The Crypto world never ceases to throw up surprises. And the latest one may even sound bizarre. A new cryptocurrency gets launched and becomes one of the most significant coins instantly. That’s Internet Computer – the name of the new coin — for you. Established on Monday, Internet Computer was trading at $296 with a market cap of $36 billion at filing this report, according to crypto data tracker CoinMarketCap. On Wednesday, the new currency was already placed as the eighth-largest digital asset among the top-10 cryptos in CoinMarketCap’s rankings. It traded as high as $731 (on Monday around 9.30 pm IST) with the $90 billion market cap to become the fourth largest crypto, after Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Binance Coin, right after its launch.
Launched and incubated by Switzerland-based not-for-profit scientific research firm DFINITY Foundation, Internet Computer is the “last original Layer 1 blockchain project launching a revolutionary public network that provides a limitless environment for smart contracts that run at web speed, serve web, scale, and reduce compute costs by a million times or more,” the company said on its website. Essentially, Dfinity intended to have a blockchain service for anyone, including social media users, software developers, etc., to publish whatever they want without requiring to route their work through Amazon’s AWS and Facebook’s services. That’s in a way to decentralize the internet.
Internet Computer (By Market Cap) (May 10, 9.30 pm IST onwards)
“The Internet Computer is a Layer 1 blockchain protocol that could someday rival Ethereum. As the name implies, this technology makes the Internet one large democratized computer. The common person can establish a presence without needing rent-seeking organizations such as Amazon and Facebook. Its rapid price rise can be attributed to the exuberance in the marketplace, as well as the perceived need for advancement in Layer 1 protocols,” Ajeet Khurana, Venture Partner and Global Expert at Blockchain Founders Fund, told Financial Express Online.
For Dominic Williams, the Founder and Chief Scientist at Dfinity Foundation, the idea was to get around corporate walled gardens and cut costs. In an interview with Bloomberg last week, he distinguished Internet Computer from and other blockchains. Williams highlighted that while many blockchains operate on cloud platforms such as AWS, the Internet Computer runs entirely on dedicated hardware. Nonetheless, getting into the top 10 cryptos right after the launch is quite an achievement. “The exuberance would be justified if a sizeable number of Defi, NFT, and other projects adopt the Internet Computer protocol to establish their presence on the blockchain. But it remains to be seen if that will happen. On the technology front, the Internet Computer is quite promising,” added Khurana.
However, the project has been in the works since October 2016 when Williams founded it and had raised $121 million from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain Capital, SV Angel, Aspect Ventures, Electric Capital, ZeroEx, Scalar Capital, and Multicoin Capital, and several notable early Ethereum supporters, as per CoinMarketCap. The scientific breakthrough behind the new coin is Chain Key Technology that allows Internet Computers to run at web speed. However, the future only will unravel how much it succeeds.