Questions and concerns about DFINITY Foundation working "beyond core protocol"

:100: I’m almost more disappointed in the community for not understanding this basic point. Not surprised if DFINITY feels the need to babysit us.

I’m incredibly grateful for the unique properties of Internet Identity compared to potential alternatives, and for what it can enable in things like NFID.

I also appreciate that it was built by DFINITY. By using the NNS I’m already implicitly trusting the foundation so it’s not much more to ask to trust their authentication mechanism as well.

If there were only 3rd party ways to authenticate I probably wouldn’t have felt comfortable without doing a lot of research.


For us it’s not so much about the SNS, it’s about the payment

Nothing to stop you from using II in the context of a wallet like Infinity Wallet, to preserve identity across devices. Identity provider != wallet imo.

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Sorry, not sure I follow, which “payment” are you referring to? (Apologies if obvious)

@lastmjs, I would like to clarify your constructive criticism of Dfinity’s front-end work.

Would you like Dfinity to stop building application level tools or would you like them to build them better? All of your suggestions and recommendations are about how they could have made them better. Or both? Do you not see a world where Dfinity hears customer (dev) feedback such as yours and incorporates it going forward?

@diegop to the extent this doesn’t already happen, I do think it would make sense to incorporate feedback and institute WGs on all application level tools. It seems this happened with the token standard but maybe not as much with II or the NNS. Am I right here?


Good question. We have the following WGs:

  1. Topic: Identity & Auth
    DFINITY lead: @frederikrothenberger

  2. Topic: Developer Tooling
    DFINITY lead: @dfx-json

  3. Topic: Ledger & Tokenization
    DFINITY lead: @mariop

  4. Topic: Scalability & Performance

So I think both are true (non controversial) statements:

  1. There is an II working group
  2. It’s still early days in WG so more WGs (and deeper collaboration) is an improvement we all agree on
  3. Not all WGs listed above would have likely have addressed @lastmjs and others concerns

The NNS UX should have been cleaned up before the SNS was started. Currently the nns looks like a hello world bootstrap project and that’s my personal biggest gripe.

I would also add that dfinity creating products like a SNS in my opinion has slowed down adoption. Everyone in the ecosystem has to wait for the SNS. If the ecosystem would have created a launcher project we would have several and competition would decide which one is best. But in current world people don’t want to compete with dfinity and why would they. Dfinity will use their power to market the sns and competing projects will be looked at as off brand.

I’m not a developer in the ecosystem but as an outsider that’s what I see.

That’s where I think I could see projects complaining


Hi @blockpunk

I’m working on the II team and I would like to address the points raised here:

We absolutely do understand that interoperability needs to be improved. And yes, right now II does not support any form of interoperability between services. But starting from a strong privacy model and adding opt-in features to relax it is by far the better approach for a sound and sane system than going the other way (which might not even be possible; once you give information away, you cannot get it back).

To address this, we have the following items on our roadmap (see our roadmap update thread):

  • Delegation of fine-grained permissions
  • 3rd party attributes
  • Renewable short lived delegations (which is required to do long-term delegations)

Unfortunately, all of those are a) a lot of work and b) pushed back by other items that are required to just keep Internet Identity accessible and working (i.e. II Domain Migration and Multi-Canister Architecture).

Be assured that we want to improve Internet Identity for both users and developers.

Also, Internet Identity is open to external contributions. If you want to speed things up and help with the development of one of the issues above please reach out. It would be greatly appreciated. :slight_smile:


This is all great! Though what I am getting at here is that in addition to not having to re-develop the API layer, it would be nice for developers to not have to re-develop the UI layer.


If the design system is also being pulled out then most of my concerns on the frontend architecture, for the NNS and SNS, have been addressed. I just hope the design system will be web components and not dictate a framework.


Very excellent. It would be nice for Internet Identity to be developed in the same way.


