Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) is a cryptocurrency that allows users to create apps, websites, and other web-based services. Essentially, it allows anyone to build software or publish content on the Internet without using services from big companies like Amazon, Google, or Facebook. It aims at recreating the web but in a more decentralized way.
The cryptocurrency was created by the Dfinity Foundation and is backed by the well-respected venture capital firms Andreesen Horowitz and Polychain Capital.
Dominic Williams, head of Dfinity revealed the first details about the project in 2018. And in 2020, Internet Computer at the World Economic Forum in Davos where it was well-received. It later gained recognition from the wider community, and in 2021 its native token, ICP, was released.
What are ICP key features and how does it work?
The ICP token is used as part of the governance of the network. Users who are not interested in active participation can configure their stacks - neurons - so that they simply follow the majority.
ICP is also used to reward participants who participate in the running of the network. For example, those who provide liquidity to support the project. It can also be staked or "converted into cycles" that can be used to power computation for dApps.
A key aim of Internet Computer is to simplify application development for teams and become an all-encompassing hub for development. By removing the need to select cloud services, databases, and other tools, Internet Computer hopes to achieve this.
What is noteworthy about Internet Computer?
The protocol remains unique from other cryptocurrencies for the following reasons:
Firstly, the platform’s tools mean that anyone can make use of its blockchain technology to create apps, without having to rely on or use big tech companies. It runs on a decentralized network, not the cloud. In contrast to many other blockchains that run on the cloud, Internet Computer runs on dedicated hardware set up by independent parties.
Users have an Internet Identity, a type of “single password" mechanism. Users can have access to all services inside ICP by using a single authentication method as chosen by the user. This could be face recognition or fingerprint scanning.
ICP has its own programming language, Motoko. Applications written in Motoko are compiled into WebAssembly, which has become the standard of the traditional Web. One of the goals of Motoko is to make asynchronous programming and other complex tasks easier.