What stops the IC from competing with AWS

The stated aim of the IC is to compete with cloud computing services. Eighteen months after mainnet launch, as far as I can tell, no firm has moved its business from AWS or Azure or Google Cloud to the IC. I would be happy to learn about any who have but even if a few exist it has been a minuscule shift.
My questions are:

  1. What are the most important stumbling blocks to the shift taking place?
  2. Was Dfinity always aware of these obstacles or did they understand them only after launch?
  3. Is there a clear path to overcoming the obstacles?
  4. If yes, what is the timeline for the rollout of features that will enable the IC to be competitive with Web2 cloud services?

I would love to have responses from Dfinity reps like @diegop and @bjoernek and also from the larger community.


I think that was a stated aim in the past, but they’ve moved on from there. Not a pivot, more of a realisation that there’s so much more that can be achieved.

We are a 12 person team that’s shipped games with tens of millions of players, and honestly it’s so much easier developing on the IC, we haven’t looked back.

I think it’s WAAY too early to expect a corporation to even consider the IC. It takes a decade for half of them to migrate to a different DBMS.


I think the 80/20 answer to your question can be summarized by these two statements:

  1. “Software will eat the world. Smart contracts will eat software.”
  2. “Web2 cloud can become like cloud vs on-prem storing. It will not go away, but rather the next computing phase will grow much faster. It will become a tool in the architecture.”

this means that the thesis or belief (which i share) that IC can grow beyond with traditional cloud less by replacing feature by feature, but by providing key features traditional cloud does NOT have.

In particular: smart contracts and computing which reduces a lot of the tech stack attack vectors by relying more cryptography than traidtional cloud.

So to the 80/20 answer is:

The adoption of smart contracts is the #1.

100%. Just like we knew that smart contracts had very painful things such as (cost, speed, performance, etc…). That is why IC actively makes all of these orders of magnitude better than other traditional blockchains.

Hard to answer this question. i think there are many clear tech and adoption low hanging fruit (each of varying impact) so one could answer: Yes. but on the other hand, if you look at history of ETH, BTC, or even AWS… adoption is a circuitous route that looks neat in retrospect.

I think this question may make an assumption i politely would like to reverse: Web2 Cloud services cannot do smart contracts. You cannot have “AWS smart contracts” as a feature. its fundamentally different computing architecture. I think the real low hanging fruit is in building out more the crypto landscape and addressing crypto pain points… and grow with the growth of smart contracts.

Was that helpful?


The IC is a complete re-imagining of the IT stack and network infrastructure based on radical decentralization. So to answer @Denis’s questions at a higher level, I don’t ever see the IC seriously competing with AWS for its current customers. But, more important, the IC shouldn’t even try to.

The centralized Web2 infrastructure of AWS will always be more appealing to centralized organizations. By contrast, Web3 is not just about decentralized infrastructure. It is just as much about decentralized organizations, aka DAOs. It will be DAOs to whom the IC ultimately appeals most. So those are the organizations of the future that the IC should target and support, not legacy centralized corporations. Or, to use a well-worn metaphor, I believe that it will ultimately be decentralized organizations that wag the tail of decentralized infrastructure, not so much the other way around.

Only individuals and organizations with radically different needs can drive radical change with their choices. A new network infrastructure like the IC can only respond to those different needs and choices as they grow and evolve in society via DAOs. The IC can’t simply create those needs in “Field of Dreams” fashion, i.e., “build it, and they will come”.

That is why my personal research focus is on facilitating the radical decentralization of organizations via collective prioritization, which no large organization has ever successfully implemented in algorithmic fashion. Only deliberative “consensus reaching processes” (“CRPs”) in committees have been implemented with marginal success. Unfortunately, CRP’s are mostly an exercise in coercive, diversity-killing groupthink, and they can’t really scale beyond about 100 individuals and a very small set of decision alternatives.


Great responses, @borovan , @diegop , @Sabr , thanks.
Since many corporations are unaware of the power and potential of smart contracts, I hope we can proactively build that awareness by seeking partnerships and handholding firms through the process of change.

1 Like