I guess I’ve been conflating the two arguments. I think I’m coming to a personal conclusion that I believe DFINITY should have the guiding principle of giving highest priority and focusing most resources on the protocol level, and I believe they are mostly doing that after the recent round of transparency on where resources are allocated. On a case-by-case basis I think app-layer concerns might be appropriate for DFINITY to get involved in. For the SNS, I started off very optimistic but over time have changed my opinion. Now I feel it may be better for DFINITY to not work on it. But if they are, then I would like it to be architected as well as possible so that I can work with it (both working in the codebase if necessary and incorporating it into my own applications).

So, I want to see DFINITY aggresively focus on the protocol layer and prioritize it over anything at the application layer. On a case by case basis, some app layer meddling may be appropriate. Personally, I don’t think I’m in favor of DFINITY working on SNS and People Parties, as two examples. If DFINITY wants to pursue them, I’ll most likely provide feedback to help them succeed.


Drive-by comment:

I think some amount of application-layer development is necessary in order for DFINITY to eat their own dog food.


Yes, and I feel it somewhat inappropriate for me or other community members to even try to dictate what DFINITY, an independent contributor to the IC, does with their time (besides providing feedback and suggestions). But, there’s a conflation with DFINITY and the NNS DAO it seems, and DFINITY has invited us to direct their efforts through governance proposals…


I appreciate that. If it makes it easier, we the foundation are asking for feedback on this from smart dedicated folks such as you all. This is a dialogue and we see it as such @lastmjs . Definitely something we ask… so it’s all fair play.


This is probably a good opportunity to perhaps break my “ask only clarifying questions” philosophy for this thread (how many times have I broken it already? :upside_down_face:) and be explicit about a tenet I strongly believe:

“You can tell take the measure of a person by how much truth they are willing to accept”

This, I believe, applies to teams, organizations, etc… as well.

Do I accept all the truth before me? Of course not! (I eat less healthy than I’m willing to admit for one), but I think “accepting truth” is a worthwhile goal and a muscle worth exercising. This does not mean that every statement everyone says it’s “truth” but it can mean “it is TRUE that X believes Y.” Sometimes even that level of statements are hard to accept.

So yes, this is a dialogue and one intended to help the Dfinity foundation ask clarifying questions and ultimately accept truth about what folks believe… I admit, even things like stack ranking of concerns, rationales, likes/dislikes in this thread have all been very helpful so far.

Thank you so far, and I look forward to read more.


As I see ICP as an investor, it has a job of cleaning up after the 2 Cryptos from their problems and selling cycles to websites that have to spend money to build on this new type of system.

ICP, in my opinion, has a totally new internet that is downplayed so as not to offend and doesn’t provide any incentive for new investors. A silent achiever, I think so but they could consider the old internet and what it is worth and where it gets its revenue.

Why not become a new exploria and have revenue come in like some of the biggest tech companies, after all, will ICP be going to recommend sending or searching for websites that are not built on the ICP and are the old explorias going to display websites built on ICP?

I don’t feel the price of ICP, which is just a workhorse for others, will fetch a large price in the future compared to the top coins and unless we have much better fundamentals and revenue stream, real money and backers will not invest.

How about a wrapper for old sites to come over and do business on the ICP.

Who doesn’t provide rewards today, how about something to view, offer information and services, create a revenue stream but with the ability to market its abilities that others on the old web can’t.

While the only incentive is to sell cycles and invest into the CF and SNS I don’t see much.

I only see views here that should be left upto ICP but lacking ideas that will fund ICP into the future.

Hey @diegop I just wanted to follow-up here to see if you’ve had the time to ask/hear back from Jan on the points I asked about above in this thread.

(Revealing a bit behind the scenes…) Jan is still on his well-earned holiday vacation, but I will once he is back soon. I rather be direct than leave you hanging :nerd_face:.

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I totally agree that NNS controls community fund and SNS because NNS is the highest power of IC