ICON (ICX) Project: Why It’s Legit

As we mentioned in a previous Medium article, many people got burned from the last cryptocurrency bubble that took flight in late 2017 and began to burst in early 2018.

Lots of money was lost, unfortunately.

Initial Coin Offerings

Remember how Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) became such a HUGE buzz word a few years ago?

There was lots of hype, yes, but ultimately most ICOs turned out to offer very little substance. In fact, ~78% of the ICOs that took place during crypto’s last heyday have been reported to be nothing more than scams.

Not surprisingly then, the folks who got duped by false promises are now gun shy and reluctant to get back into the crypto game, fearing the worst.

Early Days Still

However, just like the internet during the 1990s and early 2000s, it’s still super early days for cryptos.

Eventually, after the dust is settled, big (legitimate) winners will emerge.

bloomicon — stock.adobe.com

Although it can be difficult trying to separate the chaff from the wheat, there are definitely a number of very promising blockchain projects to be found today.

ICON Project is one of them.

ICON Project

ICON Foundation first launched the ICON Project, a public blockchain, in late 2017, and ever since then, the main focus has been to #BUIDL #BUIDL #BUIDL.

Fully Decentralized Public Blockchain Network

The ICON network fully decentralized in October 2019, and it’s now governed by 22 main Public Representatives (P-REPs), with a total of 123 teams (scattered throughout the world) officially registered.

Further, the Delegated Proof of Contribution (DPoC) model that governs the ICON network keeps being refined and improved upon, with each new iteration better than the last.

For example, after a lot of back and forth discussions and debate, the official proposal to implement Icon Incentives Scoring System (IISS) 3.0 passed unanimously, securing 17 votes from main P-REPs with no objections.

The ICON network is demonstrating to the world that democracy can work efficiently on a decentralized public blockchain network.

#broof (A new era of digital certification and verification)

While many blockchain projects sound exciting on paper, very few have any actual real-world use cases.

ICON Project does.

For instance, at the start of this year, an ICON-designed service called #broof helped Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) issue 828 new digital diplomas to fresh graduates.

Token Post

And that’s not all.

The utilization of #broof to issue digital certificates (backed by blockchain technology and transacting on the ICON network) is gaining rapid adoption in South Korea, as shown below.

ICON Foundation

Moreover, an exciting Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was reached between ICONLOOP (parent company of ICON Foundation) and the leading HR company in South Korea, Saramin, to use #broof and MyID services.

The ball game is just getting started for #broof.

MyID (FSC approved)

As mentioned above, MyID is another service that ICONLOOP has been working on, and it just might be their most ambitious one to date.

What is MyID?

ICONLOOP has introduced its digital ID service that can be utilized for untact (non-face-to-face verification) openings of banking accounts.

Importantly, ICONLOOP’s MyID gained regulatory approval in June 2019, meaning that this digital ID service has the backing and full support of the South Korean government + regulation agencies:

The Financial Services Commission (FSC), South Korean government’s top financial regulator, has announced the inclusion of ICONLOOP’s ‘my-ID’ service into the ‘Innovative Financial Services and Regulations Sandbox’ created under the Financial Innovation Support Special Law.

ICON Foundation

MyID Alliance (Digital ID backed by industry leaders)

The MyID Alliance originally launched with 39 partners, with prominent South Korean powerhouse companies such as Samsung Electronics and POSCO on board.

The ICONist

Just earlier this month, a leading cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, Bithumb has also decided to join MyID Alliance:

“The partnership with MyID Alliance for distributed identification allows for streamlined authentication, reinforced security, and improved convenience for virtual asset trading,” said a Bithumb Korea spokesperson.

“Moving forward, the company will adopt innovative blockchain and IT based solutions as it evolves into a comprehensive, digital finance platform.”

Mobile ID World

The MyID Alliance keeps on growing too, and there are now 57 members (with more and more companies joining seemingly by the day).

On the MyID Alliance roadmap, we can also see that there are indeed big plans for major adoption in the near future, with the current target being to reach 1 million users by Q1/Q2 of 2021.

MyID Alliance

Although at this time it isn’t entirely clear which partners will elect to use their own MyID digital ID services on ICON network’s public blockchain, even if the initial plan is to start implementing MYID on private blockchains built by ICONLOOP, it’s worth noting that integration/communication between public-to-private networks is soon to become a reality.

BTP 1.0 (Interoperability Technology)

ICON’s Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP) is advancing to version 1.0 and will allow for the following capabilities:

BTP 1.0 is the interchain technology allowing the transfer of value and information between private loopchains and our public chain. We are excited to announce that the core team is currently preparing a draft IIP (ICON Improvement Proposal) for BTP 1.0.

And because the core technology powering ICON network’s public blockchain and ICONLOOP’s private blockchains are both based on Loopchain, construction of the bridge needed to be built to connect the two “cities” should be relatively straight-forward.

VisitMe App (Check-in is now a snap)

In addition, ICONLOOP has developed the most useful VisitMe app, which aims to greatly simplify the guest check-in process.

A VisitMe full demo can be seen below, which readers are encouraged to check out to learn more about how this new technology works.

VisitMe, like #broof, is another example of real-world adoption that makes use of the ICON public blockchain network.

