“Chains build revolutions, One link at a time” - Sylas
When I first stumbled upon Internet Computer Protocol (ICP), I couldn't see its potential. It had just been released to the market, and I wasn't even sure it could be truly considered a cryptocurrency. After tumbling down the rabbit hole, I realized just how robust ICP is for a public blockchain.
The Internet Computer is a powerful virtual machine forged by a protocol-driven, complex, and efficient weaving together of nodes by the Network Nervous System, which serves as an open algorithmic governance system. Anyone can build websites, enterprise solutions, and dapps directly on the Internet Computer blockchain without relying on corporate cloud services like Amazon or Google. The ICP crypto-coin functions as the utility token for the Internet Computer Blockchain.
ICP is a long-term project that aims to eventually replace the traditional internet by becoming the infrastructure of a new, decentralized, open Internet. To understand why ICP is more than just a cryptocurrency, we need to understand how its technology is revolutionary. The true beauty here lies in the details. FAQ on DFINITY should help in understanding minor technical concepts.
Here are Eight Reasons on Why I am Bullish on ICP
1. Web Speed and Web Scalability are Rocket Fuel for Smart Contracts
Ethereum laid the foundation for DeFi through its Ethereum Virtual Machine and smart contracts. However, scalability soon became a major obstacle. As a consequence, Layer 2 solutions emerged and have been somewhat successful.
However, ICP can adapt and evolve through NNS and scale massively by incorporating more nodes into the network without requiring any Layer 2 solutions. At the time of writing, ICP has a block time greater than 19 blocks per second and has crossed 69 Million blocks. Moreover, there is no theoretical limit to the number of transactions per second on ICP. It all depends on the number of nodes. Better yet, the TPS increases exceptionally as new nodes get incorporated into the network. ICP's scalability and Web speed smart contract capabilities make it ideal for building a variety of tamper-proof applications that need to scale and require real-time connectivity.
2. ICP Reimagines Everything with Smart Contracts
It costs around $5 per year to store 1 GB of data on ICP, which is negligible compared to Millions of Dollars per GB on ETH. Moreover, ICP acts as a cloud platform, which means developers can directly build on the blockchain by deploying their codes as software canisters.
Smart contracts are coded into a canister, and each canister is able to store 4 GB of data, with many being deployed every day (1000+ at the time of writing). Canisters are powered by cycles (computational resources to execute actions on the Internet Computer). Canisters can, of course, interoperate with other canisters and services on the Internet computer.
Again, it's important to emphasize that ICP can scale without limits by just taking in more node machines. Motoko is ICP's native, open-source programming language, created to write smart contracts efficiently. DSCVR (a decentralized alternative to Reddit) runs entirely on a canister and already has around 4.5k daily users only one month after launch. To keep everything running and growing smoothly, ICP uses a reverse gas model where apps use cycles (gas) created by burning ICP to execute smart contracts. You can play 2048 here, running on a canister. Users send cycles to the canisters to keep them running, driving up the demand for ICP to burn.
3. The Team, The Foundation, and the Investors are Amazing
I am a student of science. I believe in science and scientists. Dominic Williams and his army of 200+ mathematicians, cryptographers, and computer scientists have created ICP with years of hard work and dedication. The Dfinity Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that built the Internet Computer. ICP can change how we see and build on the Internet, and Web3 will eventually take over Web2. The triumph of Web3 is inevitable, even though most people can't see it yet. In retrospect, all revolutions seem inevitable.
The source code of ICP and Motoko (its programming language for smart contracts) has been made open source by Dfinity. The Foundation is providing grants (worth $200M) for developers who want to build on ICP, complete with tutorials and a developer forum. Back in 2018, Dfinity received $105 million during a funding round jointly led by Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital. Dfinity had also received funding from many investors, which demonstrates that prominent industry players back the project. Goldman Sachs recently released a report on cryptocurrencies, which stated that ICP is innovative and could pave the way to the future.
4. The Network Nervous System is Ingenious
The NNS is a tokenized open governance system that is responsible for managing the Internet Computer
Once you create a neuron by locking (staking) ICP in the NNS, you can vote on proposals submitted to the IC and earn rewards. Neurons can be unlocked after the dissolve timer set by the neuron owner finishes counting down.
For example, you can lock your ICP for 6 months to 8 years and participate in voting and earn rewards. The longer you set the dissolve delay (unlocking time), the higher the voting power you get. However, to vote on proposals submitted to NNS, the neuron must have a minimum dissolve delay of more than 6 months.
