What is Internet Computer (ICP)? A Complete Guide

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To be able to understand the working of an Internet Computer it is essential for you to understand how the internet in all its glory works? We are interconnected with our friends and family and people we work with or people we just know who are online over the internet.

Literally, millions and millions of communications are taking place over the World Wide Web in real-time, and the data is being accessed, transmitted, and recorded by a plethora of people who are using the internet as a medium to push the boundaries of connectivity while at the same time being able to make the best out of it.

Internet is a centralized entity which means that it is being governed by people who are sitting in server rooms, using cloud computing and related services to protect the data and to ensure real-time communication of people with it.

When you go to a dedicated website and try to download something or browse something, you are actually communicating with a random server on the internet with a particular IP address.

You send your information in the form of data packets that travels through the fibre optics all the way to the server towards this message was earlier intended.

The server recognizes the message or data packets and generates a response that is travelled back to you in the same fashion as yours did in the first place. This is how basic communication on the internet takes place, all of it happens in the blink of an eye, and sometimes it is not even that much waiting period.

This is the internet, the one we interact with on a daily basis, and every second of every minute of every hour, we are sending data out and receiving it in real-time; if you really think about it, it is nothing less than a marvel in itself because it has literally made our world an interconnected space and has shortened the distance or it would be alright to say that there is no distance now thanks to the internet.

This was the working of the conventional internet system; now, to turn the tables around, we are going to discuss the Internet Computer, how it is different from the conventional internet and what kind of benefits could be drawn from this approach that is a bit decentralized.

Introduction to Internet Computer

The Internet Computer is nothing but a set of protocols that could be set up in a decentralized fashion allowing for the development of independent data centres around the globe and mutually working together to launch a world wide web media that is in theory similar to the internet we have now but at the same time being an alternative to the centralized approach it has.

So what the Internet Computer basically does is that it creates a decentralized media where a bunch of people is working as node operators for different servers and processing units, providing the network with their processing throughput and, in turn earning rewards from the network itself.

This is what’s so great about Internet Computers; it doesn’t rely on a centralized source such as cloud service providers or centralized entities who are in control of each and every aspect of the conventional internet.

Because the data is not present at a single viable source and is being bounced from multiple elements consistently, it means that there is no single point of failure; Internet Computer provides you with a much more secure and efficient internet than the conventional model.

The Internet Computer also has its own native token by the name of ICP, which can be used eventually for governance-related aspects, earning rewards from the network by staking that token into particular mining pools while at the same time it can be used to pay for all network fees viable to the users for making certain transactions over the network itself.

It is a decentralized project which means that it has something to do with blockchain technology and the crypto world, but it doesn’t mean that you should be wary of using it because it is just like the normal internet but more advanced, intensively secure, and way more efficient than the conventional internet could be.

If you want, you can consider Internet Protocol as a source of digital money converted into the processing power of other projects that are being talked about and worked upon within the crypto space here.

You can purchase the ICP token from any reputable crypto exchange out there, you can trade with it just like with any other cryptocurrency, or you can store it safely into a definitive mining pool for which you will be earning majestic rewards.

Purpose of ICP

If we get to the business of Internet Computer, such as what was the true purpose behind its development, then we come across a simple yet basic idea of developing a decentralized internet and freeing people from the clutches of centralized internet entities, cloud service providers, and other such models who just want to control each and every aspect of the internet without giving much thought to the privacy of the end-user.

And having no regard for how they want to be served or in what fashion, this elegant setup of developing a decentralized Internet urges people to band together in a decentralized fashion throughout the globe, thus developing data centres that are independent of each other but work together in harmony to sustain the decentralized internet.

It would be like a unified database that is not centralized at all; it’s completely decentralized and scattered all across the globe.

Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google cloud services are three of the most intensive cloud computing programs out there that are powering most of the internet other than those who have their own independent data centres and are not relying on these services at all.

With the Internet Computer, you would get the same internet each and every ounce of data but the whole thing running in a parallel fashion on millions and millions of computers out there, adding to the processing throughput of the network in their own capacity, unifying to develop a more sustainable centralized unit that is much more powerful and elegant than all these cloud service providers put together.

It is a complicated approach for sure, but it is not impossible; there is going to be no conflict of interest over the Internet Computer because it runs on open standards, which means that it is going to be open-source and would not require authorization or authentication for anyone to browse on the platform or engage in such activities.

The only thing that would be left to do is to manage the governing bodies who would be in charge of multiple decisions that must be drafted and executed for the good of the network, and that too would be decided by general voting where each and every member of the network would be able to cast their vote depending on how many ICP tokens they have at hand.

Now you might be thinking if the Internet Computer is going to be out of your reach or if you would have to convert your network into a decentralized element?

That is not going to be the case, the global and distributed network of the data centres scattered across the globe for Internet Computers would be accessible through these standard internet procedures and DNS systems, the same thing that you use on your web browsers or smartphones to access the internet.

