ICON, a blockchain technology company from South Korea, is creating a decentralized network of blockchain communities that can freely transact with each other.
The ICON Blockchain
ICON is basically a giant network of networks that plans to connect them all instantly using a shared central ledger and the ICX token. Anyone can set up a “Community” or DAPP (Decentralized Application) on the ICON Network and freely interact with the other Communities and DAPPs.
ICON is focused on real world applications, something many other digital currencies (a.k.a. shitcoins) lacks.If a health insurance company submits a payment to a hospital on the ICON Network, the transaction would be overseen by the ICON Blockchain and paid in $ICX.
Alternatively, it could be automatically paid in some other currency using ICON’s decentralized exchange (“DEX”) to switch one currency for another on the fly.
ICON already has strategic partnerships with banks, hospitals, insurance companies, and universities in place to take these theoretical capabilities into the real world, giving the project an apparent leg up on most of its competitors.
ICON’s Global Outlook
No institution wants to compromise their autonomy for any of the advantages ICON provides, so ICON is built to ensure they don’t have to. Every Community and DAPP on ICON is independently managed, and free to choose their own currency, consensus algorithm, and other regulations.
A Bitcoin Community on the ICON network can still use Bitcoin within their Community but then switch to $ICX for transactions with other Communities on the network.
The freedom to define separate regulations for Communities also allows ICON to target the global market and be adapted to comply with regulations in different countries. Communities on ICON will follow their local regulations, with ICON simply acting as an inter-Community transaction facilitator.
The max supply of ICX tokens is 400,230,000. Half of those coins were sold in the ICO and the rest were distributed as follows:
- 16 percent held in Reserve
- 10 percent held by the ICON team, early contributors, and advisors
- 10 percent held by strategic partners and community groups
- 14 percent held by the ICON Foundation, the parent company of the project.
There is no mining with ICX, but the available supply may be increased in the future as a result of annual C-Rep meetings. Community Representatives from the various Communities on the ICON Network may authorize up to a 20% increase in the ICX supply per year, although they are under no obligation to do so.
ICON’s Other Advantages
ICON wallets have access to a Decentralized Exchange (DEX) that facilitates currency transfers and exchanges without relying on public exchanges such as Coinbase or Bittrex. Most major cryptocurrencies are already available.
The ICON blockchain uses a Loop Fault Tolerance (LFT) consensus algorithm. This is an enhanced version of the Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) algorithm that enables faster transactions while eliminating forks in the blockchain. It allows nodes to form groups to determine how many votes each participant receives.
The ICX token has great potential if it becomes the standard unit of exchange for even one major industry. For example, if Korean hospitals adopt it to manage transactions with insurance providers, those transactions alone would account for billions of dollars in annual transactions.
ICON’s developers are highly focused on the token’s practical use. The project is also led by an impressive team of advisors, including Don Tapscott (author Blockchain Revolution) and Jason Best (Forbes top 10 most influential, 2017).
ICON still has a long way yet to go, but it has legs to change the current business paradigm, one industry at a time.