How to Buy Internet Computer (ICP)

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Contributor, Benzinga
Updated: December 22, 2021
verified by Logan Ross

Want to jump straight to the answer? You can buy ICP on Coinbase.

Upon launching publicly on May 10th 2021, Internet Computer Token (ICP) has risen to the 8th most valuable cryptocurrency by market capitalization, and for good reason. Internet Computer is built by DFINITY foundation, consisting of an impressive team of experts in cryptography and blockchain technology.

What is Internet Computer?

Internet Computer (ICP) is a public blockchain with several novel features that make its utility far better than most other smart contract enabled blockchains. Internet Computer can process transactions in less than a second, and at a fraction of the cost of using Ethereum’s network.

Through the DFINITY foundations research, the company has been able to make several breakthroughs in the blockchain and cryptography industry. These innovations have led to incredible fast processing times with an unbounded capacity, and its blockchain’s processing times are comparable to those of the internet.

Unlike other smart contract enabled blockchains with quick processing times (ie. ADA, DOT and SOL) ICP launched with decentralized programs already operating on its blockchain. Some of these programs include a decentralized exchange (DEX), social media platform and a messaging application. Having these protocols on ICP should increase adoption of the network, setting up Internet Computer to do well in this cryptocurrency bull market. 

Brief History of Internet Computer

Domic Williams founded Internet Computer in 2016 through DFINITY foundation. DFINITY has over 180 team members, with notable experts in cryptography and blockchain technology. Through the foundation’s years of research and development, the non-profit foundation has discovered breakthrough cryptography innovations which can help scale blockchain technology.

Before launching Internet Computer token to the public, the foundation secured funding from several top tier venture capital firms, such as Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain Capital and Electric Capital. With such prestigious VC firms backing the project, you can bet the DFINITY team knows what they’re doing and has the funding to execute.

One place where Ethereum outcompetes Internet Computer is its decentralization. Decentralization is important for security, and it’s something many cryptocurrency investors value immensely. While Ethereum has thousands of nodes powering its network, only 48 independent data centers power ICP. However, the team is working to expand the number of nodes on its network, letting interested parties apply to become a data processing center for the network.

Internet Computer Token

The token on Internet Computer’s network is mainly used for processing power on the ICP network. The tokens used in these transactions are burned, making the token a deflationary currency. There is a maximum supply of 469 million tokens, with about 123 million tokens currently in circulation.

With only about ¼ of the tokens circulating, there is risk of your tokens being devalued through newly minted tokens. Internet Computer is currently trading hands for about $370, about half of its all time high price on May 10th. The cryptocurrency boasts a significant market cap of $46 billion, ranking it the 8th most valuable cryptocurrency in the world. 

Step 1: Open an online account.

Internet Computer Token just recently launched, so there are only 2 exchanges that support the asset. If you already have an account with Coinbase or Binance, you’re in luck. These exchanges support ICP, and you can buy the token with USD or a stablecoin like USDT or BUSD. If you already own cryptocurrency, you can use Coinbase’s conversion feature to convert your crypto directly into ICP.

If you don’t already have an account with either of these cryptocurrency trading platforms, signing up is easy. If you’re located in the U.S, then you’ll need to verify your identity before you begin trading. Some information you should have on hand is your Social Security number, home address and driver’s license number.

Step 2: Download a Software Wallet. 

If you’re trading cryptocurrency, you shouldn’t store your crypto assets on an exchange. Exchanges control all investor’s private keys, which allows your funds to be stolen if a hacker gets access to them. With a cryptocurrency wallet, you own your cryptocurrency and your private keys, making it a much safer way to store your crypto.

Since Internet Computer is so new, hardware wallets have yet to support the asset. Hardware wallets are the safest way to store cryptocurrency, as they store your crypto offline on a physical device. 

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Best Software Wallet: Coinbase

It’s likely that Coinbase Wallet will add support of ICP tokens soon. Until then, your best option is to hold your tokens on Coinbase. Coinbase stores 98% of its exchange’s assets on a hardware wallet, making it impossible for online hackers to seize. The other 2% is stored on the exchange for liquidity, so in the case of a security breach only 2% of the assets will be stolen.

Step 3: Make your purchase.

You can buy Internet Computer tokens as a market or limit buy order. Market orders will buy your ICP tokens instantly at market price, while limit orders will only execute the trade once the token dips below a specified price. With ICP being so new, it may be a good idea to dollar cost average your investment.

Dollar cost averaging can be done by purchasing your investment in increments. For example, if you plan on investing $1,000, then you could purchase ICP over the course of a week, 10 times, making a $100 investment each time. Depending on your goals as an investor, you may want to average into your investment over a longer or shorter period of time.

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Bonus Tip:

With a strong team and elite VC funding, ICP looks set up for success. However, it’s important to consider ICP token’s competitors. Ethereum is the largest competitor to ICP, although it has much slower processing times and lower capacity. However, Ethereum’s ecosystem is much more robust, and its network is far more decentralized than Internet Computer’s.

Trade, Sell or Convert your Internet Computer Coins

The best place to trade, sell or convert your ICP tokens is Coinbase. Coinbase lets you convert your tokens to any other supported asset on the platform, all free of charge. Also, when you want to sell your ICP, Coinbase makes it easy to cash out directly to your bank account. 

Current Crypto Prices

There’s no denying that the cryptocurrency industry is going through yet another bull market. Crypto prices are skyrocketing, especially tokens in the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) industry, as well as meme tokens like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu. To get an idea of where crypto prices are headed, it’s a good idea to watch large market capitalization coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Is Internet Computer a Good Investment?

There’s no denying that Internet Computer is one of the most promising cryptocurrency projects to recently release. The DFINITY Foundation has some of the strongest minds in cryptography on its team, and the token is backed by prominent VC firms. Even with all the benefits ICP provides, only time will tell if the protocol can overtake Ethereum as the leading smart contract enabled blockchain.

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