The team at DFINITY, which is described as the Internet Computer and a “revolutionary” blockchain hosting “unlimited” data and computation “on-chain,” (while easily building scalable dapps, DeFi, and websites), reveals that their Internet Computer effectively replaces usernames and passwords with “a more advanced and secure method of cryptographic authentication.”
Björn Tackmann, Team Lead, Research at DFINITY, notes that to understand what identity and authentication mean “in the context” of the Internet Computer, a blockchain computing network that “runs at web speed and can increase its capacity without bound,” we need to look at how identity and authentication are used “with the web today.”
Tackmann explains that when we log into a website, our username is usually our email address or a string of letters and numbers, which serves as our unique identifier that “connects the relevant data on the servers with your identity.” Tackmann also mentions that our password is “the means of authentication.” He points out that since, in theory, only you must know your password, the server “interprets your password as proof that it is communicating with you.”
However, it turns out that passwords are “not a good mechanism for remote authentication,” Tackmann claims while adding that when we enter our password on a website, our computer sends the password to a server, “where it is checked against a password database.”
He also notes:
“Unfortunately, hackers can gain access to these password databases. In the most egregious cases, passwords are stored on the server in plaintext, which is not a recommended security practice. However, even if passwords are encrypted, recovering them is only a matter of the computational and monetary resources that the hacker is willing to invest in order to gain access.”
“The Internet Computer is designed to provide security against the malicious behavior of individual compute providers by replicating data and computation across multiple data centers. Replication, while protecting the integrity of the data, does not protect against leakage of information; the use of passwords on the Internet Computer would still be subject to the same security issues as on the traditional web. Therefore, with the Internet Computer, we have replaced passwords with proper cryptographic authentication.”
(Note: for more technical details on how user authentication has been implemented by DFINITY, check here.)
Crypto-asset bank Sygnum will reportedly be offering custody and banking services for Internet Computer utility tokens. It’s notably the first banking institution to do so.
ICP token holders will have the option to deposit their tokens with Sygnum Bank. After this has been done, it will be followed by the introduction of 24/7 spot trading, options trading and loans against ICP token holdings in the foreseeable future.
The Internet Computer project has been incubated and officially launched by DFINITY on May 7, 2021. Sygnum claims that the Internet Computer is the “third major blockchain innovation after Bitcoin and Ethereum”
Established in 2016, the initiative intends to provide smart contract capabilities at Internet speed, thus helping to create a “decentralized global computer.” ICP has already listed on several exchanges such as Coinbase Pro on May 10, 2021.