mission: foster the advancement and adoption of the Internet Computer.
A stated objective of DFINITY is to create a blockchain singularity, in which over time, the majority of humanity’s systems and services are rebuilt, and reimagined, upon the Internet Computer blockchain using a new form of smart contracts called canisters. DFINITY is held to its mission, which is defined in its notarial deed, by a regulatory framework operated by the Central Switzerland BVG and Foundation Supervisory Authority (ZBSA).
The organization can be described as Blockchain Maximalist and decentralization-forward. DFINITY runs what is arguably blockchain's largest R&D operation, which employs many famous cryptographers, computer science researchers and senior engineers. It currently employs around 200 full-time personnel, with many working from dedicated research centers in locations including Zürich, Switzerland, and California, and from numerous remote teams. DFINITY is constantly integrating new talent into its team and scaling its R&D effort. By its own estimates, it will grow to employ thousands of R&D and operations staff in the coming years.
The name DFINITY derives from Decentralized inFINITY, which was first used by its founder Dominic Williams in 2015 to refer to technical research he had performed with the hope of enabling Ethereum to become a true world computer blockchain. Once it became apparent that a large and highly specialized team would need to perform years of blue sky R&D to realize the world computer vision, DFINITY became a standalone project. Today, the Internet Computer incorporates a blockchain architecture that has been totally rethought from the ground up in order to provide world computer capabilities.
DFINITY has become a go-to organization for talented individuals interested in working at the leading edge of blockchain, computer science and cryptography.
After several years of R&D, which effort continues today, the Internet Computer blockchain underwent Genesis on the 10th of May 2021.