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A Beginner's Guide to ICP

Published on: May 16, 2024
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In Brief

Learn everything you need to know about ICP. Explore its ecosystem, use cases, and more in this beginner's guide.

A Beginner's Guide to ICP

The internet of today is highly centralized, dominated by a handful of large companies. ICP (Internet Computer) exists to break this chokehold by ushering in a new era of the internet. A decentralized internet, where users are in control and applications run on a network of millions of independent computers scattered around the globe.

In this beginner's guide, we discuss everything you need to know about ICP, exploring its fundamental concepts, ecosystem, and use cases. In an era marked by the emergence of Web3 technologies, understanding ICP's role is paramount for anyone navigating the decentralized future of the internet.


Understanding Internet Computer (ICP)

ICP aims to create a decentralized internet by leveraging independent data centers worldwide. Unlike traditional cloud providers, ICP leverages a global network of independent data centers, enabling them to seamlessly collaborate, and to host and serve applications. By decentralizing the internet, ICP mitigates the risks associated with single points of failure. Moreover, ICP empowers developers to build and deploy applications directly onto the public internet.

ICP operates through open standards, ensuring transparency and preventing conflicts of interest. This distributed approach, coupled with the vast computing power harnessed by ICP's network, promises significant improvements in scalability and speed. ICP aims to be a powerful, decentralized engine that powers the next generation of Web3 applications, unshackling developers from the constraints of centralized servers.

Before You Get Started

Before you explore ICP in more detail, it’s important to remember that you can manage ICP using Trust Wallet.

You can download Trust Wallet as a mobile app, or you can install the Trust Wallet Extension for your desktop browser.


The Benefits of ICP

At the heart of ICP lies a revolutionary concept - a global network of independent data centers. These data centers, called "node machines," are not controlled by any single entity, unlike the centralized server farms of traditional cloud providers. This distributed approach offers several advantages:

Neutrality and Censorship Resistance

No single entity dictates how the network operates, promoting neutrality and reducing the risk of censorship.

Improved Reliability

The distributed nature of the network means outages in one location won’t cripple the entire system, enhancing overall reliability.

Open-source protocols and transparency

ICP operates on open-source protocols. The underlying code is freely accessible for anyone to inspect. This transparency fosters trust and prevents conflicts of interest that might arise in closed-source cloud platforms.

Chain Key Technology and Scalability

A core innovation of ICP is Chain Key technology. This enables developers to create "canister" smart contracts that can scale infinitely. Traditional blockchains often struggle with scalability as the number of users and applications increase. Chain Key addresses this by enabling smart contracts to distribute computations across multiple nodes within the network, potentially solving scalability limitations.

Reverse Gas Model and User Experience

Unlike traditional blockchains, where users pay gas fees for transactions, ICP employs a "Reverse Gas Model." In this model, developers are responsible for pre-loading their smart contracts with "cycles" (obtained by burning ICP tokens) to fuel the computations and account for their applications’ storage needs. This enables users to interact with dApps on ICP seamlessly, without needing to directly manage gas fees.


The ICP Ecosystem

The ICP ecosystem goes beyond the blockchain itself. The ICP ecosystem encompasses a range of tools and technologies that empower developers to create innovative Web3 applications:

dApps (Decentralized Applications)

These are applications built on the ICP blockchain, independent of any central authority. dApps leverage the security and scalability of ICP to offer a wide range of functionalities, from social media platforms to financial services.

Smart Contracts

Smart contracts are self-executing contracts stored on the ICP blockchain. These automate agreements between users without the need for intermediaries. Smart contracts play a crucial role in enabling secure and trustless interactions within dApps.

Chain Key Technology

A core innovation of ICP, Chain Key, enables developers to create "canister" smart contracts that can scale infinitely. This opens doors for building complex, feature-rich dApps on the ICP blockchain.

What is the ICP Token?

ICP is the Internet Computer network's native utility token that is used to facilitate governance and reward network participants. The ICP token assumes a multifaceted role within the Internet Computer ecosystem, driving computation, staking, voting, governance, and ownership.


ICP Tokenomics

The ICP token's design plays a crucial role in the health and functionality of the Internet Computer ecosystem. Here's a look at its tokenomics:

Supply and Distribution

There's a fixed supply of 463,800,060 ICP tokens. These tokens were initially distributed through a series of public and private sales, along with allocations for the development team and network rewards.

Staking Incentives

Staking ICP tokens grants governance rights to token holders. To incentivize long-term participation, the voting power of a staked ICP token increases the longer it's locked up. This discourages short-term speculation and encourages users with a vested interest in the network's long-term success to participate in governance.

Cycle Economics

The "cycles" obtained by burning ICP tokens are the fuel for computation and storage within the network's smart contracts. The cost of cycles is designed to be stable and predictable, enabling developers to build applications with clear cost structures. Unlike traditional blockchains, end users don't directly pay gas fees when interacting with dApps on ICP. Instead, developers are responsible for managing the cycle costs associated with their dApps.

How to Deposit ICP to Your Trust Wallet Address

You can deposit ICP from another crypto wallet address or from a centralized exchange. Here’s how:


From here you have two options. You can either:

  1. Copy your deposit address and use that on your exchange account or other crypto wallet to send funds to.

  2. Use the “Deposit from exchange” option to deposit crypto seamlessly from your exchange account.

Remember that in addition to ICP, Trust Wallet lets you manage and interact with 10M+ crypto assets across 100+ blockchains. Download the latest version of Trust Wallet today.


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Note: Any cited numbers, figures, or illustrations are reported at the time of writing, and are subject to change.

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