You can find the VisitMe app on Google Play.

VisitMe App

Experience the Future of Seoul

As mentioned earlier, ICONLOOP is working closely with the South Korean government, which is very significant, as it shows partnerships and harmony can co-exist between blockchain projects and governments (a true rarity, indeed, to locate in the crypto space).

For instance, the city of Seoul aims to launch their own cryptocurrency, S-Coin later this year, and it’s worth highlighting that ICONLOOP has been involved and is helping with this development.

Seoulz

When it comes to blockchain technology, South Korea is most definitely an early adopter, and a country that has thus far shown to be more open-minded to the new possibilities it opens up than most other nations.

We can continue to expect ICONLOOP and the ICON network to play an integral role in developing new blockchain services for South Korea into the foreseeable future.

ICONLOOP will work with Seoul to develop a Seoul Citizens Card that will offer digital authentication for the use of public services.

Seoulz

Here’s some more innovative solutions to look forward to:

In addition, they will work together to create an easier way for temporary employees to sign contracts with their employers.

The Blockchain-based system will keep track of their work history, timesheets, and help them register for insurance programs in Korea.

Furthermore, they will look into donation management, healthcare management, and online certificate verification in the future.

Blockchain-based mobile voting (M-Voting) is also looking ripe to disrupt the current paradigm and way of doings things.

LFT 2.0 (Improved Consensus Algorithm)

Earlier this month, ICON Foundation announced the release of Loop Fault Tolerance (LFT) 2.0, an improved consensus algorithm (based on Delegated Proof-of-Stake) over Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT).

The unveiling of LFT 2.0 was a big deal; the event was prominently featured in Coin Telegraph.

Coin Telegraph

LFT 2.0 was ~3 years in the making and a noteworthy achievement for ICON because it found a way to improve scalability, while at the same time not sacrifice on security and decentralization (which is usually severely impacted due to the Blockchain Trilemma conundrum).

Here are some more thoughts on LFT 2.0:

Further, LFT 2.0 was audited by Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), a leading research institution, and passed rigorous testing on the key areas of safety and liveness.

Key performance improvements made possible by LFT 2.0 are shown below, relative to PBFT.

Figure 3. Block confirmation time against transaction execution time
Figure 4. Block Confirmation Time according to Network Latency
Figure 5. Time to confirm n blocks

LFT 2.0 is proof that the core technology powering the ICON network is at the forefront of cutting edge.

As summed up by ICON Foundation founder, Min Kim:

“We’re proud of our accomplishments with LFT 2.0. This alone clearly shows why ICON is the top Korean project. But, we still have a lot of work ahead of us … LFT 2.0 is hard evidence that ICON and Korea now have the technical prowess to innovate head-to-head with global blockchain projects like Ethereum.”

Future Projects and Development

In terms of future ICON projects and development, there are a lot of things brewing behind the scenes worth getting excited about.

For example, decentralized finance (DeFi) has become a hot topic of discussion in the cryptocurrency community in recent years…

Luckily for ICONists who are also DeFi enthusiasts, there is a solution on the way!

Balanced, which is a collaborative effort between P-REP teams: ICX Station, PARROT9, Galen Danziger of Mousebelt, and Dan Brehmer of iBriz-ICONosphere, aims to bring DeFI to the ICON ecosystem.

Balanced

Furthermore, P-REP team Reliant Node is also working on a sleek looking new ICX wallet, providing ICONists more options and an alternative to the existing ICONex wallet.

And definitely, more Dapps are coming, courtesy of P-REP teams, such as ICON Hyperconnect, who will be hosting online hackathons to further accelerate growth of the ICON ecosystem.

ICON Hyperconnect

The list of noteworthy new projects currently in development for ICON goes on and on and on…

Ease of use, though, will be key for mainstream adoption of ICON, but the right teams are in place to make it happen!

ICX Token (Increasing Liquidity)

Lastly, and perhaps one of the easier ways for a cryptocurrency enthusiast to gauge the vitality of a blockchain project is to track its native token. In the case of the ICON Project, the native token that fuels the network is ICX, and liquidity has never been better.

Since the end of 2019, ICX has been on a roll in getting more cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets to support the token.

First, there was Binance.US in December 2019:

Followed by BiKi Exchange in March:

ICON Foundation

Earlier this month, ICON Foundation approved a grant to help ICX get integrated into Atomic Wallet.

Then, ICX got listed on Bittrex Global:

Bittrex

And lastly, Exodus announced the support of ICX on their mobile and desktop wallets.

On CoinMarketCap, there are currently 61 market pairs trading ICX.

Below is a screen capture of the top 40:

In Closing

Now, add the pieces together and connect all the dots…

Does the ICON Project sound like a “scam” to you, or a most legitimate blockchain project?

Thanks for reading. Salamat po!

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Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are EXTREMELY volatile! These assets are also very speculative in nature, and no one should ever buy any without first conducting their own thorough research + due diligence. Never put any more capital at risk than you can comfortably afford to lose all of!

As ALWAYS, proceed most carefully, and if you have any questions, please consult a professional financial advisor.

A P-Rep from 🇵🇭 representing the ICON Project. To learn more about ICON, please visit: https://icon.foundation/?lang=en

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