More On: ICP
DFINITY Foundation's Chief Operating Officer, Josh Drake, says that what's to come with the Internet computer is going to be very exciting for people.
As long as you look at what's being done now, you'll get a good idea of what web3 can become.
The internet has been around for more than 40 years now. Many people have used it to communicate and do business for about 30 of those years now. Even now, a lot of the infrastructure that runs the services that billions of people use every day is made with the same old technology.
This has led to an internet that is complicated, inefficient, and not very safe. Many different protocols, some proprietary and some open source, must work together in order to make things work. What you get is a "pattern" of servers, cloud services, and platforms that don't always work well together or at all. It also makes it hard to keep your data and your account safe. The more moving parts there are, the more places where data can be mined or attackers could find flaws.
There isn't really a lot of room on the internet as we know it for web 3. Until now, cryptocurrency users had no choice but to put up with it in order to use decentralized services. However, as more and more of these platforms have come out, there is a need for a single structure that can allow them all to work together without sacrificing trust or efficiency. We need to "start over" with the internet, but work is already well under way.
You will meet the Internet computer.
The Internet Computer Protocol (IC) has been made to replace the proprietary, old stack that runs the internet now. It was made and launched by the DFINITY Foundation, but it is run by a DAO. The IC is made up of a set of rules that allow for a completely decentralized global network that still has modern web speeds and data storage. The network also uses its own ICP token for decentralized governance. This gives everyone who owns the network a say in how it grows in the future.
To make the vision come to life, DFINITY had to use a lot of new things. For one thing, the whole blockchain is made up of many layers that connect together. It all starts with separate data centers that have their own hardware nodes for the IC. These nodes work together to make different subnets. They then host "canister smart contracts," which are smart contracts that have evolved. They all work together, can be used by anyone, and have "cycles" inside that hold both the code and the memory needed to run it.
This means that you should turn the gas around.
It also has a "reverse gas" model that, as its name implies, flips the gas fee model of blockchains like Ethereum on its head. Instead of the user paying, the developers provide the funds needed to run the applications and contracts that use their gas. This means that users no longer have to pay to mint an NFT or make a trade on a decentralized exchange, for example.
People call this type of DAO the Network Nervous System (NNS). It makes sure that everything that happens on this chain is done in the right way. The NNS is the thing that controls, configures, and manages the whole blockchain. It does this by setting up governance, keeping an eye on nodes, issuing new tokens, and many other important things that it does.
It's better for Web3 to use the Internet computer:
There is also a unique type of tokenomics that helps keep the whole IC network in balance as well. First, the NNS gives new ICP to node operators and people who help with decentralized governance at regular intervals. All of the canisters on the blockchain need time to run their code. These cycles are bought with ICP, and when they're used up, the assets they're based on are called "burned." To keep the whole ecosystem in balance, this brings in both inflationary and deflationary things.
In the end, it all comes down to a system that can be self-sufficient and decentralized at the same time. If you want to use modern platforms and services, you don't need proprietary APIs, cloud services, third-party vendors, firewalls, or any of the other complicated things that make modern eCommerce so difficult. It's possible for anyone to make anything they want and have it work with other web3 products without any problems.
This could lead to new ways to raise money for businesses, as well as new ways to raise money in general. Crowdsourcing is a way for artists, charities, entrepreneurs, and more to tap into the power of the crowd quickly and safely. They don't have to worry about their data or money being used.
How far ICP has already come: how far
In May of 2021, the IC was officially launched. Even in the short time since, it has a lot to be happy about. This is very different from Ethereum and Bitcoin, which say they can do 15 and 7 transactions per second, respectively. The IC says it can do 11,500 transactions per second with a one-second completion time.
As of this writing, the network has already processed more than 670,000,000 blocks, with an average of about 33 blocks per second and more than 3 million transactions, making it one of the fastest in the world. This isn't all: There are also more than 49,000 canister smart contracts in use, with an average storage cost of only $0.46/Gb/month, or $0.46/GB per month. This is a very different figure from Ethereum, which costs $127 million to store 1 GB of data. It's worth about $5.8 billion right now because there are so many ICP staked on the network.
A lively community
These metrics are great, but without a strong community of dApps that can offer users decentralized services, they would be meaningless. The Internet Computer has found a place in the world of decentralized social media, or DeSo, projects because of its infinite capacity to grow, low storage costs, and reverse gas fee model. For example, DSCVR is a social media platform like Reddit that is run and owned by its users. There have been 40,000 people who have used DSCVR since it started its beta in June 2021. Next, OpenChat meets its promise of uncensored direct messaging that also protects users' data privacy. It has more than 50,000 users, and they use it every day.
70,000 people have already signed up for a professional network called Distrikt, which is completely decentralized and owned by its users. Users of the platform will be able to vote on new features, and no user data will ever be mined or sold, even if they want to. In this case, it is the first professional social network that is entirely based on the blockchain. All of distrikt's interactions, uploads, and exchanges happen on the blockchain.
This means that if the IC ecosystem protocol didn't have its own answers for DeFi, it would not be complete. Decentralized exchanges, like Sonic, ICPSwap, and Infinity Swap, let users make money without having to do anything. They do this by giving assets to liquidity pools. There have already been a lot of unique collections of non-fungible tokens, like ICPunks and Internet Astronauts, but there are still many more to come.
The Road That's Coming.
This is just a small taste of what Internet Computer already has to offer. But what's coming up is what's most exciting. For one thing, the network wants to be able to work with other blockchains, starting with Bitcoin.
As on other networks, this isn't done by "wrapping," which is done by custodians. Instead, Chain Key Cryptography is used directly. This means that ICP can make transactions between Bitcoin wallets directly. This brings Bitcoin liquidity to ICP, and smart contract functionality to Bitcoin, by putting them together. Because DFINITY plans to integrate with Ethereum in the same way, the topography of the DeFi ecosystem is going to change for the better.
DFINITY also recently came up with an HTTP-like standard protocol for Internet Computer, which means that all of its services are completely compatible with the Web2 infrastructure that already exists. This means that data can move freely between the old internet and the new web3. There won't be any need for extra services that act as "blockchain oracles."
In this case, the Internet computer is the service nervous system.
Lastly, the Service Nervous System is an upgrade that ICP is planning to make that will make it possible for all social media to be run by people who don't work for the company (SNS). Allow users to vote on the direction of any platform in the SNS. These could be things like simple UI changes, all the way up to new dApp features or ways for users to be rewarded. People who start businesses or build things with blockchain can also avoid having to get money from venture capitalists, because the SNS gives out a certain amount of tokens to different parts of its ecosystem (like the developers, community members, and so on).
No matter what you build with the Internet Computer, there is no limit to what you can do. As long as you look at what's being done now, you'll get a good idea of what web3 can become. With blockchain services that can be used by anyone, technical flexibility and accessibility and scalability have made it possible for them to work for everyone. Even better, the platform will only get better and better as more people use it. This is because it has an evolutionary model that allows the users to keep full control.
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