The Internet Computer was born into the world in May 2021 with the public launch of Mercury Genesis. Guided by Dominic Williams, the Internet Computer was founded with a romantic idealism threaded through its design and implementation: an all-in-one web and blockchain host, built with security, speed, and affordability in mind, that would form the foundational layer for the internet of the future.
It was a reimagining of the internet’s core backbone — one that embraces modern blockchain technology and the advances in hosting over the last 30 years but is freed from the dominating presence of corporate giants.
In the months since its release, the Internet Computer has evolved. As in public parks, where time-strapped pedestrians slowly carve out “desire paths,” trampled dirt shortcuts and new routes the designers of the space never envisioned, the users of the Internet Computer have been building and participating in its growth, through NNS votes and shared spaces, adding new paths and features, and feeling out its strengths and abilities. Like wine maturing in the bottle, some aspects have come forward to be key features, while others have been demoted to quiet background players.
Unlike other blockchain platforms, the Internet Computer isn’t limited to financial applications but can host an infinite variety of web-based applications, opening up a whole new world of crypto-enabled Dapps. And what have the IC developers done with all this newfound power? Over and over again, they have arrived at the same conclusion for how to best enable their diverse development goals: they build community.
From Discord-killers to new social media platforms and Defi Dapps, Web3 developers are seizing on the flexibility, security, and potential for future growth promised by the Internet Computer to create strong online communities that can integrate the power of the blockchain. These projects are supported by a community of people, brought together by the promise of a brighter internet future.
Through its combination of utopian idealism, practical application, and natural evolution, the Internet Computer has created the perfect Web3 and blockchain platform for developing communities online. The ability to host and support communities through its tech stack is the real-world counterweight to the utopian idealism that created the Internet Computer, consolidating its many diverse features and talents into a single, simple story.
Sure, one could offer up a laundry list of impressive features, innovations, and capabilities that differentiate the Internet Computer from the rest of the field. Still, among the hundred things you can build on the IC, perhaps the most important is this.
The Internet Computer is Crypto for Communities
All of the IC’s core features would be enough to sell it as a world-class blockchain and host but taken together; they add up to more than the sum of their parts — a crypto-Voltron that combines its blockchain and hosting strengths into a world-changing technology stack that brings people together.
The Internet Computer features unlimited scalability and ultrafast response times from its all-in-one hosting abilities, combining blockchain encryption and security with ultra-fast web hosting. The IC grows with you as your community grows, matching the speed and storage you need from the smallest group to the largest collective.
Unlike other blockchains, where only transactions are stored on the blockchain, and everything else has to be outsourced, the IC builds everything on-chain. This means every webpage, JPG, NFT, and community space is backed by the trustless system of the ICP blockchain. And you get all of this cryptographic power for the industry-leading affordable pricing of $5 per gigabyte per year.
Reverse Gas Fees
Everybody hates gas fees — a tax on transactions made on many blockchains — and they present a considerable barrier to entry for new cryptocurrency users. The Internet Computer’s unique reverse gas fee model eliminates them, instead folding them into the cost of hosting the project on the ICP blockchain, all for a fraction of the price. Eliminating the gatekeeping limitation of gas fees makes crypto accessible to everyone. Apps built on ICP may not even have a cryptocurrency component, instead silently using the blockchain for new and novel purposes invisible to end-users.
Chain-Level Identity Management
The Internet Computer’s Internet Identity system is freely available to all apps built on the platform, so users can use biometric security already built into the devices they own. Instead of another password, your fingerprint or face can be your login to the world of ICP Dapps. You can join and interact with ICP hosted apps without owning or interacting with tokens. Internet Identity is free, secure, trustworthy, and so easy a novice can use it, making it an ideal system for growing a community.
Future-Proof Community Governance
The Internet Computer is underpinned by the Network Nervous System, a breakthrough digital democracy that oversees and upgrades the network and technology stack through community leadership. Powered by users who stake their ICP coins for rewards and voting power, the NNS provides authentic community leadership for every facet of ICP, ranging from governance to technology to features, ensuring the community holds the ability to update the system to meet its needs into the future.
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