ICP, also known as the Internet Computer, is a relatively new cryptocurrency that has generated a lot of buzz since its launch in May 2021. With its focus on building a more decentralized internet, ICP aims to be a major player in the crypto space in the coming years.
But which is the best crypto to invest in right now and is ICP a good investment for the long run? Will its price increase substantially by 2024?
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Let’s see if ICP should be part of your crypto portfolio in 2024 and beyond.
What is Internet Computer (ICP)?
ICP is the native cryptocurrency token of the Internet Computer blockchain project. The goal of Internet Computer is to build a decentralized computing platform and infrastructure that supports smart contract driven internet services.
The Internet Computer platform runs independent from the internet by installing “chain key” blockchains on independent node machines. The idea is to create an alternative scalable environment where developers can build software and services without relying on traditional internet servers.
The ICP token powers the Internet Computer network. It is used for things like:
- Providing consensus and governing the network
- Rewarding node operators
- Powering services built on the Internet Computer
The ICP cryptocurrency and Internet Computer platform were created by DFINITY, a Zurich-based non-profit organization. DFINITY raised over $120 million in funding to develop the technology.
The ICP token was first launched for trading on May 10, 2021. It quickly skyrocketed to a price over $700 before crashing. Let’s take a closer look at ICP’s price history next.
ICP Price History and Performance
ICP had one of the most volatile price launches of any cryptocurrency in 2021. Here’s an overview of the key price milestones:
- May 10, 2021: ICP token goes live on exchanges at a price around $120
- May 12, 2021: ICP hits an all-time high price of $747
- May 23, 2021: The price crashes back down below $100 over the next several days
- June – July 2021: ICP trades sideways in the $50 to $100 range
- August – September 2021: Price drops into the $40 to $60 range
- October 2021: ICP sinks as low as $22 during a broader crypto market crash
- 2022-2023: ranges between $4 and $5 per coin.
As of December 2023, ICP is trading around $9, which gives it a market capitalization of approximately $4.1 billion. That makes it the 23rd largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
The launch and peak hype sent ICP to unprecedented highs, but it has since come crashing down and struggled to regain momentum. The price history shows ICP tends to follow broader crypto market price movements.
Now let’s examine the technology and potential competitive advantages of ICP.
ICP Technology and Competitive Advantage
The core technology behind ICP includes:
- Reverse State Accumulators – Allows the Internet Computer blockchain to process transactions in parallel while maintaining consensus. This enables high throughput.
- Chain Key Technology – Generates randomness during blockchain operations to improve security.
- Node Machines -Specialized server hardware that runs the Internet Computer software. Provides decentralized infrastructure.
- Canister Smart Contracts – Similar to smart contracts on platforms like Ethereum, but with enhancements like supporting multiple programming languages.
Some potential advantages of ICP include:
- High scalability – Designed to handle high transaction volumes with fast processing times.
- Security – Provides security comparable to Bitcoin and Ethereum while improving on some aspects.
- Reduced fees – Transactions and smart contract calls cost a fraction of the fees on Ethereum.
- Interoperability – ICP can integrate with other blockchains through “chain key cryptography”.
- Developer friendly – Support for popular languages like Rust, Motoko, and soon more languages.
The technology aims to solve some of the major issues facing blockchain platforms like scaling limitations and high fees. However, ICP is still new and unproven compared to Ethereum which has a strong first-mover advantage.
Next let’s look at the tokenomics of ICP.
Understanding the tokenomics helps evaluate the potential outlook for ICP’s price and role in the Internet Computer ecosystem. Here are some key details on ICP’s tokenomics:
- Maximum Supply – 469,213,710 ICP was created at genesis. No further tokens will be minted.
- Current Supply – ~258 million ICP is currently circulating. The rest is locked for early contributors.
- Distribution – ICP was distributed through airdrops, early community incentives, and teal contracts. Very little was pre-mined by DFINITY.
- Token Utility – Used for governance, consensus, paying gas fees, staking, and providing utility for applications.
- Staking Rewards – ICP holders can stake their tokens in neurons to earn voting rewards. Average APR is ~6%.
- Inflation Rate – The circulating supply increases ~20% in the first year but drops to ~5% long term due to tapering token emissions.
The limited supply and ability to stake ICP for rewards makes it appealing from an investment viewpoint. However, wide initial distribution and high early inflation have suppressed the price.
Now let’s look at what some experts forecast for ICP’s future price.
ICP Price Predictions for 2024
Given ICP’s volatility since launching, there is quite a bit of uncertainty around its potential price in the next couple years. Here are some 2024 predictions from crypto experts:
- TradingBeasts: Forecasts ICP will trade between $25-$50 in 2024.
- WalletInvestor: Predicts ICP will reach ~$450 by May 2024.
- DigitalCoinPrice: Sees ICP hitting $56 by 2024.
- CoinPriceForecast: Forecasts ICP price potentially exceeding $250 by mid-2024.
- CryptoNewsZ: Believes $100+ is achievable if development activity and adoption pick up.
Most analysts expect ICP will at least 2-5x from its current price based on a modest increase in adoption. More bullish forecasts see 10x+ gains if ICP can start gaining developer traction against competitors.
But these are just short-term predictions. Next we’ll discuss the long-term investment potential.
Is ICP a Good Long-Term Investment?
Whether ICP is a good long-term crypto investment largely depends on two key factors:
- Can the technology live up to its promise and gain adoption?
- How well can ICP compete against “smart contract platforms” like Ethereum, Solana, and Polkadot?
If the Internet Computer can genuinely evolve into a better decentralized global computing infrastructure, its utility and value should grow considerably over 5-10 years. Widespread developer adoption and real-world usage of ICP powered platforms will determine success.
However, Ethereum already has a massive head start and the coming Eth2 upgrades will greatly improve its scalability and capabilities. ICP may struggle to convince developers to build on its new platforms versus Ethereum’s proven ecosystem.
ICP does seem to have technological advantages over Ethereum in areas like throughput and costs. But technology alone isn’t enough – it needs an active ecosystem of developers, users, and applications to thrive.
Expanding beyond Ethereum, ICP also faces ever-growing competition from newer smart contract platforms like Solana, Avalanche, and Polkadot.
Overall, while the potential is there, ICP has a challenging road ahead to establish itself as a widely used blockchain platform for the long term. Its technology merits some investor optimism, but expectations need to be kept realistic.
ICP has promise as one of the most ambitious crypto projects, aiming to evolve the very infrastructure of the internet. However, the technology is still new and adoption remains minimal.
For investors, ICP is a high-risk, high-reward play on the future of decentralized computing. In the near term, it appears undervalued at ~$17 and could see a rebound to $50+ based on renewed hype and speculation.
But in the long run, ICP needs to carve out a role in web3 to deliver exponential returns. Its long-term outlook depends greatly on increasing developer activity and expanding real-world use in the coming 1-2 years.
For now, ICP deserves a small speculative position in a diversified crypto portfolio – especially at current prices. But investing significant funds should wait until the technology matures and adoption accelerates.