The Internet Computer ($ICP) is a decentralized blockchain network with independent data centers providing alternative to centralized corporate cloud services.
Currently, centralized network arouses many concerns. For example, many popular applications on the web are closed-source, proprietary, and are hosted on a handful of data centers owned by big tech firms. And if one critical data center fails, huge swathes of the web can also shut down with it. Another major concern is that centralized, corporate web-services providers have the ability to censor or deplatform applications.
With this background, the Internet Computer attempts to offer a fundamental alternative so that developers can build, host, and serve applications in a more decentralized way. To achieve this, it allows websites to be deployed directly onto the public internet and incentivizes open source and transparent software development.
The following is 3 main features of Internet Computer (ICP):
- User-friendly: simplified user interface is built so that anyone can create a decentralized application (dApp) on its blockchain platform
- Decentralized: ICP runs on a decentralized network with dedicated hardware established by independent parties rather than a cloud maintained by centralized data servers.
- High-speed: with a network of distributed nodes that are powered by high-performance data centers,it processes transactions quickly, thanks to a finality time of 2 seconds and a query response time of 100 ms.
$ICP is the native token of The Internet Computer, which is used for governance, reward and transaction fee. Please click here to visit the tokenomics of ICP on TokenInsight website.
IC (Internet computer) adopts "DAO-controlled network", a hybrid model to obtain both the efficiency of a permissioned protocol and some benefits of a PoS protocol. This model works as follows: each subnet runs a permissioned consensus protocol, but a DAO determines which entities provide replicas, configures the topology, provides a public-key infrastructure, and controls which version of the protocol is deployed to the replicas. This DAO is called the network nervous system (NNS), and is based on a PoS so members' voting power is determined by how much they stake. Through this PoS-based governance system, new subnets can be created, replicas may be added to or removed from existing subnets, software updates may be deployed, and other modifications to the IC may be effected.
The NNS is itself a replicated state machine, which runs on a particular subnet whose membership is determined via the same PoS-based governance system. The NNS maintains a database called the registry, which keeps track of the topology of the IC: which replicas belong to which subnets, the public keys of the replicas, and so on. Thus, IC can achieve both the efficiency of a permissioned network and the benefits of DAO governance.
The Internet Computer is built by the DFINITY Foundation and was started by a developer named Dominic Williams in 2016. The DFINITY Foundation is a nonprofit organization devoted to researching and developing the Internet Computer — after years of research, it officially launched in May 2021. Researchers all over the world contribute to the foundations’ work — including cryptographers that hold around 100,000 academic citations and 200 patents.