The Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) is a decentralized blockchain platform that aims to enable the creation of decentralized applications (dApps) and services that can be run at web speed and scale without relying on centralized intermediaries. ICP is designed to be a new layer of the internet infrastructure that is capable of supporting a wide range of use cases and business models.
ICP sets itself apart from other crypto-assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, as it is not solely a currency. Although the token is tradable on exchanges like Coinbase, its objective extends far beyond that.
At its core, ICP utilizes a novel consensus algorithm called Threshold Relay, which is designed to provide high performance, security, and scalability. Unlike other consensus algorithms used in traditional blockchain networks, Threshold Relay does not require miners or validators to perform complex computations. Instead, it relies on a set of randomly selected nodes, known as NNS (Network Nervous System) neurons, to process transactions and maintain the integrity of the network.
The NNS neurons work in tandem to form a chain of cryptographic signatures that validate the transactions and ensure the network’s security. The ICP protocol also uses a technique called sharding to divide the network into smaller subnets, allowing for parallel processing and faster transaction speeds.
One of the unique features of ICP is its ability to run smart contracts and dApps natively on the blockchain, without the need for additional middleware or third-party services. This is made possible by the ICP’s WebAssembly-based programming model, which allows developers to write code in a variety of programming languages, including Rust, C, and C++.
ICP also introduces a novel concept called Internet Identity, which is designed to provide a secure and decentralized way for individuals and organizations to authenticate themselves online. Internet Identity is built on top of the ICP protocol and enables users to create unique identities that can be used to access various dApps and services on the network.
Another key feature of ICP is its ability to provide seamless interoperability between different blockchain networks. The protocol supports a wide range of standard protocols and APIs, making it easy for developers to build cross-chain applications and services.
In terms of governance, ICP is designed to be a fully decentralized and autonomous network. The protocol is managed by the NNS, which is a set of neurons that collectively oversee the network’s operations, including the allocation of resources, the distribution of rewards, and the development of new features and upgrades.
How Does ICP Work?
The Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) was developed with the specific goal of addressing the centralization of the internet infrastructure, which has become a major issue in the modern era. The world’s most significant applications are currently based on centralized systems, which poses two significant challenges.
The first challenge is the vulnerability of centralized data, which can be easily targeted by malicious entities. If a group of criminals gains control of this data bank, it could have catastrophic consequences. Furthermore, if a critical part of the data infrastructure is compromised, the entire application can go offline.
The second major challenge posed by centralized servers is the potential for censorship. Such servers provide ample opportunities for de-platforming applications and even people indirectly.
ICP addresses these issues by creating a decentralized system. Rather than relying on dedicated servers in Amazon Web Services, data can move across independently owned data services across the network.
In essence, ICP is a new framework that allows users to host their servers in a decentralized manner, which provides greater security and reduces the potential for censorship
Advantages of Internet Computer Protocol
The decentralized computer network on the blockchain has advantages over centralized cloud-based alternatives, according to ICP Devs. The network has open standards and doesn’t have to negotiate conflicts of interest.
The Internet Computer Protocol solves such problems without conflicts of interest by providing a globally accessible blockchain, a network of blockchains connected through chain key cryptography, and clear independence of the protocol to ensure smart contracts will always be executed
Internet Protocol Limitations
The Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) may not be accessible to everyone as it requires special heavy-duty computers and only prominent institutional players may benefit.
Additionally, Abuse presents another major issue in decentralized systems. With no centralized authority, it becomes unclear who bears the responsibility of preventing abusive content. In contrast, centralized cloud services such as Amazon and Google are diligent about moderating content.
The absence of such obligations with ICP implies that there are no limits to the types of content that can be hosted.
However, ICP is a governance token that allows community members to stake their tokens and self-regulate their community
The ICP protocol represents a significant step forward in the evolution of blockchain technology. By combining high performance, security, and scalability with native support for smart contracts and dApps, ICP has the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with the internet and build decentralized applications.
Ken Emmanuel is a Blockchain Content writer, a Web3 Enthusiast and a Social Media Management Strategist, he likes writing educative contents to help people gain more knowledge and get inspired. The growth of any organization he work with is always his priority. He is a Geographer by profession and loves reading.