The Internet today is hosted on the web servers of a handful of giants like Amazon, Google, etc. This exposes us to a number of risks. One of them is if and when these data centers stop working, half of the internet as we know will go down too. Another potential issue is a conflict of interest, where major cloud-computing providers may choose to host products that compete with their own services and products. Moreover, centralised corporate web providers currently have the ability to censor or de-platform applications if they wish to. Luckily the crypto industry is tackling this problem. DFINITY Foundation, for example, has developed Internet Computer Protocol that can help in alleviating the risks associated with current internet infrastructure. So, let’s understand what Internet Computer Protocol is and how it plans to decentralise the internet for us!
So, what is Internet Computer Protocol?
Internet Computer is a blockchain protocol that aims to decentralise the internet. Instead of the current transitional big guns hosting the internet, ICP has been developed by DFINITY Foundation. It aims to reimagine the way users interact with the internet. The protocol aims to host the internet on a collection of individual computers that will act as data centers as opposed to corporate cloud services. These individual providers will be hosted as nodes that will run using smart contracts at scale. As a fundamental alternative, it offers developers the ability to build, host, and serve applications. Therefore, as a developer, it gives you the ability to publish a website directly into the public domain. Moreover, the protocol aims to create a full-fledged ecosystem of supporting applications. In order to achieve this, the organization also provides grants for businesses.
How does the ICP coin work?
The network has nodes that host the internet. These nodes represent individual internet providers that use their personal infrastructure capability to host internet applications. Not just that, the protocol allows developers to deploy and run their own applications. This is done via the use of something called a canister. These canisters are essentially smart contracts. Each canister has about 4GB of storage capacity that can be used for hosting services. These canisters collectively make a global and distributed network of data centers that can run a number of applications. Not just that, the same network will be able to run the applications that run on traditional internet standards such as DNS.
The ICP token: a snapshot
The native token of Internet Computer Protocol is called the ICP token. It is the utility token that is used on the protocol. Not just that, it is also used to facilitate governance power for users. You can participate in the governance of the protocol in the future by locking some amount of ICP tokens. The ICP crypto token is also used to produce the other Cycles, another token of the network which is a stable coin that can be used for computational resources and network transactions. Additionally, the token is also used as a reward when you lock the token for staking.
To conclude, you can use the ICP token to buy services on the ICP platform, earn rewards from staking, and participate in the governance of the ecosystem.