- Swiss nonprofit Dfinity’s digital asset “Internet Computer” launched on Monday.
- It is already among the 10 largest cryptocurrencies with a market cap of $45 billion.
- The decentralized token seeks to break Big Tech’s shackles on entrepreneurship.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Internet Computer, a cryptocurrency launched Monday by blockchain non-profit Dfinity, is already the eight-largest digital asset with a market capitalization of $45 billion, data from CoinMarketCap showed on Wednesday.
The project, developed by founder Dominic Williams, is a result of five years of research. The token’s promoters claim it can provide the core basis of a new, decentralized internet.
The first day of trading saw its price swing wildly as it hit an intraday high of $700 before declining to around $250. It is currently trading around the $340-range.
“The Internet Computer is an open platform that frees the world from a dependence on centralized server farms, making it possible to host software and data directly in cyberspace without the need for legacy IT such as proprietary cloud services, server machines, software stacks, databases, and firewalls,” Dfinity said in a statement.
A research report from crypto-insight platform Messari details the idea behind IC and what it aims to overcome. IC’s founder Williams has said the internet has become more monopolistic by controlling tech monoliths like Facebook or Amazon, whose users get affected by any changes made to its platform parameters, the report said.
He recently told Insider mainstream venture capital firms are sitting on “billions and billions of dollars” that they’re ready to invest in crypto and so-called “open internet” startups.
To that end, the digital token’s objective is to offer “a public compute platform so that developers, enterprises, and government agencies can deploy software and services directly to the public internet.”
Another development by Dfinity allows the Internet Computer protocol to securely manage user identities on certain apps without usernames, passwords, or cryptographic keys.
“I want you to imagine a world where you can securely authenticate yourself to online services without ever touching a username and password, or touching cryptographic key material, using just your devices,” Williams said.
“I want you to imagine a world where you can log into internet services without ever being tracked across internet services. And I want you to imagine a world where this is happening at a far greater degree of convenience than any kind of authentication service that you use today.”
The total market value of cryptocurrencies currently stands at about $2.5 trillion, up from around $1 trillion at the start of the year.