The native token of the Internet Computer protocol (ICP) has reached a market value of $45 billion just two days after launching.
On May 10, 469,213,710 ICP utility tokens went live under the authority of the Network Nervous System. This enabled them to move onto exchanges such as Coinbase, which had plans to list the asset on Coinbase Pro.
According to CoinMarketCap, this makes it the eighth largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization. The goal of the Internet Computer protocol is to “extend the functionality of the public internet.” For instance, enabling software developers or content creators to publish anything without having to go through centralized corporations like Amazon.
According to project founder Dominic Williams, the idea is to get around corporate walled gardens, while also reducing costs. Eventually, he says, users could potentially create social media networks that could rival current titans like Facebook.
During an interview with Bloomberg, Williams went into greater detail about what distinguishes Internet Computer from other blockchains. For example, he noted that many blockchains today operate on cloud computing platforms like Amazon Web Services. However, the Internet Computer runs entirely on dedicated hardware.
Williams said that the Internet Computer is hosted by special node computer machines, “that are installed by independent parties, in independent data centers around the world.” This way, he said, the Internet Computer is able to create a blockchain by combining the nodes’ computer capacity. This enables it to “run at web speed and to increase its capacity with demand and run very efficiently.”
According to Williams, this means that “you can build things on a blockchain now that you never would have been possible”. He lists things such as websites, internet services, and enterprise systems and added that they would all utilize smart contracts. Building them on a blockchain enables them to utilize features such as tokenization. Williams predicts seeing “an explosion in things like tokenized social media.”