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What Is ICP? Internet Computer Crypto Explained

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What Is the Internet Computer?

The Internet Computer (IC) is a revolutionary project that can change our understanding of blockchain technology. We can say that this is the third stage of the blockchain evolution. The first is the emergence of a peer-to-peer payment system. Bitcoin, the second is the launch of Ethereum with its smart contracts, and IC is a global computer project that allows you to build autonomous, tamperproof, general-purpose smart contracts. The developers of the platform claim that smart contacts in the IC network are not only safer but also cost-effective. IC scales smart contract data and computing with Internet speed. The system can handle an increasing amount of work without introducing additional modifications. Scalability is unlimited, making it possible to launch any complexity of dApps.

The Idea Behind IC

The project team primarily aims not to compete with other well-known smart contract platforms but to destroy the monopoly on the Internet. According to one of the IC developers, they are concerned that most of the hosting is done by corporate giants such as Google or Amazon Web Service. This approach jeopardizes the security of users, centralizes the Internet, and becomes costly and risky for service creators. Thus, IC's main goal is to open the Internet and be "interesting" again. In other words, to create a decentralized network or a giant "Internet Computer," the work of which will be controlled not by large companies but by all participants of the protocol.

Based on the network, users can create:

  • Websites.
  • Non-fungible tokens.
  • Decentralized financial tools.
  • Protocols.
  • Services with high scalability.
  • Decentralized social media.
  • Corporate information systems.

Within the framework of the project, 75 decentralized applications are already functioning, for example:

  • Distrikt is a social network for finding employees/employers. A decentralized version of Linkedin.
  • DSocial is a decentralized version of YouTube.
  • Origyn is a website that allows you to track the origin of antiques and other luxury items.  
  • Fleek is a platform for creating websites and programs.

How Does Internet Computer Work?

The platform's operation is based on the Internet Computer Protocol (ICP). The network itself consists of connected elements arranged in a strict hierarchy:

  1. At the bottom, there are independent data processing centers. They contain node machines that interact to achieve consensus. Operators control the latter. Therefore, everyone can become a node operator. It is enough to apply to the Data Center, buy special equipment, install the protocol and connect to the blockchain.
  2. Hardware machines are connected in subnets. They can be compared to separate chains inside the blockchain.
  3. Smart contracts (canisters) are placed in subnets — interacting computing units loaded by users. The code can be written in any high-level programming language (Motoko, Rust). Canisters are similar to complex Ethereum smart contracts and a full-fledged operating system.

The Internet Computer operates based on subnets running in parallel. They are combined due to the Chain Key technology. Thanks to the Chain Key technology, the project network works at the Internet speed: it takes a couple of seconds to finalize transactions. Furthermore, thanks to the Chain Key, you can add an unlimited number of nodes to increase scalability, easily change incorrectly working nodes to new ones, smoothly implement updates and restore subnets. Furthermore, computing units from one subnet can interact with canisters from another included in the project. An essential element is the Network Nervous System (NNS). It is responsible for network management. For example, it rejects or accepts data-center applications, issues ICP coins to reward nodes, and increases scaling by connecting new subnets.

$ICP Token

ICP are utility tokens that power the ecosystem: 

  • Users can lock ICP inside the Network Nervous System to generate neurons. The latter is necessary to participate in voting and receive remuneration for it. Any holder can make an offer by paying a commission.
  • Tokens can be converted into cycles that use smart contracts to perform calculations and operations on the network. In particular, they ensure the performance of decentralized financial instruments.

Why Is Internet Computer Unique?

IC is an ambitious project designed to destroy the monopoly of corporations on the Internet. The team provides the first blockchain that runs at Internet speed and can scale to support an infinite amount of computing and data. A broader focus of the organization is on creating an open Internet — a place where developers create new generation applications. Analogs of popular messengers and custodial trading platforms are already functioning on the network. Unlimited bandwidth allows users to perform instant operations and launch complex decentralized applications and smart contracts. Developers adhere to the concept of decentralization. Therefore, all holders influence the decision-making on changing the network operation and protocol updates.

Where to Buy $ICP Token?

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