2022: The Year of the Internet Computer

Welcome to 2022, the year of the Internet Computer. 🎉

ICP is uniquely primed for explosive growth in the coming year, with functionality upgrades polishing the core platform and a hungry developer community delivering the first generation of major applications. From the ability to play nicely with other blockchain technologies, support for decentralized exchanges, and increasingly attractive offerings, developers inside and outside of DFINITY have been investing time, resources, and code into ICP, and this year those investments will start paying material dividends.

Here’s a sneak peek at what’s coming to ICP in 2022:

Cross-chain functionality

ICP’s new abilities to reach out across networks and support other blockchain ecosystems will be a huge story for the Internet Computer in 2022. This cross-chain interaction promises to extend the whole crypto universe, with ICP’s Chain Key technology as the glue linking them together.

The headline story is Bitcoin integration: Approved at the end of September by ICP’s democratic voting system, the Network Nervous System, Bitcoin integration has the power to radically upgrade Bitcoin. As new cryptocurrencies with much more advanced abilities have sprung up around it, “Grandpa” Bitcoin has remained stagnant, lacking the new smart contact abilities that have powered the growth of projects like Ethereum. But this new cross-chain bridge, built on ICP’s native Chain Key cryptography, unlocks the power and speed of ICP’s smart contracts and makes it possible to hold, send, and receive their own bitcoin. This seismic upgrade to Bitcoin will retrofit it into a modern cryptocurrency, pairing all the power of smart contracts with Bitcoin’s reliable store of value as “digital gold.” It’s like taking a classic car and putting an electric motor under the hood.

But that’s not all: Developer Psychedelic is launching Terabithia, an ETH bridge allowing users to mirror Ethereum to the ICP network, “effectively turning ICP into a layer 2 scaling solution for ETH.” By allowing developers to use ICP to patch other layer 1 platforms’ shortfalls, the Internet Computer extends its appeal and brings more users into the ICP ecosystem.

These bridges — and more like them — will make ICP’s best features available to all, driving more development, inter-chain functionality, and discovery of its inexpensive hosting and blockchain features. Expect to see a massive ramp up in this space.

DeFi Launches on ICP

Recent upgrades to ICP’s ability to transfer tokens now makes it possible to run decentralized exchanges, or DEXs, on the Internet Computer. These peer-to-peer exchanges allow users to swap, trade, pool, and stake tokens directly on the blockchain — meaning you can daytrade cryptocurrencies with the speed of the ICP, hosted entirely on-chain. Having no external dependencies for hosting increases the security, speed, and reliability of these exchanges.

ICP is uniquely equipped to handle these tasks: Its vertical integration of hosting improves reliability while eliminating the need to depend on tech giants to host the external-facing websites. ICP’s speed means trades are executed quickly as prices and markets shift. And ICP’s incredibly low transaction cost keeps fees to an absolute minimum. Security, safety, and speed all ensure that developers are clamoring to launch on the platform.

DEXs launching in 2022 on ICP:

  • Infinity Swap: Swap ETH tokens less expensively than on Uniswap; introduces a new token standard for ICP-hosted tokens — encouraging a new generation of crypto tokens on the ICP platform
  • ICPSwap: Mint tokens, mine, and stake in pools; includes support for NFTs out of the box
  • Sonic: Swap tokens; earn fees as a liquidity provider; includes APIs for integration into other apps

As these new DEXs come online and new coins, new tokens, and new applications of NFTs expand the scope of projects hosted in ICP, expect a flurry of new users on the platform.

NFTs Go Mainstream

The NFT market is exploding — and it’s just getting started. NFTs are much more than just JPGs of apes: they represent a digital key to membership communities, functionality, and Web3 ownership. The current speculative market of punks and apes is just the tip of the iceberg, demonstrating the power of Web3 ownership and traceable unique tokens.

The Internet Computer is perfectly suited to host NFTs, thanks to its core values of storage, speed, security, and savings on gas fees. Freed from the extraordinary cost of Ethereum transactions, NFTs and ICP create a powerful pair, primed for an explosion of uses.

Coming to ICP’s NFT ecosystem in 2022:

  • Rise of the Magni from leading ICP developer Toniq Labs: From the team that launched Entrpot, ICP’s first NFT exchange, comes a turn-based strategy game that combines NFTs and tactical gameplay, hosted entirely on the ICP blockchain.
  • NFT Studio: This platform is building tools for creation and minting of 3D NFTs, hosted entirely on the ICP blockchain (which, unlike other platforms,has the storage to accommodate them), and building hooks for interoperability onto other networks — think of it as NFTs without borders.
  • An indie NFT scene: The inexpensive base of NFTs makes new projects from new creators easier to launch, inspiring creativity that goes beyond avatars and anime art. Look for entirely new approaches to NFTs this year.

Next generation Web3 apps

The Internet Computer’s combination of smart contract functionality and web hosting storage enables new kinds of apps living on the blockchain, and reimagines old ones. One of the most exciting is Catalyze, a chat app similar to Discord or Slack that offers a strong community focus and is driven by the developer’s non-profit, mission-driven history. Blockchain integration at the core of the app means NFTs, tokens, fundraising, and communication all live together, bound by a modern interface and ICP-enabled speed. It reimagines how community-based chat apps work and interface with their members, creating deeper ties, less day-to-day maintenance, and more features that people need to grow their communities.

Dapps like Catalyze are just beginning to unearth the power of The Internet Computer’s ability to revolutionize the web with secure hosting, fast, inexpensive blockchain transactions and scalability to meet tomorrow’s challenges.

The Internet Computer is built for the future but its time is now.

Welcome to 2022, the year of the Internet Computer. 🥂

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