The ICON blockchain system was designed to “hyperconnect the world”…
Whilst an entirely ambiguous statement, it’s based around a series of developments in the crypto space which not only enhance the way in which decentralized applications (DApps) are created & distributed, but also some of the core metrics governing the system.
In a move not dissimilar to NEO, ICON has developed an underlying system called “LOOPCHAIN” which basically allows for different blockchain systems to communicate with each through ICON’s platform.
A similar idea to ARK’s “Smartbridge” technology, its aim is to give users the opportunity to connect the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other networks together – through a single platform that manages the applications for them.
The benefit – the company says – to this is that if you have a decentralized application in a hospital (for example), an app running on the ICON framework would give the developer the ability to integrate said application with a large number of others too.
The other major benefit to this is that ICON is actually developed & operated by a large central company. Although many people would say that’s against the way in which the decentralized nature of crypto is meant to work, we’ve found that the systems with substantive support from companies are the ones with the best long term opportunities.
Consequently, when looking into ICON, you’re really looking at a bet by a company to create a decentralized platform in an attempt to profit from the implementation of the decentralized applications running on its network. The ability to do this effectively gives people the ability to determine the way to get this to work.
What is ICON?
Designed by the DAYLI Intelligence company in S.Korea, the ICON system is a platform which held its ICO in mid 2017. Shortly after raising the necessary funds, the service went live and people began to see growth in the price of its tokens.
The system is designed around the “LOOPCHAIN” architecture the company created to link multiple blockchain subsystems together. Whilst this works well, the most important aspect of the system is its ability to provide the ability to deploy decentralized applications.
The company apparently hopes to integrate many aspects of the economy (from Hospitals to Churches) through their platform – allowing for a whole range of different applications over and above what’s possible already with the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Whilst the system has been hailed by many as a very effective step forward, many have warned about its over-ambition and lack of central innovations. Regardless of whether it’s able to achieve its utopian goals, it does have a lot of benefit on its side – providing to a very large market (Korea), which is actually quite under-supplied at present.
Even though it’s several months old, strong trading and the promise of further innovations by the large company who delivers the system make it one of the more interesting of the altcoins in existence today.
Who created it?
Unlike many crypto projects, ICON is actually a spinoff of a larger company (DAYLI Intelligence) with over 148 employees. This is important because it means that the Loopchain project itself has over 11 full time workers – something severely lacking in the crypto world at large…
Some of the Foundation Council
- Jonghyup Kim (CTO)
18 years of experience, previously Engineer at BT Works and Jang Media Interactive.
- KJ Eee (CEO DAYLI Intelligence)
Majored in computer science and engineering at POSTECH University and developed ‘SUHOSHIN’, the first firewall in Korea. He founded Nomad Connection and has gained 3 million users through P2P Media Service Zimly.
Some of the Advisory Board
- Don Tapscott – co-founder of the Blockchain Research Institute
- Jason Best – co-founder of Crowdfund Capital Advisors
- Jehan Chu – Managing Partner of Kenetic Capital.
Why does it exists?
Ultimately, most people have just defined ICON as “Korea’s Ethereum”, which means that all the underlying functionality it may have is pretty-much defined by the way it can bring native decentralized apps to the Korean market…
One of the biggest issues facing the crypto world today is that the many different systems which have come online are all fractured – with barely any central way to connect the likes of Bitcoin to Ethereum to Litecoin etc… ultimately leading the majority of users to consider the various platforms competitors rather than complimentary.
ICON looks to solve this problem by integrating all the different crypto systems into a central hyperconnected system which allows them to effectively communicate with each other…
The vision of the ICON Project is to introduce the new era of decentralization by redefining the meaning of communities and creating a new world by connecting such communities.
Communities today are commonly defined by its social and political functions and limited to the economic boundaries set forth by world nations.
Through ICON, communities can go beyond and be free from traditional economic system and promote frictionless value exchanges with other communities, eventually resulting in maximum total utility of society. ICON is not limited to the real world, but it directly connects and communicates with the crypto world creating the most robust network that can scale without limits.
The ICON Project aims to build a decentralized network that allows independent blockchains with different governances to transact with one another without intermediaries.
Anyone can create a new blockchain project and join the network. A new blockchain project is free to connect with existing projects and create new unique worlds, or blockchain multiverse. ICON itself can be viewed as both a living organism and an ecosystem.
You can view the ICON Whitepaper here.
Ultimately, the measure of growth for this system is exactly the same as the likes of Ethereum, Ripple and Stellar… which is to say that because it’s a “platform”, what you’re really looking for is whether any companies have adopted it…
If you don’t already know, there are basically two types of blockchain system – currency and platform.
- Bitcoin and friends are obviously the currencies – their success is determined by mainstream adoption (your Grandma knowing about it).
- Ethereum, Ripple etc are platforms, which work on corporate adoption – companies using the blockchain decentralized backend to provide a platform through which institutions can run their own DApps (Decentralized Applications)
ICON is definitely a platform, and thus to gauge its adoption it’s vital to observe the various companies / institutions which have started to use it.
An interesting note, actually, is that most of the platform based systems essentially work on volume, not value. This means that whereas the likes of Bitcoin may need to have quite a high coin price (to provide underlying value to its currency), the likes of Ethereum, Ripple etc don’t. They don’t have a high coin price because they rely on many “microtransactions” to be performed each day (through the myriad of apps they support).
Consequently, when looking at ICON, you’re not really trying to gauge price or even volume on its coin – you’re looking at how various companies are using the system.
To this end, there are actually a number of important elements. Firstly, ICON themselves have published a set of metrics defining a number of institutions that have begun using the system:
Ultimately, a lot of buzz has been generated around this system (mainly from Korea), not least because of the quality of its board & advisory team, but also because of the way in which the system has been designed from the ground-up to provide an effective way to create decentralized blockchain applications.
The company behind the product has already achieved some mainstream adoption (with its hospital integration) and is now on the cusp of being able to roll the system out to the wider Korean market.
The main issue with the system lies in the way it has been marketed. Trying to “hyperconnect the world” is a very broad goal, and we’ve found that companies – especially in the crypto space – that don’t provide a specific innovation basically wither and die within a few months…