This cryptocurrency's value surged to US$45 billion one day after its debut

Internet Computer users could potentially build social media and other services that compete with internet titans. PHOTO: DOMINIC WILLIAMS/TWITTER

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - What crypto bubble?

A digital token that was launched on Monday (May 10) and goes by the name Internet Computer is already one of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world, with a market value of about US$45 billion (S$59.7 billion), according to data. That places it eighth in the company's rankings.

The token and its related digital ledger are supposed to help anyone - software developers or content creators - publish anything they want onto the internet, without having to go through digital giants such as or Facebook, or to use servers or commercial cloud services. The idea is to avoid corporate walled gardens and to reduce costs, according to Dominic Williams, founder of the project. Users could potentially build social-media and other services that compete with internet titans.

The coin's underlying network uses smart contracts, or software programmes that execute tasks, competing with the likes of bigger rival ethereum. It's joining many other coins and related networks - polkadot, binance coin among them - trying to steal ethereum's thunder.

The coin's debut is happening as cryptocurrencies ranging from bitcoin to dogecoin are being discussed everywhere from dinner tables to Saturday Night Live, and prices of many coins are surging. The total market value of all cryptocurrencies now stands at US$2.48 trillion, up from less than US$1 trillion at the beginning of the year. But as in the run-up of 2017, many of the so-called alt-coins likely will come down to earth with a thud.

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