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Advanced features


While previous sections guide you to start building canisters on the IC, here you can see how to integrate various (sometimes advanced) extra functionality to your dapp. From identity to ledger integrations, to integrating with other blockchains, to communicating from the IC to the outside world, and even decentralizing control of your dapp, it's all here.

Composite queries

The Internet Computer (IC) supports two types of messages: updates and queries. An update message is executed on all nodes and persists canister state changes. A query message discards state changes and typically executes on a single node. An update can call other updates and queries. However a query cannot make any calls, which can hinder development of scalable decentralized applications (dapps), especially those that shard data across multiple canisters. Composite queries solve this problem.

HTTPS Outcalls

HTTP(S) outcalls on the IC enable canisters to directly make calls to HTTP(S) servers external to the blockchain and use the response in the further processing of the canister such that the replicated state can safely be updated using those inputs. A first in blockchain history, and alleviates the need for oracles.

  • HTTPS outcalls gives an overview of how the IC can communicate with the world outside.
  • How it works to dive further into the details and gives a comparison against oracles.

Independently verifying Internet Computer signatures

Internet Identity

Internet Identity allows users to create sessions with Web3 services and dapps, and sign traditional blockchain transactions.

Threshold ECDSA

A threshold ECDSA implementation on a blockchain can be viewed as the on-chain pendant to a hardware security module (HSM) that stores private keys securely and issues signatures on request of the eligible entities, and only to those. It is particularly important to facilitate direct integration with (ECDSA-based) blockchains.


The VETKeys feature is in ongoing development on the Internet Computer (IC). It stands for ‘Verifiable Encrypted Threshold Keys’ and enables a number of cryptographic functionalities on the IC. The primary motivation for VETKeys is to facilitate onchain encryption, as such the focus of this primer has that example in mind.