ICON is a form of blockchain technology and the framework of a network. It was created with the aim of enabling different independent blockchains the capability to create interactions with one another. This is all done with the help of their own cryptocurrency token which is named ICX.

What is ICON?

The ICON project is based out of South Korea. Their crypto token is called ICX, and they have been working towards providing an effective form of blockchain technology.

How ICON Began

They first started working accordingly on this project back in 2015, and they called themselves TheLoop. They started carrying out extensive research and development during this time, with the engineering team being at the crux of it.

This project came about as a joint venture. Groups from three universities in the country joined together along with DAYLI Financial Group. DAYLI is a prominent Fintech company in Asia with about $100 million in venture capital funding. The valuation of the company is in the region of $4 billion.

There are different blockchain technology consortiums working on this project. This includes the biggest consortium in the country, the Korea Financial Investment Association (KOFIA), which leads the Korea Financial Investment Blockchain Consortium.

The insane network of partnerships connected to ICX (ICON) from CryptoCurrency

The Technology

The team has also worked with various entities on applying their technology. This includes creating Know Your Customer (KYC) / Anti-Money Laundering (AML) platform for smart contracts that focus on authentication for the Financial Investment Consortium in South Korea. Another such project created was for the Korea Healthcare Consortium which was an automated platform for insurance claims.

They see themselves as being an interconnected blockchain network. This allows members that are part of a decentralized system to come together. They have achieved this capability by using Citizen Nodes, C-Reps, and the ICON Republic to connect relevant communities together.

Cryptocurrency in South Korea

There was news of explosive growth seen in the cryptocurrency sector throughout 2017, with exponential rises in prices and adoption levels. In particular, East Asia was a hotbed of growth, with significant trading volumes seen throughout this period. There was also news of a multitude of quality blockchain technology offerings coming to the fore in the region.
Blockchain technology and different cryptocurrencies are truly changing the way the world works, and everything is becoming a lot more decentralized in nature. While there has been a lot of attention given to cryptocurrencies by investors in South Korea, the authorities there have made it somewhat harder for operators in the region.

One of the biggest obstacles is their ban on initial coin offering (ICOs) from taking place on their shores. They implemented the ban in September 2017. This was around the same time that China made the same decision.

Despite this, ICON has been receiving a lot of praise in the country, and there is a belief in its potential as a platform for development.

What is ICON ICX coin?

ICX is the cryptocurrency token for ICON. The pre-sale for the ICX coin ICO was scheduled to take place between the 20th of September and the 12th of October, 2017. Because of clamour for the token, the token sale started and ended on the 20th of September 2017. They set the hard cap at 150,000 ETH, with the main token sale having a conversion rate of 1 ETH equaling 2,500 ICX.

At the time of writing, The valued of ICX is at $0.96, and it has a market capitalization of more than $373 million. In news, there has been a bear market since the turn of the year which has the value of cryptocurrencies dropping significantly across the board.

The all-time high ICX coin price was $12.11. It was achieved on the 9th of January 2018. The supply of ICX currently in circulation is 387,431,340. It is available to trade on most of the major crypto exchanges such as Binance, Bithumb, and UpBit.

It is currently around the 30s range in the CoinMarketCap rankings in terms of cryptocurrency market capitalizations. As it is an ERC20 token, you are able to store it in any wallet that is compatible with Ethereum. Of course, the preferred options are hardware cold storage wallets such as the Ledger Nano S. It cannot be hacked since it is not connected to any network.

How does the ICON Project work?

It is through the ICON Republic that different blockchain communities that are independent can be joined together thanks to the loopchain platform.

Nexus is the loopchain blockchain and is the underlying component of the ICON Republic. Communities are able to join it thanks to the community representative who is part of the Nexus.

In basic terms, the ICON project has the goal of having all activities that are taking place inside of a given nation connected on the same blockchain. This would be an open-sourced ecosystem. It will give groups such as the various government departments, hospitals, financial institutions, and universities the chance not to have to use the likes of third-party networks. These parties cause delays in the process, as well as entail significant fees.

As part of this network, individuals and groups that want to purchase goods or services from those that are partners within the ICON network would use ICX. This would act as the currency of this new ecosystem.

ICON Project Components

icon universities

As part of a network, there are various different components. They have their own platform for a smart contact called SCORE. As a result of their loopchain fault tolerance, there can be high quantities of transactions processed in real-time.

Separate channels are created specifically to do a certain task. It also has an advanced modular architecture. Each of the modules is customizable, which means that there will not be any scalability issues.

icon banksThe delegated proof of stake (DPoS) system gives representatives of the community incentives to carry out certain activities that will be beneficial to the community as a whole. An annual inflation rate capped at 20% is also built into the network.

