What Is Internet Computer?

Dec 23, 2022
9 min read

This blog post will cover:

  • About Internet Computer (ICP)
  • Where did Internet Computer (ICP) come from?
  • What are the advantages of Internet Computer (ICP)?
  • What are the disadvantages of Internet Computer (ICP)?
  • How to buy Internet Computer (ICP) on SimpleSwap?

About Internet Computer (ICP)

Internet Computer (ICP) is a decentralized blockchain with an open source code created by a Swiss company called Dfinity Foundation. Its main task is to improve the outdated IT-industry and Internet.  

Internet Computer consists of a number of data centers, spread all over the world. Every data center has several nodes forming a subnet. Each subnet is an individual blockchain, and blocks in each subnet can transparently produce another block, even those in other subnets. In fact, the network can’t even distinguish the subnets while the block’s called, it’s simply a call to a secure code function. Users and developers interact with ICP and in the background ICP distributes computing and data to subnet nodes. 

Pooling within the traditional PoW and PoS blockchains is impossible. It helps to avoid having validator nodes with a big amount of stakes that create most blocks. Subnets can interact with each other using Chain Keys which are part of the unique cryptography developed by Dfinity. 

Every subnet forms blockchain Proof-of-Stake (PoS) which uses a new consensus mechanism named Threshold Relay. They publish decentralized apps launched on a base of ICP. If regular dApps consist of a set of smart contracts, decentralized applications on Internet Computer are made of one or more containers (canisters). These are basic structures for code, services and apps hosting. They are smart contracts and can automatically create new versions of themselves on other subnets to support new clients and can be used by other developers creating decentralized applications.   

Because subnets consist of multiple nodes operating in powerful data centers, this allows transactions and applications to be performed at much higher speed than the traditional blockchains such as Ethereum. The architecture used to create containers is optimized to create decentralized apps and is also extremely universal.    

Any canister can use the functions of another one if they have generic permissions. To create an open service in a canister the developer simply marks any of the common functions as permanent, and then transfers control over the canister to a management system that solves issues such as configuration and upgrade.  

Another important difference between Internet Computer and other blockchains is the need for identification to interact with apps on ICP. Internet Identity can be connected to your PC, smartphone or a secured USB key. Wallet address is automatically generated for you after the user identifier is created. The device that was originally used to create this Internet identity becomes the one used to very transactions, as well as the one required to add new devices.  

The developers of the ICP, led by the British creator of the platform — Dominic Williams — believe that the tools they created are capable of reversing the format of the world Internet. The technical solutions of the projects will transform the Internet into a kind of large decentralized network. This scheme, according to the idea of the representatives of the project, will make the Internet faster and more effective.   

There are three options for interacting with the network:

  • basic use without having ICP coins;
  • store part of the data (blocks) on a device. The user loses resources and device memoICPry, but receives ICP coins as a reward (it can be used into the DWeb network);
  • ask other users to store data and pay for it with ICP coins.

Unlike the "regular" Internet, DWeb is better secured. For example, it makes no sense for DDoS attack to a decentralized network: a simultaneous large number of requests that can disable an ordinary Internet resource in DWeb will be distributed across network devices and will not affect its operation. In addition, it solves the problem of censorship: it will be more difficult for the government to block any site - data will come to the user's device from different places, and not from one server. With the help of DWeb, users will be able to exchange information with other users not through centralized services, but directly. The ICP crypto is an interoperability tool on the DWeb network. The coin is an entry to the register, distributed over blocks and indicating the digital balance. When users buy ICP coins, they have a tool for interacting within the decentralized network. ICP coin holders can start managing the network in the NNS app. To start using it, they should pass the identification procedure.

ICP is a native Internet Computer token. It allows investors to participate in governance. A token is also required for official transactions and user reward fees. Internet Computer tokens are not available for computer hardware mining, but can be obtained as rewards for network support.

