Welcome to 2022, the year of the Internet Computer. 🎉
The Internet Computer is uniquely primed for explosive growth in the coming year, with functionality upgrades polishing the core platform and a hungry developer community delivering the first generation of major applications. From the ability to play nicely with other blockchain technologies, support for decentralized exchanges, and increasingly attractive offerings, developers inside and outside of DFINITY have been investing time, resources, and code into the Internet Computer, and this year those investments will start paying material dividends.
Here’s a sneak peek at what’s coming to the Internet Computer in 2022:
The Internet Computer’s new abilities to reach out across networks and support other blockchain ecosystems will be a huge story for the Internet Computer in 2022. This cross-chain interaction promises to extend the whole crypto universe, with the Internet Computer’s Chain Key technology as the glue linking them together.
The headline story is Bitcoin integration: Approved at the end of September by the Internet Computer’s democratic voting system, the Network Nervous System, Bitcoin integration has the power to radically upgrade Bitcoin. As new cryptocurrencies with much more advanced abilities have sprung up around it, “Grandpa” Bitcoin has remained stagnant, lacking the new smart contact abilities that have powered the growth of projects like Ethereum.
But this new cross-chain bridge, built on the Internet Computer’s native Chain Key cryptography, unlocks the power and speed of the Internet Computer’s smart contracts and makes it possible to hold, send, and receive their own bitcoin. This seismic upgrade to Bitcoin will retrofit it into a modern cryptocurrency, pairing all the power of smart contracts with Bitcoin’s reliable store of value as “digital gold.” It’s like taking a classic car and putting an electric motor under the hood.
But that’s not all: Developer Psychedelic is launching Terabithia, an ETH bridge allowing users to mirror Ethereum to the Internet Computer network, “effectively turning the Internet Computer into a layer 2 scaling solution for ETH.” By enabling developers to use the Internet Computer to patch other layer 1 platforms’ shortfalls, the Internet Computer extends its appeal and brings more users into the Internet Computer ecosystem.
These bridges — and more like them — will make the Internet Computer’s best features available to all, driving more development, inter-chain functionality, and discovery of its inexpensive hosting and blockchain features. Expect to see a massive ramp-up in this space.
DeFi Launches on the Internet Computer
Recent upgrades to the Internet Computer’s ability to transfer tokens now makes it possible to run decentralized exchanges, or DEXs, on the Internet Computer. These peer-to-peer exchanges allow users to swap, trade, pool, and stake tokens directly on the blockchain — meaning you can day trade cryptocurrencies with the speed of the Internet Computer, hosted entirely on-chain. Having no external dependencies for hosting increases the security, speed, and reliability of these exchanges.
The Internet Computer is uniquely equipped to handle these tasks: Its vertical integration of hosting improves reliability while eliminating the need to depend on tech giants to host external-facing websites. The Internet Computer’s speed means trades are executed quickly as prices and markets shift. And the Internet Computer’s meager transaction cost keeps fees to an absolute minimum. Security, safety, and speed all ensure that developers are clamoring to launch on the platform.
DEXs launching in 2022 on the Internet Computer:
- Infinity Swap: Swap ETH tokens less expensively than on Uniswap; introduces a new token standard for Internet Computer-hosted tokens — encouraging a new generation of crypto tokens on the Internet Computer platform.
- ICPSwap: Mint tokens, mine, and stake in pools; includes support for NFTs out of the box.
- Sonic: Swap tokens; earn fees as a liquidity provider; includes APIs for integration into other apps.
As these new DEXs come online and new coins, new tokens, and new applications of NFTs expand the scope of projects hosted on the Internet Computer, expect exponential growth of new users on the platform.
NFTs Go Mainstream
The NFT market is exploding — and it’s just getting started. NFTs are much more than just JPGs of apes: they represent a digital key to membership communities, functionality, and Web3 ownership. The current speculative market of punks and apes is just the tip of the iceberg, demonstrating the power of Web3 ownership and unique traceable tokens.
The Internet Computer is perfectly suited to host NFTs, thanks to its core values of storage, speed, security, and savings on gas fees. Freed from the tremendous cost of Ethereum transactions, NFTs and the Internet Computer create a powerful pair, primed for an explosion of uses.
Coming to the Internet Computer’s NFT ecosystem in 2022:
- Rise of the Magni from leading Internet Computer developer Toniq Labs: From the team that launched Entrepot, the Internet Computer’s first NFT exchange, comes a turn-based strategy game that combines NFTs and tactical gameplay, hosted entirely on the Internet Computer blockchain.
- NFT Studio: This platform is building tools for creation and minting of 3D NFTs, hosted entirely on the Internet Computer blockchain (which, unlike other platforms, has the storage to accommodate them), and building hooks for interoperability onto other networks — think of it as NFTs without borders.
- An indie NFT scene: The inexpensive base of NFTs makes new projects from new creators easier to launch, inspiring creativity that goes beyond avatars and anime art. Look for entirely new approaches to NFTs this year.
Next-generation Web3 apps
The Internet Computer’s combination of smart contract functionality and web hosting storage enables new apps to live on the blockchain and reimagines old ones. One of the most exciting is Catalyze, a chat app similar to Discord or Slack that offers a strong community focus driven by the developer’s non-profit, mission-driven history.
It reimagines how community-based chat apps work and interface with their members, creating deeper ties, less day-to-day maintenance, and more features people need to grow their communities. Blockchain integration at the app's core means NFTs, tokens, fundraising, and communication all live together, bound by a modern interface and Internet Computer-enabled speed.
Dapps like Catalyze are just beginning to unearth the power of The Internet Computer’s ability to revolutionize the web with secure hosting, fast, inexpensive blockchain transactions, and scalability to meet tomorrow’s challenges.
The Internet Computer is built for the future, but its time is now.
Welcome to 2022, the year of the Internet Computer. 🥂
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