Internet computer (ICP) is the native token of the Dfinity network. The digital asset came into the crypto market hot, recording a market cap of $35 billion just three days after its launch. In fact, during that period, ICP hit the top 10 coins with the highest market capitalization.
However, the hype ended as soon as it started. After being listed in the top analytics platforms, the coin dropped in value, closing the month of May at about $110. The value drop continued until ICP hit a low at about $25.
Due to its relevance in the internet and web 3, enthusiasts believe that ICP could return to its glory shortly. ICP is the native asset of the Dfinity ecosystem, a network dedicated to the decentralization of the internet. ICP token has two primary use cases in Dfinity.
Internet Computer ICP Use Case: Payment for Computation Power
One of the major roles of the ICP tokens is in the payment for network computation. According to several sources, developers building on Dfinity needs computation power. To get the power, developers convert ICP tokens into cycles.
Cycles are the fuel required in the computations of the hosted Dapps. On the other hand, the ICP token helps in generating the cycles. But, how is this computation power used?
Dapp, DeFi, and NFTs Computation Power
One of the most fundamental use cases of the ICP coin is in the Defi and NFT space. Developers can create decentralized applications like Dexes, Lending networks, Trading systems, and synthetic assets.
The token standard for the entire Dfinity Defi support system is the Dtoken. ICP, being a central part of Dfinity, also gains use in decentralized finance projects.
Like Defi applications, NFTs also use Dapps. When creating an NFT project, the developer builds a Dapp on the Dfinity network leveraging the ICP token.
Another use case of the Dfinity network is in the development and hosting of the gaming industry. When scouring through the Dfinity network web page, you can find examples of gaming networks using Dfinity support. The best games include ICMoji Origins, Mission is Possible, Reversi, Saga Tarot, Cube Runa, etc.
In Defi, Gaming, and NFT Dapps, the central role of ICP tokens is purchasing fuel to power the Dapps computations. The developer must always purchase ICP to ensure enough gas for activities like buying, selling, exchanging, and creating NFTs. In gaming Dapps, ICP requirements could be a little higher since the computation power required is super high. ICP tokens are connected to the fueling of the network Dapps.
Enterprise IT System Computation Power
Another use case of the internet computer is in the provision of enterprise IT systems. An enterprise IT system is a network that enables the coordination of different business processes in one network.
The systems streamline the flow of information, from production, manufacturing, human resource, sales, and logistics. The system collects information and provides payroll, billing, pricing, and inventory management solutions.
The best examples of an enterprise solution in Definity leveraging ICP are Agryo and Origyn. Agryo is a global risk intelligence provider which aids financial networks in risk assessment and management. The Origyn foundation blends luxury goods with NFTs to provide digital verification.
Both those platforms must leverage the ICP token to power their activities. Their creators use ICP to generate cycles as the gas for powering the internal information computations. Hence, to run an Enterprise IT system, they must purchase enough ICP and convert them to Cycles.
Decentralized Website Hosting Services Computation Power
One of the primary reasons for creating the ICP network was providing decentralized web hosting services. Decentralized web hosting means that a website leverages a decentralized server and a decentralized domain name.
The web pages in this system are often decentralized. Hence each of them is safe from any attacks. No one can hijack the domain to a decentralized website.
Domain hijacking refers to stealing the website path—the criminal changes the registration of Domain name without the owner’s permission. By decentralizing the domain name control, the website owner can input high security to protect their domain.
ICP is also used mainly for creating computational power by generating cycles in web hosting services. One of the platforms leveraging ICP for decentralized web hosting is Fleek. Fleek deployed over 1000 web pages using the Dfinity network when writing this. Fleek’s developer uses ICP tokens and converts them to cycles to ensure enough fuel for web computations.
Decentralized Messaging Computation Power
Internet computer also offers the option of decentralized messaging systems. The decentralized messaging networks benefit from a safe end-to-end encrypted communication.
An excellent example of a decentralized messaging network is DSCVR, designed as a decentralized Reddit. When writing this report, the platform had over 40 thousand users. There is another decentralized messaging network based on Dfinity called Open chat, which offers real-time messaging options. It has over 50 thousand users.
Aside from using ICP for computation in messaging, ICP lovers can enjoy sending the token via these applications.
Internet Computer ICP Use Case: Network Governance
Another relevance of the ICP token is within the ecosystem and specifically for governance. Governance of crypto networks has been growing recently, with platforms seemingly involving the community in decision-making.
In the Dfinity network, governance is done through voting, where they make decisions on various operational issues. ICP token holders are the only people authorized to vote on decisions and subject matters.
According to their white paper, ICP holders can lock the tokens to generate neurons. The neurons, in turn, help them participate in voting for any decisions. The best thing about this system is that the holders will enjoy voting rewards with ICP. Therefore, the governance of the network is a major part of this project.
Dfinity and Beyond
This guide has explored the Dfinity internet computer, especially its real-life use cases. Defi is already becoming a household name, but with ICPs web 3.0 involvement, Defi will be even more accessible. Projects like gaming and DFT will also leverage the ICP token ecosystem.
Other major use cases include enterprise IT solutions, web hostings, messaging, and identity authentication systems. As the network grows, the use cases will increase the value of the ICP token and, in return, drive more growth.