As for the ICP token that you are holding in your hands, it comes with a variety of major use cases that you get to engage with.

First of all, it can act as a governance token; as talked about earlier, you would be able to speak your mind regarding particular matters of the networks, such as what kind of changes should be brought at the end of the quarter, what specific services should be inaugurated and which ones should be terminated, etc.

Your voting power or how significant your vote is would eventually depend on the number of ICP tokens that you hold. But to be able to do that, you would have to lock away some of your ICP tokens into the network.

Other than that, you would be able to stake your ICP token into a definitive mining pool for which you will be earning a steady reward in terms of the ICP tokens, but for the time being, you won’t be able to withdraw your tokens or make any changes to the treaty that you have signed digitally when staking tokens.

Other than that, it could be used to pay for transaction fees for the transactions that you have conducted on the network commodities are the present use cases for ICP tokens, but in the future, it could be updated as well.

Working Mechanism of ICP

It can’t be stressed enough that the internet of today is completely centralized, which means that whatever communications you are making on the conventional internet, the chances are that someone is listening, someone is calling shots, and someone is in charge of your privacy and your personal data as well.

This is something that most people wouldn’t like to think about, but that is the ground reality. Internet Computer simply wants to take control out of the hands of these big leagues and corporations and want to place this control back into the hands of the common people because evidently, it is where it belongs. All of the data centres which control the internet of today are controlled by big tech firms and corporate industries offering applications that are completely closed source and proprietary in nature.

As explained earlier in great depth, the decentralized internet has an incredible advantage over the centralized one, and it is the fact that it has got no single point of failure which means that even if one dedicated node of the decentralized internet was to go down due to some perceived error, then it would have no effect on the performance of the network itself because other nodes would chip in its place and the party would go on.

But if the same scenario was applied to the centralized internet, if a big data centre controlling a specific part of the internet fails today again due to some perceived error, then a huge chunk of the internet would be rendered unusable.

A huge portion of the World Wide Web would shut down, and there wouldn’t be any kind of backup to take its place other than the revival of the same data centre which went kaput in the first place. From a privacy point of view, centralized internet is not the answer; as explained earlier, your data is not secure travelling through multiple modes and channels of the centralized internet.

There are corporates who are spying on you from their cosy offices, considering you Lab Rats on whom they could spy or use you to fill out certain Performa or online questionnaires for them, which will eventually help them to drive inside from your behaviour to better their marketing strategies and other applications which would ultimately be diverted your way.

You are the end consumer in every possible scenario; if you think that you are using social media for free, then you need to think again because nothing on the internet is for free.

What you are giving away for this so-called free usage of the internet is your private information; you have put out your birthday, Social Security number, address, and other general information on your social media profiles. You are willingly giving all of this away without thinking of the repercussions it might have way down into the future on your personal identity.

That is why centralized internet is not the answer; it never could be unless the whole system dissolves and is scattered in decentralized chunks displaced around the extensiveness of our globe, and that is what the internet computer is all about.

Internet Computer offers a diverse alternative to centralized internet, which helps developers not only build applications but also host them and to be able to serve them to the end public in a more decentralized fashion.

This will allow websites to be deployed preliminary on the internet without being hosted over a centralized server beforehand; video another incentive for Internet computers is transparent software development that also happens to be completely open-source.

This means that all the ads that are run on social media right now over the centralized internet are ultimately helping those big corporates who have set up the so-called platform.

But come to the decentralized internet, all these ads and revenue that these would be able to generate would ultimately go down to the pockets of the users because at the end of the day, these are users who are establishing the social media, developing on it as developers, shipping out updates for perceived errors and miscommunications while at the same time being the sole owner of the whole network in itself because this is completely decentralized approach and no single entity, user or node is an owner or have a higher stake to rule out the opinions and thoughts of the others involved.

Think of the applications developed on the Internet Computer in such a way that instead of these applications running on Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure, these will have no fixed physical address.

This means that these applications don’t belong on a centralized server with a specific web address; these will be travelling in between servers that are owned by independent data centres that are scattered across the world. It is a highly intricate system with no regard for corruption, misuse of people’s data and their privacy, or any other such conundrums that are valid in the centralized version of the internet.

ICP Token

The ICP token is going to be the bread and butter of Internet Computers. We can think of ICP as converting your crypto into the processing power which could be used by the network to execute the development of tasks.

The network will put out a fee which would be based on the total amount of computing power which is required by a certain project.

As long as the fee is taken care of, the website will continue to run on the public internet. People would be able to stake their ICP tokens, to sum up the funds to the total value of what the project requires in terms of processing power, and all those members who have done so will receive generous rewards from the network for staking their crypto tokens.

You can run social media apps, financial elements, or educational environments on the Internet Computer for all that matters because, at the end of the day, it is just like any other development media, but it is more secure, much more efficient, and vigilant when it comes to the privacy of the end-user.

Ultimately decentralized internet is the answer to the problems perceived by conventional internet because these systems are never going to applaud the common people who are in for the betterment of our society.

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