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What Is Internet Computer Protocol (ICP)?

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by Oluwapelumi Adejumo · 6 min read
What Is Internet Computer Protocol (ICP)?
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Find here everything you need to know about the advanced Internet Computer Protocol – a blockchain that aims to replace the Internet and break the monopoly of tech giants.

The Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) is a pioneering, wholly adaptive blockchain controlled by a unique decentralized and tokenized governance system called the Network Nervous System (NNS). Generally, the Internet Computer Protocol serves as an advanced decentralized protocol that powers the public software development platform created by a network of independent data centers (NNS).

The ICP helps NNS combine the power of singular individual computers worldwide into a unified global universe. Internet native software can be hosted and run with all the security and decentralization benefits of smart contracts. The ICP can be integrated with other internet protocols like DNS and can provide a direct user experience through web browsers and smartphones.

Development and Launch of ICP

Initially, Zurich-based non-profit organization Dfinity Foundation proposed Internet Computer back in 2008. The project started as an attempt to build a decentralized network by Dfinity’s founder, Dominic Williams, who continues to advertise Internet Computer Protocol as a solution to the monopolization of the Internet by what he calls “Big Tech”.

After more than five years of proposals, development, and testing, Dfinity Foundation finally debuted a decentralized network with a governance token called ICP on May 10, 2021. The token started trading on several eminent crypto exchanges like OKEx, Huobi, Binance, Gate.io, Coinbase, among others.

Ever since its debut, it has launched on several eminent crypto exchanges like OKEx, Huobi Global, Binance, Gate.io, Coinbase Inc (NASDAQ: COIN), among others. It has also acquired several big backers like Polychain Capital, Scalar Capital, and Andreessen Horowitz.

How Does the Internet Computer Protocol Work?

According to the Dfinity Foundation, Internet Computer Protocol employs a so-called Network Nervous System (NNS). This open algorithmic governance system controls the Internet Computer Protocol.

The ICP is a network that consists of a hierarchy of building blocks in a chain. At the bottom of the order lie independent data centers that host dedicated hardware nodes. The data centers and their nodes collate to form Subnets. The Subnets can host software containers – interoperable computing units that contain code and other data.

The ICP is configured, secured, and administered by the Network Nervous System. The NNS acts as an open governance permissions gateway for data centers that wish to join the ICP. Its role is similar to ICANN’s role on the Internet, except the NNS fulfills a much more comprehensive range of functions.

The NNS provides truly decentralized governance. It monitors the node machines for any deviation from the IC network norms. Besides, it generates rewards for nodes and their constituent neurons, which are like voting savings accounts running and participating in the system.

The base building blocks of the IC network are subnets, which are small networks capable of hosting Web3 software canisters. The subnets are made up of various node machines drawn from different data centers working in sync and directed by the NNS. Notably, the subnets cooperate via the ICP to replicate data and other computations within the software canisters they host.

The Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) Token

The native token of the Internet Computer Network is a utility coin that plays three critical roles on the network. Firstly, it can be locked in neurons, a smart contract that allows governance privileges and earns rewards based on network participation.

Secondly, it serves as a store of value that powers computation in the form of cycles. The cycles replace gas fees by burning or minting ICP tokens in constant monitoring processes that ensure the cost of fuelling transactions is constant.

And finally, the ICP token serves as a reward to those who participate in the governance and operation of the node machines that host the network.

The Advantages of ICP

The advantages of the Internet Computer Network and the ICP are apparent to see. Since its preliminary launch on May 7, 2021, it has risen to become the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap on the market. The token offered by IC has launched across several of the largest platforms on the crypto market.

The ICP has been referred to as an “Ethereum Killer” and “Ethereum’s crazy sister”, due to its founder’s goals to replace the current internet network by using blockchain technology to create a decentralized governable Internet open worldwide.

However, there is some criticism by the community over the overly ambitious goals of ICP. Some skeptics claim that it is impossible to decentralize a network as extensive as the Internet. Besides, they state that ICP is merely using sensational marketing to lure investors. That has not, however, affected the startling rise and adoption of the coin.

The scalability, accessibility, and security the ICP offers so far are unparalleled in the market. The token has proven to be able to serve its goals the team behind it has promised to achieve.

ICP’s Roadmap

After the launch of the ICP token, the Internet Computer Protocol team has rapidly scaled up development. Not planning to rest on their oars, they set out a road map that extended over 20 years at the initial launch of their protocol.

The planned features included a set of milestones that signified the release of a beta mainnet. These milestones are Bronze, Copper, Tungsten, Sodium, and Mercury. As of May 2021, ICP is at the Mercury (final) phase of their mainnet launches.

Another significant upcoming upgrade is the use of ICP utility tokens in the decentralized governance scheme. There are also plans to bring on more nodes in their networks by 2030 and increase the speed and security of their network for the foreseeable future.

Conclusion

Internet Computer Network, ICP token, and Network Nervous System have proved themselves so far in the crypto space, providing a vital and much-needed service. Though the Internet Computer is still very much in its nascent stage, it has shown incredible promise. It aims to replace the Internet and break the monopoly of the large tech companies like Facebook Inc (NYSE: FB) and Amazon.com Inc (NYSE: AMZN).

The Internet Computer would not be possible without the power of the ICP and the NNS. The two services bring the best of blockchain technology to the Internet. They provide back-end software hosting on the global compute platform, promising to change the face of cryptocurrency forever.

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FAQ

what is Internet Computer Protocol?

The Internet Computer Protocol is an advanced decentralized protocol that combines the powers of independent and individual computers into a seamless network that offers the functionality of smart contracts.

What issues will the Internet Computer Protocol solve?

It will end the monopoly of large tech companies on the Internet by providing a decentralized network that can ensure the security and scalability of the traditional Internet.

Who is standing behind the ICP?

ICP is backed by Dfinity, Zurich-based non-profit organization, and supported by several crypto exchanges and enthusiasts.

What is definite Foundation?

Dfinity Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Switzerland that wants to reinvent the Internet as a computer that hosts secure software with superpowers. It aims to build, promote and maintain the Internet Computer network.

What tools does Dfinity Foundation provide for developers?

Dfinity offers developers a network where they can build websites and enterprise systems without a need for complicated legacy technologies, build DeFi platforms and other Dapps, and any other internet-based service.

How does Internet Computer Protocol work?

Internet Computer Protocol employs a so-called Network Nervous System (NNS). This open algorithmic governance system controls the Internet Computer Protocol. The ICP also consists of a hierarchy of building blocks in a chain. At the bottom of the order lie independent data centers that host dedicated hardware nodes. The data centers and their nodes collate to form Subnets. The Subnets can host software containers – interoperable computing units that contain code and other data.

Does ICP compare with Ethereum?

No, Ethereum is cryptocurrency Blockchain, while Internet Computer is like Internet 2.0

What is ICP token?

It is the governing utility coin of the Internet computer service.

How to get some ICP?

You can buy it on any major exchange like OKEx, Huobi Global, Binance, Gate.io, Coinbase Inc. 

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