The neuron owner cannot decrease the dissolving timer once it is set. Therefore, the participants of the network governance are subjected to a game theory construct, whereby they are incentivized to make decisions that maximize their economic gains over the long term. The aforementioned dissolve delay ensures the sustainability and growth of ICP: Patience pays off. The Network Nervous System can make changes to the protocol at its core, and hence it can adapt and evolve with time. Many early investors and team members have locked their ICP for 8 years (the max allowable dissolve delay) and are earning substantial voting rewards.
5. ICP's Novel, Cutting Edge Technology
Chain-Key Cryptography and the novel consensus protocol allow the IC to scale efficiently and inexpensively, and still be secure. Anyone can deploy nodes provided they fulfill specific criteria such as hardware specification, legal requirements, etc. The node operators get their payment directly from the NNS for hosting nodes.
Did you know that three mining pools make up more than 51% of the Ethereum Network? And around 61% of the nodes run on centralized Web cloud services such as Amazon. In comparison, ICP runs entirely on nodes hosted by independent data centers worldwide that have been approved by the Network Nervous System - in other words, they are governed by the community. Nodes need superior hardware across the network to ensure the efficient functioning of the protocol, and they have to be approved by the NNS to get into the network. The NNS can also remove malicious or dysfunctional nodes from the network.
Also, thanks to the IC's unique Internet Identity for its users, I don’t have to save my username and passwords for every ICP dapp, nor do I have to download an external hot wallet for every service. Dfinity has also announced that they are working on the integration of Ethereum and Internet Computer, which is made possible by Chain-Key Cryptography.
6. ICP Makes Decentralization Mainstream
The IC acts as a catalyst for thousands of developers and entrepreneurs who want to build internet services. ICP assures zero platform risk and downtime for the services running on it. I believe the monopolization of the internet by big tech has caused damage to individual developers and has decreased the quality of services received by a user. Even if someone manages to build something innovative on corporate clouds, they are still at the mercy of big tech companies for hosting their apps. People can build a variety of private and Open Internet Services, of course, but they are at risk of becoming monopolized and centrally governed.
Fortunately, open Internet services like decentralized social media help push for decentralization and take blockchain to the mainstream, where the user doesn't become the product. AstroX aims to accelerate the transition from Web2 to Web3 by building an Identity service on Dfinity’s Internet Identity, allowing users to manage their identities easily and securely. AstroX plans on integrating the Web2 identity systems such as email and social accounts with Web3 identity systems such as Metamask, other wallets, etc. Ease of use will attract mainstream adoption of ICP and consequently boost the growth of the DeFi industry too.
7. Exciting Projects are Developing in the Ecosystem
Many exciting projects are currently developing on the IC, and a few have already entered beta testing. DSCVR now has more than 9000 users and over 55,000 posts. OpenChat is an end-to-end messaging app currently in alpha testing, and it already has 10,000 users. Distrikt is a decentralized version of LinkedIn, with around 6,000 accounts pre-registered for early release. Nuance, a decentralized open blogging platform by Aikin, has released the UI design to the community. Around 140+ proposals have applied for developer grants.
The WTC token is a stable coin backed by computation and tethered to XDR (a currency created by IMF), which enables developers to convert IC cycles into WTC. Thereafter, WTC can be used to trade like a stable coin or power canisters for dapps. ICPSwap is a DeFi project that intends to be the premiere DeFi hub for ICP by providing various DeFi services.
8. The Community is Supportive and Enthusiastic
ICP has a proactive, friendly community full of enthusiasts, developers, and entrepreneurs. Community plays a crucial role in the governance of ICP through Network Nervous System. Around 60% of voting power resides in the hands of the community, and that proportion will continue to grow. The community presents a platform for collaboration, opportunity, ideas, and growth. Motoko School aims to teach and prepare guides for those interested in learning Motoko and building on ICP. The team members regularly host AMA on Reddit to answer doubts and debunk misinformation around ICP.
The community can delegate their votes to either Dfinity or Internet Computer Association to vote on the proposals submitted to the NNS. They can also follow individual neurons whose voting preferences align with theirs. In the future, there will likely be even more options to delegate votes to amplify the community's collective voice. The community and the ecosystem are growing rapidly as many people begin to see the potential of ICP. Many resources such as SDK, Technical library, a FAQ, and a beginner's resource guide are available for those that are interested in learning and creating on Dfinity.
- 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.*