Internet Computer, a cryptocurrency that just launched on Monday now has a market value of about $35.8 billion, according to CoinMarketCap, trading at around $289.
On Monday, the market value skyrocketed to over $90 billion (at a price of around $731), but within minutes the price fell, hitting as low as $18 billion (priced at about $146).
The cryptocurrency's founders, the Dfinity Foundation, intend for Internet Computer to become, in effect, a decentralized version of the internet.
The Internet Computer blockchain uses smart contracts — just as the Ethereum blockchain does — which can power a number of applications and platforms.
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For example, one could build decentralized applications like DeFi (aka decentralized finance) apps. DeFi apps recreate traditional financial systems with cryptocurrency. In addition, developers can build websites and other internet services, like social media or messenger applications, using the Internet Computer blockchain.
But, unlike Ethereum, Dfinity says the Internet Computer blockchain runs much faster and is less costly — likening its speed and capabilities to the internet — because of the way it is set up.
"The Internet Computer works in a very different way than any other blockchain," Dominic Williams, founder and chief scientist at the Dfinity Foundation, recently told Bloomberg. "Today, a lot of blockchains run largely on the cloud. The Internet Computer runs entirely on dedicated hardware that are installed by independent parties around the world."
It can run at web speed and can increase its capacity with demand, he said.
Williams noted that with the traditional internet, developers or users may rely on already developed programs by big tech companies. But with the Internet Computer, users can create their own applications or websites on its blockchain, which isn't run by any one entity since it is decentralized, he said.
The Internet Computer project raised more than $120 million from investors like Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital.
Though its market value made headlines, the future of its success will remain to be seen.
Since its debut, the Internet Computer token has seen price volatility, which is common with cryptocurrency. While the price may settle as time goes on, Internet Computer does face competition from other blockchains using smart contracts, including Ethereum — especially as Ethereum undergoes its upgrade to Ethereum 2.0 — and Cardano.
Internet Computer is currently ranked No. 9 among the top 10 cryptocurrencies.
Ether, the cryptocurrency powered by Ethereum, is at No. 2 with a market value of around $493 billion.
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