I am the Managing Editor of the DFINITY Community. I am originally from India but have been living in the United States for the past 18 years, and I have a master's in Computer Engineering. I have been working in IT for the past 15 years. I believe the Internet computer, perhaps, might be the most innovative blockchain tech since Ethereum.
So, what exactly is the "Internet computer"?
According to DFINITY.org:
The Internet Computer is formed by an advanced decentralized protocol called ICP (Internet Computer Protocol) that independent data centers around the world run to combine the power of individual computers into an unstoppable seamless universe where internet native software is hosted and run with the same security guarantees as smart contracts.
Before unpacking the above statement, I want to go over Bitcoin and Ethereum broadly:
Bitcoin has a small block size which limits the transaction speed and is based on the old concept "Proof of work," which uses a massive amount of electricity. How much? According to Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance (CCAF), it roughly consumes equivalent to the annual energy draw of Malaysia or Sweden. Even with renewable energy sources, it is a significant amount of energy and can be detrimental to our carbon footprint.
Ethereum, of course, has smart contracts, and the upcoming update to eth 2.0 will use the "proof of stake," which reduces energy consumption. However, speed is significantly reduced because of the smart chain architecture, not to mention gas prices.
For example, during the recent meme coin SHIB hype the network got so congested that it raised gas prices for everyone else.
Internet Computer employs a "Canister," which is a step up from the smart contract. It has the memory to store data, sessions, code, etc. Users can interact with Canisters through the web, and this was never achieved using blockchain. It provides speed along with efficiency.
DataCenter > Nodes > Subnet > Canister
It's like a "one-stop-shop" for all the DeFi applications and everything blockchain-related. Ethereum & Bitcoin applications can initially host their front /back ends before completely migrating to IC. The Internet Computer can achieve blockchain security along with AWS-type architecture. It is basically how the future internet will operate - Decentralized & secured; it's how the internet will evolve.
Where are the nodes hosted?
There are other blockchains like PolkaDot, Solana, Matic, and BNB, of course. The front end for Ethereum, Solana, and so on use AWS, Azure, and Google, which are centralized and are prone to failure even with multiple availability zones. Internet Computer uses independent data centers for hosting along with the blockchain for security. Therefore, in a way, it bridges centralized hosting with blockchain technology.
Misconceptions about Internet Computer
Centralization: On social media, several people have mentioned that a significant number of tokens are still with few people, making it more centralized. This is still the first phase of the project, and it is still in the initial beta state, so it will take a few years for the market to absorb all the tokens. However, once equilibrium is reached, the actual circulating token supply will be limited, and the price will appreciate along with decentralization.
There have been some criticisms regarding tokenomics since the price has fallen since its launch. Being an early investor, I can understand the resentment and frustration, but I have also witnessed the initial price drop of eth & bitcoin. Consequently, I understand the price behavior of the new token. Some VCs may be selling it, but this kind of price discovery is good for the long term. Also, being well funded is a strength that many people underestimate. In a crypto bear market, sometimes a great project fails because of the lack of capital.
Reasons for future price appreciation
As people become more aware of the capabilities of the Internet Computer & more applications are deployed, Cycles will be burned, limiting the token's circulating supply. Cycles are tied to the fixed currency, which is what Eth and other blockchains lack. As the token's price appreciates, the gas/cycle will remain constant, thereby not raising the prices for developers & platform users. This is one of the unique advantages of Internet Computer as compared to Ethereum and others.
NNS reward system
Developers can submit the proposals, and all the ICP token holders (through converting tokens to neurons) will vote it based on their token holding. They then get rewarded for the votes. Since the project is still in the initial stage, many proposals will be submitted, thereby creating more rewards. Also, voting and staking tokens (currently yielding around 28 % APY) will give an incentive to lock the tokens. This will further reduce the circulating supply, resulting in price appreciation.
Risks involved with Investments
Every investment has risk, and every crypto investment has a somewhat significant threat. One of the significant risks involved in Internet Computer is that the tech is still in the initial stages, and there are many misconceptions about the technology.
Since the Internet computer is still in the initial stages, it's THE best time to invest in it. Even Grayscale investment and Goldman Sachs are studying it for investment. In their investment strategy group June 2021 report, they describe it as:
"Innovative, early-stage, could pave the way to the future"
The writer’s opinion is that once it matures, this will be one of the most valuable crypto assets, and I am buying it at a discounted price and locking it for eight years to get 30% +yield.
- Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original author and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the Dfiinty Community staff and/or any/all contributors to this site.*