Cryptocurrencies and the field of decentralized finance (DeFi) are now hailed as necessary. However, both still operate on a centralized system – the Internet itself. The Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) and its ICP token aim to change that.
What awaits you in this article:
Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) Quickly Explained
Simply put, ICP is the first blockchain project of its kind to scale the internet itself and not just at the application or data storage level. In this way, individuals and businesses can provide any type of software/content over the Internet. Without being at the mercy of monopolies like Facebook, Google, Amazon or Twitter.
As a scalable open-source project the protocol is not only interoperable with other blockchains. Rather, ICP targets all applications that were previously based on a centralized infrastructure. Next to Filecoin is PCI the most important ingredient for the development of Internet 3.0. One that reopens the internet by relying on decentralized blockchains and smart contracts to rebuild the entire internet.
Consider how the MetaMask wallet works now – it ties DeFi protocols together within a single interface. ICP goes a step further and allows smart contracts to directly connect to other smart contracts and deliver web content to the end user.
Who is behind ICP?
The protocol was launched in 2016 under the supervision of the association Infinity Foundation launched, which consists of more than 200 developers in offices in San Francisco, Zurich, Palo Alto and Tokyo. Together they have an impressive scientific reach of nearly 100,000 scientific citations. After funding rounds in 2018, Dfinity was able to raise nearly $195 million to develop the project.
Internet Computer itself was manufactured by Dominique Williams developed, the ICP as “new open internet“represents and internet”than a computer hosting secure software with superpowersreintroduced. Williams is a crypto scientist best known as the inventor of the threshold relay and the probabilistic slot machine. Investors in the foundation are primarily venture capitalists, including Aspect Ventures, Amino Capital, Eterna Capital, Polychain Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.
In 2020, Dfinity presented its first dApp at the annual conference in Davos under the auspices of the World Economic Forum. The application called Connected was a decentralized version of LinkedIn. They also later released Cancanan open version of TikTok that consists of just 1000 lines of code and can be scaled to memory requirements.
In May 2021, the Internet computer protocol launched its first public mainnet. According to the roadmap, the open internet supported by the PKI should eclipse the closed internet within 20 years.
How does ICP work?
Although most Internet computer code is open source, it runs on the Apache 2.0 License, some components using the Internet Computer Shared Community Source License and the Internet Computer Community Source License. The network is based on an entirely new language called Motoko, which the Dfinity Foundation developed. However, the PKI framework also supports RUST and C languages.
Like Cardano or soon Ethereum, Internet Computer is based on the Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus, but consists of four layers: Identity, Random Tag, Blockchain, and Notary. Another important difference is that ICP cartridges used instead of smart contracts to perform actions automatically. Thanks to the four layers, these cartridges offer virtually unlimited expandability.
More importantly, the novel Chain key technology Allows ICP to run at web speed – actions/queries execute in milliseconds, while block speed is expected to reach 1000bps by the end of the year. By comparison, Ethereum’s basis points in June sit at 13.22.
Overall, by combining the power of all blockchain nodes, the ICP token generates a unified platform capable of hosting any type of application at any scale. End users interact with the cartridges without noticing the difference with the currently closed Internet.
What is special about the ICP token?
Formerly known as DFN, the Internet Computer Token or ICP is a utility token that connects directly to the Network Nervous System (NNS) of ICP. NNS is the governance protocol for network management, first introduced in September 2020. It consists of four components:
- Data Centers – currently 48
- Knots – currently 1,300
- Subnets – similar to Polkadot’s parachains
- Canisters – ultra-scalable smart contracts
As with other blockchains, users must attract their ICP token to participate in governance. Once attracted for a period of time, they become “neurons” that allow stakeholders to vote, with voting power proportional to the number of locked ICP tokens.
Additionally, Neurons offer voting rewards every month. Outside of governance, computer tokens are used to power dApps hosted on ICP’s blockchain. If a developer wanted to deploy an application, they would have to turn computing tokens into “cycles” that perform all functions inside smart contract containers.
As you can see from the infographic, internet computer tokenomics is driven by both inflationary and deflationary forces, with the initial token supply being 469,213,710. The current circulating ICP token supply is of 128,985,798 KPIs. Less than a week after the launch of ICP’s mainnet, the internet computing token has reached a massive market capitalization of $71.8 billion, which will soon drop to $4.8 billion, the computing token itself trading at 37 lies of $0.58.
Is it a good idea to buy ICP tokens?
So far, major crypto exchanges have already listed Internet Computer (ICP) tokens: Coinbase, Binance, Huobi and Gate.io.
While Dfinity’s stated mission is to counter the monopolization and increasingly aggressive tyrannical behavior of big tech, it’s problematic that it unveiled its first dApps at the World Economic Forum, the same global body pushing the hyper- centralization and total surveillance.
However, ICP’s impressive academic support cannot be overstated. Moreover, there is no comparable project except for Filecoin, which operates decentralized data storage. The name of the token itself probably also fits in the right place – internet computer. The branding, while generic, meets the ambitious and claimed goal of making the internet open and fun again.
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