Internet Computer is a project that intends to reinvent the Internet. Its cryptocurrency, ICP, this week eclipsed, for a while, veterans like Cardano in terms of market capitalization.
This week, a handful of young altcoins garnered attention within the crypto market. Among them, a group of Dogecoin (DOGE) "clones," including the Shiba Inu (SHIB) token, recorded meteoric gains, created euphoria in the ecosystem, and congested the Ethereum network.
But doggy coins weren't the only ones making noise within the crypto space. A recently launched cryptocurrency quickly climbed to the top 10 digital assets with the largest market capitalization in an unusual move.
It is Internet Computer (ICP), a new token that managed to eclipse veteran coins such as Cardano (ADA) in a few hours. The rapid rise was also driven by a price surge that took ICP to a high of $731. Although this altcoin has fallen from that peak, ICP remains within the top 10 cryptocurrencies in the market.
But what is the Internet Computer, and why Is it suddenly flourishing? We answer these and other questions surrounding the newest crypto project on the scene.
Internet Computer: reinventing the Internet
Internet Computer (ICP) is a cryptocurrency based on a Blockchain protocol of the same name whose objective is to reinvent the Internet as we know it. Dfinity Foundation leads the project, a non-profit organization based in Zurich (Switzerland) and Palo Alto (California-USA).
The idea of its developers is to turn the Internet Computer into the world's first "Blockchain computer" that runs at the speed of the web and has unlimited capacity. In this regard, one of the primary missions of the project is to decentralize the Internet and cloud computing, competing with some of the technological giants.
Using the idea of a public network that provides a decentralized global computing cloud, ICP wants to take advantage of Blockchain and Smart Contracts. ICP intends to allow users to install, build and run software and websites without the need to resort to the services of giant platforms like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc.
Dfinity founder Dominic Williams explained in an interview with Cointelegraph that the purpose of ICP is to "extend the functionality of the Internet using a novel and advanced Blockchain network that eliminates the need for old technologies such as cloud services, databases, and network filters or firewalls."
The Internet Computer allows companies and developers to reimagine how and what they build - a paradigm shift that will change everything.
A rival to Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, but not to Ethereum
The project has been running for five years. It entered the tech industry radar in 2018 when Andreessen Horowitz's fund started as an investor in the project. Most recently, ICP took its first step into the ecosystem by launching its mainnet (or mainnet) in December 2020.
In addition to Horowitz's backing, one of Silicon Valley's greats, the project has also received funding from Polychain Capital, Amino Capital, Aspect Ventures, and Eterna Capital.
But the Internet Computer's mission, to break the monopoly of the tech titans to create a public Internet, still seems quite ambitious. In addition, Dfinity defines the ICP protocol as "the Internet computer," a nickname that Ethereum already receives. So what does this project contribute? Are you looking to be a competitor to Ethereum?
One of the mechanisms for changing the current private infrastructure that underlies Internet services is Chain Key. This technology enables the Internet Computer to operate at the speed of the web. This network makes this network much faster, and according to its developers, it is also much less expensive than other blockchains such as Ethereum.
However, while some have hinted that the Internet Computer could be Ethereum's next rival, the development team has denied it. Instead, they emphasize that this project will act as a complement to promote the decentralization of Blockchain networks. In this line, they call themselves "the third great Blockchain innovation," after Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Why its sudden rise?
This new Blockchain would likely have gone unnoticed had it not been for the sudden increase in its ICP token this week.
After its launch on Friday, May 7, the coin debuted on several of the leading exchanges. ICP rose rapidly in price on Monday, climbing among the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization after being added by exchanges such as Binance, Coinbase, and Huobi.
The Switzerland-based crypto bank Sygnum is launching custody and banking services for Internet Computer (ICP) tokens. ICP holders will be able to deposit tokens with the bank's segregated wallets.
The cryptocurrency price surpassed $700 and registered a market capitalization of $90 billion. The meteoric rise led ICP to conquer fourth place on the list of digital currencies, even beating veterans such as XRP, Dogecoin (DOGE), and Cardano (ADA).
Although the token price has fallen and rounds $200, ICP's capitalization is still large enough to keep it within the top 10. At the time of writing, Internet Computer's cryptocurrency is ranked number 8, right after Ripple's token, XRP.
After hitting several milestones during the week, the ICP cryptocurrency appears to be positioning itself as a significant new competitor within the market. Regarding the project, Internet Computer still promises many advances in the future. His Dfinity team, which currently operates 68 nodes in 12 data centers, aims to reach 123 independent data centers and run 4,300 nodes by the end of 2021.