Internet Computer – ICP
Currently, cryptocurrencies are not fully decentralized because several tech giants control today’s internet. Blockchain projects must rely on the internet for computing storage for their protocol and websites. This is where the Internet Computer comes with a solution that aims to replace the whole internet with a new decentralized internet.
The Internet Computer is a project developed by the Dfinity Foundation, a Swiss non-profit organization built ICP to replace the traditional IT stack and eliminate commercial cloud services.
Generally, the internet building software runs on servers controlled by big-tech companies. However, the software of ICP runs on a distributed network that allows the development of applications in a decentralized atmosphere.
This review of Internet Computer – ICP was created for informational purposes. This article is not intended for promotion.
The Internet Computer is one of the most complex projects we’ve come across, but we will try to explain and give a basic notion of what the project envisions.
With the introduction of Dfinity SDK, developers could easily build new applications and services for the Internet Computer. Whereas regular dApps are created with a set of smart contracts, each dApp on ICP is created using one or more canisters.
A software canister is an advanced version of a smart contract that has enhanced scalability and includes computational units. By using these canisters, applications can be separated from the primary blockchain environment, enabling reliable and straightforward deployment. Each of these canisters contains static content, metadata, and Wasm from the ICP’s very own Motoko software.
ICP has introduced a new way of authentication, called the Internet Identity service. It helps in interacting with all the applications on ICP. A wallet address is automatically created when you create an Internet Identity.
The Internet Identity can be paired with your smartphone or computer. The device you use for creating the identity also becomes the one that verifies all your transactions. New devices will be linked to the same identity.
There are various aspects of the network which is governed by NNS (Network Nervous System). It determines the network structure, economics and even decides which data centers can host nodes.
It can create a new subnet based on the demand. Also, there is no central authority to look over its functions. NNS identifies and removes a node from the subnet when a node is underperforming or misbehaving.
The chain key technology enables subnets to communicate with each other via the NNS that holds the master key that validates all network transactions.
An open-source version of LinkedIn, where a professional network demonstrates how to use inter-canister calls within a project. The project provides a glimpse of the infinite possibilities by building on the Internet Computer.
The basic profile of a particular user is created and stored by the Linkedup canister, which includes work experience and educational background. Also, the user’s connection is created and stored by a connected canister.
ICMoji Origins is the winner of DSCVR Hackathon Season 2 and is an NFT-based multiplayer game built on the Internet Computer. It is one of the first NFTs on the Internet Computer.
These NFTS can be purchased or traded via the marketplace or can be won in weekly challenges held in-game.
CrowdEats is a decentralized version of Yelp which rewards users for providing their reviews. CrowdEats claims that the restaurant and its competitors currently pay for the reviews on Yelp. The platform will solve this problem and create an equal playfield for businesses worldwide.
Every review is verified through a jury vote before it gets published on the platform. A handful of Jurors are randomly selected From a pool of users, who independently vote to approve or reject a review.
Dfinity Foundation was founded by Dominic Williams, founder, and CEO of Internet Computer. Before ICP, he was president and CTO of String Labs, which was an incubator for venture-backed crypto projects. The Dfinity Foundation consists of nearly more than 200 experienced researchers and developers worldwide. They have been collaborating and building Internet Computer protocol since 2016.
The project has made extensive developments since its inception at Copperlaunch in 2019. This actualized the initial public version of the DFINITY Canister Software Development Kit (SDK). In Q1 of 2020, the protocol transitioned from its final stage to the platform that is capable of web application development, which was achieved through the Bronze demo network.
The Tungsten release paved the way for third-party developers to build on ICP. The Sodium update introduced NNS on ICP, which enhanced the governance in the protocol. This year the Foundation detailed a roadmap over the next 20 years, in which it states their future goals for the project.
The first round of fundraising, held in early 2017, raised $4.1 million in BTC and ETH. In an interview, Dominic Williams stated that most of the participants in the seed sale were from the Ethereum community. The year after, they raised an additional $61 million from Polychain Capital and Andreessen Horowitz in private fundraising. In 2018 they raised another 105 million from VC investors.
ICP tokens can be locked inside the NNS, which creates ‘neurons’ which can be used to vote on governance proposals or earn voting rewards. The voting power and rewards are proportional to the number of tokens locked in the NNS.
The ICP tokens can also be converted into cycles to power the computations done by the canisters. To pay for canister fees, ICP tokens must be converted to cycles. And 1 ICP is equal to 1 SDR, also named Special Drawing Rights.
1SDR is equal to 1 trillion cycles. The Special Drawing Rights is a currency created by the IMF and backed by several fiat currencies. So, if SDR = $1, then the price of ICP will = $100. Converting 1 ICP token will give you 100 X1 trillion cycles or 100 trillion cycles.
Internet Computer aims to be far greater than the regular internet by the year 2040. Their subnets allow decentralized applications to run on ICP. Different versions of canisters are replicated automatically on subnets to support more users. And because subnets only contain several nodes that run in high-powered data centers, it performs at the same speed as the regular internet.
They also created a new programming language named ‘Motoko,’ used for the project’s development. Users on the platform do not need to pay any fees when interacting with the applications. However, transaction fees will apply when using the network.
Many dApps are being built on ICP. But the demand for the ICP tokens only seems to come from app developers, who need to convert the tokens for the creation of cycles. Therefore, the project has no proper revenue stream and could be facing difficulties in the future. Many also argue that the project is not decentralized because most of the ICP tokens are currently held and locked by the Dfinity Foundation, which gives them the maximum voting power in the protocol.
The Dfinity Foundation had announced that they’re building Endorphin, an open crypto operating system for smartphones, laptops, and other mobile devices. With Endorphin, they plan to eliminate the need for downloading the installation process of apps used by existing operating systems.
Internet Computer – ICP has the potential to solve the scalability and security problems that plague the blockchain community and, ultimately, the internet. The future course of ICP will show the power of its vision and hopefully shape a new internet era.
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