On Monday, May 10th, the Internet Computer was born. ICP (Internet Computer’s abbreviation, not Insane Clown Posse) hit big exchanges, namely Coinbase, and quickly rose to $750 before going dark. Or to be more accurate, red, really red. While the rest of the market was beat up by the sell-off beginning in mid-May, ICP was absolutely bludgeoned, dropping to around $30. Before launching on major exchanges and into one of the biggest corrections in crypto’s history, the internet computer had high expectations and a lot of hype swirling around its potential as yet another Ethereum killer.
What is Dfinity
The Dfinity Foundation was founded in Switzerland back in 2016 as a Swiss “Stiftung'', but for simplicity’s sake we’ll just call them a non-profit. The foundation oversees research labs in Japan, Switzerland, and the U.S. with the purpose of maintaining blockchain-based cloud computing, i.e. the Internet Computer.
The Internet Computer
The folks over at Dfinity could not have picked a more intense sounding name.
The Internet Computer became an overnight sensation, receiving hundreds of millions of dollars and building what some proclaimed the “new internet.” Others have called it the third major blockchain innovation after Bitcoin and Ethereum…
So what makes it so special?
ICP (still not Insane Clown Posse) wants to create a limitless environment for smart contracts to run at web speed, scale, and reduce computing costs by a million times or more. On ICP users can build anything from DeFi to tokenized social media and everything in between.
If the Internet Computer becomes a decentralized Google Cloud or AWS that would be a game-changer, but there are a few things to take note of. It turns out the Internet Computer has a lot of proprietary code, and that goes against one of the basic tenets of blockchain: open source development. Also, in the privacy agreement, there is this: “DFINITY may collect certain usage statistics from the software including but not limited to a unique identifier, associated IP address, version number of the software, and information on which tools and/or services in the DFINITY Canister SDK are being used and how they are being used.” Basically they disclaim that they may tap into your metadata. Also, remember that VC and the Dfinity foundation control a large portion of the Internet Computers governance with its blockchain being carefully controlled.
All together this makes the Internet Computer sound like a rather centralized, but supposedly decentralized, cloud computing platform. However, with some changes the idea could one day be revolutionary.