The ICP coin performs the following functions in NNS app:

  • facilitating network management with the help of neurons participating in voting on proposals;
  • production of cycles for calculations;
  • reward for voting participants and node providers.

Where did Internet Computer (ICP) come from?

Since the early 2000s, Dominic Williams has worked in distribution systems - databases that are distributed across multiple network nodes or computing devices. In 2014, he started working on algorithms for cryptocurrency platforms, and a year later he had a global idea, which became the beginning of the Dfinity project. In 2018, the Dfinity project was supported by large investors: the Andreessen Horowitz venture capital fund and the Polychain Capital cryptocurrency fund invested $ 102 million in it. Amino Capital, CoinFund, Aspect Ventures and Eterna Capital also invested in Dfinity. In total, the project raised over $166 million. The coin managed to enter the top 10 most capitalized cryptocurrencies. 

The development of the project took five years and four phases of the project (Copper, Bronze, Tungsten and Sodium), as well as the alpha and beta versions of the main network as part of the Mercury phase. The Dfinity team held a token sale in 2017 and ICP airdrop in the summer of 2018. The ICP coins were unlocked on May 7, 2021.

Many popular exchanges who have strict safety checks on coins supported the project’s crypto. However, ICP couldn’t keep the attention of investors for a long time. This is also indicated by the continued decline of the ICP after trading started.  

There’s a certain risk that the project's instruments will turn out unclaimed. On the background of the loss of Internet Computer relevance, the crypto rate of the startup may continue to fall. Since being listed, ICP token has lost more than 95% of its price. 

Today, the Internet is ruled by various IT giants. The ICP project uses an innovative approach and has already succeeded by launching ICP tokens on the market. The team also demonstrated test applications that run on 1000 code lines, unlike previous versions, inflated to millions of lines. This was made possible by the creation of a new programming language called Motoko and the release of a terminal SDK for developers. 

In future, Internet Computer development will need to get support from the IT companies and attract great attention of users. Nowadays the Internet Computer looks more like a blockchain with a utopian concept. The idea of a digital democracy interested blockchain enthusiasts and investors, but didn’t find mass support.   

What are the advantages of Internet Computer (ICP)?

  • Support
    The project was supported by many well-known investors, including Andreessen Horowitz.
  • Top 10 crypto
    ICP is one of the few cryptocurrencies that managed to get into the top 10 of the capitalization rating in May, 2021.
  • Ready solutions
    Developers have ready-made technical solutions that can be used in practice.
  • Verified security
    The cryptocurrency of the project was supported by many popular crypto exchange platforms, which conduct a strict security check of coins before listing them.

What are the disadvantages of Internet Computer (ICP)?

  • Losing investors
    Currently, the ICP coin has started to lose the attention of new investors. This is evidenced by the continued drop in the ICP rate after the start of trading.
  • Relevance risk
    Despite its promising potential, the project may turn out to be unclaimed and lose its relevance.
  • Transparency in question
    The source code is not open source and is considered the private property of the Dfinity corporation, which raises doubts about its transparency.

How to buy Internet Computer (ICP) on SimpleSwap?

ICP is quite an interesting project with high chances of success, so getting ICP coins may be a pretty good idea for developing your crypto portfolio. You will receive the ICP crypto when you complete these few simple steps:

  • For example, you want to swap BTC for ICP. Select the currency you want to exchange (e.g. BTC) in the first drop-downlist. Then enter the amount you want to swap.
  • Select ICP in the second drop-down list. You’ll see the estimated amount that you’ll get after the exchange.
  • Click the Exchange button.
  • Enter the Recipient's Address. ICP will be sent. Be careful and make sure you use the correct address.
  • Create the exchange.
  • You will see the Bitcoin deposit address. You need to transfer the necessary amount of BTC to this address to start the BTC to ICP exchange.

SimpleSwap reminds you that this article is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide investment advice. All purchases and cryptocurrency investments are your own responsibility.

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