ICON : The Korean Ethereum Bringing Interoperability To Cryptocurrency
ICON is a Korean cryptocurrency that's been in development for the last three years. It was founded by the Dayli Financial Group, A Korean fintech company that’s valued in the billions of dollars. They also own popular exchange Coinone. With smart contract functionality and an innovative consensus protocol that lets different blockchains exchange ICX as an intermediary currency. ICX is quickly earning its reputation as the Ethereum of Korea.Icon ran an ICO which finished in September 2017 where they raised over 42.5 million dollars. The project aims to build a decentralised network that allows independent blockchain with different governance and tokens to interact with each other directly
What Is ICON?ICON falls under the umbrella of the Dayli Finacial Group. They are one of the largest fintech companies in Korea valued at about 4 billion dollars. For the last three years they have been working with 3 major universities and skilled developers to create a blockchain they call theloop. Theloop is a Full Stack Self-Implementation Private Blockchain Solution, that can run Dapps and smart contracts, secured by a loopchain fault tolerance consensus protocol which is very similar to Byzantine Fault Tolerance. ICON is a platform that communicates with theloop. It is kind of like a development kit for theloop that was designed to make it easier for any person, community, or entity to create their blockchain. Tokens on these blockchain can represent anything from US stocks to time shares in an apartment. The goal of ICON is to make it easy for groups to create different blockchains with different governance system and then they are all connected together on the loop. Or as ICON says in their whitepaper “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.” If ICON does what it says it is going to, we might live in a world where you could trade an Amazon gift card for a 470000th of a house. Or Imagine paying the rent in advertiser revenue that you collected from just being on the internet that week and watching ads. Hyperconnect the world. It is an ambitious project, where have they gotten with it? ICON’s mainnet 1.0 launched on the 24th of January. The genesis block was mined and the expectant erc20 token holders engaged in a token swap receiving all their ICX. Similar to ether on the Ethereum network icx coin will be used to pay for computational power through transactions on icons blockchain. from an investor's point of view the more popular this network becomes and the more decentralized applications that run on the network the more scare ICON tokens become. ICON tokens also facilitate transactions between different blockchains through the DEX reserve (A decentralised exchange)
How Does ICON Work?
The Individual blockchains are referred to on the icon network as communities. C-Nodes build consensus and maintain these independent blockchains so each community can operate independently in accordance with its own rules and form its own consensus. The important takeaway is that ICON doesn't have control over these communities. Nexus is a multi-channel blockchain that treats each community blockchain as a light client. Portal is a component that connects independent blockchain to Nexus, through a blockchain transmission protocol. I recommend reading the whitepaper to properly understand how this works, but the BTP sends transactions between light clients with something called a Notary channel. A notary channel processes the multiple channels coming in, from the light client outputs of each connected blockchain, and treats it as a single channel, which it can use to form a chain of notary channels. “The block data with the transactions registered to Notary channel will then be transmitted to the Receiver blockchain via Portal. When the Receiver blockchain verifies the relevant block data, it validates the signature of each node based on the certificates of nodes from Notary channel. If two-thirds or more of the signatures are confirmed according to the Notary channel standards which follows the LFT consensus algorithm, the agreement will be confirmed and the requested transaction will be executed.” When you think about it, it is just treating the lower level blockchains like nodes in a larger network. The whitepaper's claim that “ICON itself can be viewed as both a living organism and an ecosystem,” isn’t as out there as it first sounds.