Cycles Faucet: Free Cycles to Build on the Internet Computer

The cycles faucet is a resource that developers can immediately begin utilizing to support the launch of projects on the Internet Computer.

The Internet Computer is available for use by all developers, with the recent addition of app subnet capacity to the network via proposals to the Network Nervous System (NNS). To help supercharge developers as they get up and running, the DFINITY Foundation has launched a cycles faucet in partnership with Fleek. Qualified developers can access $100 worth of free cycles to begin deploying Canister smart contracts to the network.

Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) tokens are the native utility token of the Internet Computer. ICP tokens can be staked within a neuron to participate in network governance, or they can be converted into cycles to run software on the network. Developers use cycles to pay for computation and resource consumption on the Internet Computer. In order to deploy Canisters to production, a developer first needs to obtain ICP. The cycles faucet, which is funded by an ICP allocation from the DFINITY Foundation, allows developers to skip this conversion and deploy Canisters in a few easy steps.

Upon accessing the cycles faucet, developers will be able to select one of two options for managing their cycles (developers will be prompted to input their principal identifier):

  1. a cycles wallet, or
  2. Dank, a new service offered by Fleek.

A cycles wallet is a special type of Canister for managing the distribution and ownership of cycles. When using the DFINITY Canister SDK locally, a cycles wallet is created for you as part of the default dfx project, and most of the operations performed using the cycles wallet happen automatically. In order to deploy apps to production on the Internet Computer, a developer needs to first create a Canister and deploy a new cycles wallet to it. When selecting this option in the cycles faucet, this is all done for you. The principal identifier provided will be assigned as the controller of your new wallet Canister, enabling you to deploy Canisters using your cycles balance.

By design, cycles are not directly associated with a developer’s principal identifier, hence the need for a cycles wallet. This inspired Fleek to create Dank, a Canister-based service running on the Internet Computer that enables users to hold a balance of cycles associated with their principal identifier. Dank offers the necessary Canister and cycle management infrastructure in the background so that developers don’t need to deploy their own cycles wallet. Dank can even automatically keep their cycle balance topped up.

The cycles faucet is a resource that developers can immediately begin utilizing to support the launch of projects. We can’t wait to see what the growing developer community starts building on the Internet Computer!

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Cycles Faucet: Free Cycles to Build on the Internet Computer was originally published in The Internet Computer Review on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Publication date: 
07/22/2021 - 17:19

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