How do the communities work?

As defined by ICON, a community is any network that is made up of nodes which adheres to a single strict governance system.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum would be considered to be communities in addition to the likes of governments, schools, and businesses. Depending on the specific community, they will differ in terms of how they are governed. They also have their own inherent characteristics and differing amount of nodes.

The C-Rep

Decision making can vary depending on the given community, and this is set by the community nodes. Taking the Bitcoin community, for example, there is a consensus-driven approach taken. Your typical financial institution is going to have a more hierarchal approach. It is the community representative, called C-Rep, that determines how their given community will be interacting alongside the ICON Republic.

The ICON Republic

This ICON Republic is the different types of communities and how they are connected together as part of the system. The governance of the ICON Republic itself depends on the community representatives, C-Reps, whom each has their own votes.

However, there is no part played by the ICON Republic on how individual communities govern themselves. This provides great autonomy and flexibility for these communities.

In the ICON Republic, the loopchain joins the communities. On the other hand, communities joined together are called consortiums. There will be a set of rules developed that will provide the framework to the relationship that the communities will have with each other going forward.

The Nexus

icon loopchainThe ICON Republic blockchain is called the Nexus. There Blockchain Transmission Protocol is the set of rules that command how the independent community of blockchains are going to deal with the Nexus.

If you look at a consortium that is made up of banks on the blockchain, they are able to agree upon certain standards as to how the authenticate smart contracts. They won’t then have to deal with any form of 3rd parties to act as an overseer.

When the respective smart contracts are adjusted, each of the relevant community blockchains will then have the transactions added to them.

Are there any concerns with this project?

Just like with any project, there are going to be pros and cons associated with it.
• There are concerns about its ability to scale and expand outside of South Korea as a result of the barriers in culture and language.
• The ban on ICOs is still steadfast in South Korea, despite indications that it may be ending in the near future. There are certain ICON project use cases are going to be limited if this ban continued indefinitely.
• There are some investors who are concerned with the inflation cap of 20%. They feel that it is a high number and could dilute their holdings.

Are there reasons to be optimistic?

As mentioned, there are pros and cons to every project and ICON is no different.
One of the areas a lot of ICON supporters are very optimistic about is that of artificial intelligence (AI).

With a lot of different cryptocurrencies on the market, most notably Bitcoin and Ethereum, the main issue that faces them is scalability. These networks experience serious congestion due to the volume of transactions processed each and every second. This means they lack the tools to deal with this congestion efficiently.

They only noticed the issue after there was a massive uptick in transaction volume from the beginning of 2017 onwards. The exposure of scalability issues led to the costs for mining to increase exponentially. One of the main solutions for this scalability problem that people point towards is sidechains. However, a lot of people seem to forget about AI.

Using Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The adoption levels of businesses and other entities in their use of AI is going to increase massively in the coming years. Due to the ability to leverage deep machine learning in the act of decision making with AI, all areas of business are going to be made a lot easier.

ICON utilizes AI in their backend, and as time goes on, it will continue to adapt. It will become a massive advantage going forward for the ICON project as adoption catches on outside of South Korea.

The majority of crypto trading deals largely with speculation rather than the utility of a given currency. Once news of Korea comprehensively adopting to ICON spreads, It will have a massive role to play as a cryptocurrency. It will not even need to expand outside of its borders.

Going Forward

icon hyperconnect the worldSome of the leading companies in the world have their headquarters based in South Korea, such as Hyundai, LG, and Samsung. If the ICON Project is accepted and used by these types of entities, global expansion is inevitable.

If you look at the ICON network’s future use in South Korea, it could be the backbone that supports an economy worth more than $1.4 trillion. This leaves a lot of opportunities.

Most successful investors will invest not for the short term, but for long-term future growth potential. Looking at ten or twenty years down the line, ICON very well could be some of the most viable technology to have come out of the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. This is why a lot of institutional investors have been looking to invest.

Conclusion

ICON is a project that has been in the works for a number of years. They already have some significant backing behind it, which has raised hundreds of million in venture capital funding. It also has had a successful ICO.

They have worked alongside some leading parties in South Korea to deliver various useful applications of blockchain technology. This will help to make their processes more effective and efficient.

There are some concerns about its ability to spread outside of South Korea, as well as concerns about the continuing ICO ban in the country.

However, there is certainly a lot of potential in this project going forward. It could unite all aspects of blockchain technology in a given country and make everything transparent, smooth and efficient.