With a market cap of about $45 billion, the Internet Computer digital coin, which was released on Monday, is now one of the world’s largest cryptocurrencies.
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Smart contracts, or software programs that perform tasks, are used by the coin’s underlying network, which competes with larger rival Ethereum. It joins a slew of other coins and networks vying for Ethereum’s attention, including Polkadot and Binance Coin.
The launch of the Internet Computer comes at a time when cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin are being debated everywhere from dinner tables to Saturday Night Live, and the prices of many of them are skyrocketing. Both cryptocurrencies currently have a market cap of $2.48 trillion, up from less than $1 trillion at the start of the year. However, just as in the run-up to 2017, many of the so-called alt-coins are expected to crash to the ground.