Dominic Williams founded the Internet Computer in around 2015. When the Internet Computer was founded it was known as DFINITY, and it was meant to take Ethereum's world computer to the next level by becoming "the Internet Computer". Unlike other smart contract cryptocurrencies, ICP seeks to replace the entire internet stack, not just the application layer. The Internet Computer's code, unlike many other projects in the field, is not entirely open-source. Developers are not allowed to copy most of the open-source code. More importantly, participation in the Internet Computer blockchain needs permission and requires "standardized hardware provided by DFINITY foundation".
The Internet Computer might be the most complex cryptocurrency project in existence. It consists of a series of data centers spread around the world. Each data center contains multiple nodes, and nodes from numerous data centers are grouped to form a "subnet". Each subnet forms a proof-of-stake blockchain which uses a consensus mechanism called threshold relay, invented by Dominic Williams.
The technical description of threshold delay is outside of this post's goals, but an explanation would be that a subset of nodes in each subnet is selected to produce a block based on their staked ICP. Subnets are similar to the parachains on Polkadot and Kusama. Like parachains, subnets host decentralized applications running on the internet computer. Each dap on the internet computer is made up of one or more canisters. Canisters are like hyper-boosted and enhanced smart contracts. They can automatically create new versions of themselves on other subnets to support additional users and can be leveraged by other developers building daps. Because subnets only consist of a handful of nodes running in powerful data centers, this makes both transactions and applications run at speeds comparable to the regular internet. Not only that, but users don't need to pay any fees when interacting with canister applications unless it requires transactions like a decentralized exchange. This phenomenon contrasts with any other smart contract blockchain, which requires you to pay a network fee for every interaction on their decentralized applications.
All this is made possible by NNS, the technology we'll investigate in a moment. Another significant difference between ICP and other cryptocurrency blockchains is that it requires an internet identity to interact with applications on the internet computer. The former device used to create that internet identity becomes the one used to verify all transactions and is required to add new devices to the same wallet.
ICP is the world's first adaptive blockchain, meaning it can update itself and manage its network in real-time. This became possible using Network Nervous System (NNS), an open and autonomous governance system embedded in its protocols. ICP's architecture of data centers, nodes, subnets, canisters, and users is managed by Internet Computer's NNS.
At the data center level, NNS decides which data centers get to join the internet computers network. At the node level, the NNS identifies misbehaving or underperforming nodes and removes them from subnets. At the subnet level, the NNS decides which nodes form the subnet and is also responsible for generating subnet keys. Subnet keys are a crucial component of the internet computer's chain key technology which is beyond the scope of this post. The simple explanation is that chain key technology allows subnets to communicate via the NNS, which holds the master key that validates all the transactions. At the canister level, the NNS can decide whether upgrades to canister software or management services are allowed or not. At the user level, the NNS can make changes to the economics of ICP token.
The NNS itself consists of a handful of canisters running on a dedicated subnet. The first canister is the registry canister which tracks the data center node and subnet organization. The second canister is the ledger canister, which contains all internet identities transactions and tokens on the Internet Computer, and the third is the governance canister which allows ICP holders to vote on various changes to the Internet Computer. The actual governance principle in the NNS is the longer you lock your ICP tokens, the more voting power you have. You also earn ICP by voting for proposals in the NNS.
Founded in October 2017 by Dominic Williams, Internet Computer quickly rose to prominence in the market cap rankings. At the time of writing, ICP's market volume is roughly $188 million, but it has a devastating market cap of $9.8 billion, which is significant compared to similar projects.
ICP has an initial supply of 470 million tokens. It has no maximum supply and has a diminishing annual inflation rate that starts at 10% and goes down to five overtime. On its first day of trading, ICP hit a price of over $640, and the following price pattern reflects the characteristics of a newly listed cryptocurrency: a sudden dip, a sudden jump, and another drop. This is because there seems to be much more sell pressure than buy pressure for the ICP token. However, keep in mind that those who participated in ICP's public sale are currently in 5000x profit territory. Even though most of their tokens are vesting, they're still allowed to claim their monthly voting rewards.
Experts are bullish on this significant utility token for its 4,159% ROI (return over investment) in the past year. In comparison, the other similar projects had ROI of 627% in the same duration. ICP has had ROI of 1% in the past week, meaning it has become more stabilized while remaining bullish in the past month.
You can see our unique visual reports and charts of ICP here.
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