The Internet Computer (ICP) is a new cryptocurrency project that has seemingly appeared out of nowhere and entered the top 10 coins by market cap. However, this is no fly-by-night project that’s taking advantage of a market dip – ICP is backed by some impressive investors and promises to revolutionize the internet as we know it.
Founded by Dominic Williams of Swiss non-profit organization Dfinity, ICP aims to create a new, decentralized internet that doesn’t rely on the current Google and Amazon monopoly. Some of the more well-known investors backing the ICP project include Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain Capital, Eterna Capital, and Aspect Capital.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing though – ICP launched at a difficult time for crypto as the market struggles to recover from its worst flash-crash in years. Initially coming in strong at over $700 per coin, its price quickly began falling to current levels around $160. However, at $20 billion, ICP’s market cap remains high enough to keep it in 9th place, knocking Bitcoin Cash (BCH) off the top 10.
What does ICP Solve?
New crypto projects are a dime-a-dozen, many of which serve no actual purpose yet host fancy websites and promise amazing returns to lure in buyers. But despite the somewhat cringe-worthy name, The Internet Computer doesn’t appear to be one of these.
With the existing Web 2.0 becoming increasingly controlled by a small group of companies, Dfintiy felt the need to build an open-source, decentralized Web 3.0. By building new protocols and applications on a blockchain network, ICP promises to remove the need for complex and antiquated technologies like firewalls, antiviruses, and VPNs. Instead, it uses Network Nervous System (NNS) canisters to store data and Chain Key Technology to verify transactions in seconds using a single public key.
The most notable innovation of Chain Key Technology is that the #InternetComputer has a single public key, enabling any device to verify the authenticity of artifacts generated by the Internet Computer, even smart watches and mobile phones.
— DFINITY Foundation (@dfinity) May 7, 2021
After receiving nearly $170 million in early-stage donations, ICP launched on the 7th of May and immediately shot to 4th place by market cap, briefly overtaking XRP. According to founder Dominic Williams, the Internet Computer runs smart contracts at web speed with unlimited capacity but is not intended as an Ethereum-killer.
Instead, ICP is intended to rather expand upon existing Internet functionality, creating a “scalable, cloud-like platform that can store data, perform computation, and support community-driven governance.” It all sounds very promising but like all new projects in crypto: community adoption will be key to ensuring its success.