Attempt to Create an Autonomous Internet: Overview of ThreeFold Foundation

ThreeFold is a project working on building a distributed, neutral and sustainable internet infrastructure. The current worldwide web has become clustered around data centres, is inefficient and vulnerable to user privacy issues. Right now, technology infrastructure is provided by a few big corporations like Amazon Web Services, Alibaba Cloud or Digital Ocean among others.

Tackling the issues of centralized data centres powering the entire internet, the paradigm is shifting towards a decentralized, autonomous web. The ThreeFold team has developed a three-layered technology stack that will meet the demand for decentralized computing and storage capacity.

The new demand will arise as technology trends like Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications start to unravel.

ThreeFold is an open-source project and has three main layers: the application layer, the autonomous layer and the capacity layer. Anyone can be part of the network, either by contributing computing resources, developing applications on top of it or participate as an end-user.

The ThreeFold Grid, as the network is called, will be formed of multiple nodes spread out across the globe, each sharing their spare resources. These nodes are called Farmers.

A ThreeFold Farmer can be anyone – from individuals to companies who invest in equipment to provide storage and computation resources. By providing network capacity, ThreeFold Farmers receive token rewards in the form of the ThreeFold Token (TFT).

According to data from ThreeFold, the network already has a capacity of 83,000 TB and 14,500 cores from Farmers’ contributions in 20 countries.


With its overarching mission, the ThreeFold network has the potential to have a multitude of use-cases. In the crypto space, there are several decentralized solutions tackling the need for storage and computing services. Projects like Noia, Filecoin or Holochain are working on siloed solutions, either for content delivery, file storage or application deployment. ThreeFold has the potential to provide a comprehensive solution with all tech components necessary available in one place.

The good competition also comes from Tachyon Protocol – a project also building the underlying infrastructure for a decentralized web. In order to be successful, the ThreeFold team needs to build a strong community and generate a lot of interest from potential node operators, developers and build out its user base.

ThreeFold Technology

ThreeFold has been built on open-source technology and is a strong advocate of open-source collaboration.

The ThreeFold Grid technology consists of three major building blocks:

Zero OS is a stateless operating system which enables distributed hardware to form the ThreeFold Grid which provides both storage and compute capacity. All Farmer nodes run on the Zero OS.

Zero Robot is a self-healing system which controls and operates the ThreeFold Grid without outside intervention. The robots are automated bots that act as system administrators that deal with overload issues and adjust network flow to meet the computation requirements for applications. While there is still some manual intervention from the team, the plan is to make the Grid fully automated by the end of 2019.

Zero Chain is the blockchain framework, which the set of blockchain technologies currently used under the hood to power the ThreeFold Grid.


ThreeFold already boasts some notable partnerships. According to ThreeFold, all deployed equipment has been certified by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and the company has plans to build services on the ThreeFold Grid. Other partners include Kleos, a 5G telecommunications company, FlowGen – a renewable energy company and Solidaridad, which works on sustainable blockchain solutions.

Token Economics

The ThreeFold Grid is powered by the ThreeFold Token (TFT), a decentralized digital currency. The TFT token is generated only when Farmers add capacity to the Grid, conveying the token a certain commercial viability. The maximum supply for TFT is 100 billion.

While there are no tokens reserved for founders, the development team or advisors, there is a foundation, the ThreeFold Blockchain that monitors the circulating supply of TFT.

TFT as a digital currency can be used to buy various services on the ThreeFold Grid for computing, storage, or usage of applications.


ThreeFold has an extensive team, with a long list of entrepreneurs, developers and ambassadors featured on their website.

Kristof De Spiegeleer – CEO of the ThreeFold Foundation. Kristof is a humanist & motivated entrepreneur, passionate to help make the world a better place. He founded more than 10 companies from which 6 have been acquired by large IT players.

Adnan Fatayerji – Adnan is the CEO of the Mazraa Cooperative which is a founding farm on the ThreeFold Network, dedicated to driving the success of the ThreeFold Foundation.

Chris Hutton – A serial entrepreneur and technology fanatic for 25 years now. Always researching tech trends and looking for new technologies to introduce to Africa.


The ThreeFold network is still in development and it remains to be seen whether the promise of a decentralized and autonomous network can be delivered. Furthermore, the technologies used for network implementation do not necessarily translate into a competitive advantage.


ThreeFold tackles a relevant issue in how today’s internet has evolved, however reforming the underlying infrastructure is a highly ambitious goal. Nonetheless, the inflexion of web 3.0 will only take place gradually by building the necessary tools, as well as generate interest and demand.

The project is still in development and will have to face stiff competition as well as overcome the challenge of attracting users to its platform. At the same time, the ThreeFold team seems to be quite numerous with extensive experience in a wide variety of industries.