ICON (ICX) Analysis – Hyperconnecting The World

Already being dubbed the “Ethereum of Korea”, the ICON (ICX) project is a smart contract protocol that aims to “hyperconnect the world”. Now while this sounds like another marketing buzzword, their vision actually lines up pretty well with this. Essentially, ICON aims to be the bridge between different blockchains with different purposes, and in the process remove the need for expensive intermediaries. Over time, this should build up into an interconnected ecosystem, while being both faster and cheaper to manage than previous traditional iterations. In essence, ICON will allow smart contracts to interact across blockchains by being managed by a higher-level smart contract, as illustrated below.ICX smart contracts overview

For example, a Blockchain ID (one of the DApps on the network) could be issued and used across all platforms, whether it is as part of a university application, banking, or online shopping, simplifying and streamlining ID verification and sign up processes.

Another DApp is Payment & Exchange, which is managed in real time by a DEX (distributed exchange) to convert currencies on the fly and allow groups and individuals to exchange funds across separate blockchains via the ICON network. Not only this, but fees should be significantly reduced as the transaction won’t have to travel to several various centralised intermediaries, but only to the ICON distributed ledger.

Alone these two use cases are incredibly beneficial when applied across industries, and it’s just the start.

ICS vs EOS vs ETH vs Bancor

A comparison of some ICON features vs other blockchain platforms.

Team and Partnerships

The ICON (ICX) project was started by Dayli Financial Group, a Korean fintech company with a number of startups under them, which already has a valuation itself of over $4 billion. Under Dayli Financial sits Dayli Intelligence, an operating branch of Dayli Financial, and under Daly Intelligence are both theloop (the team who developed the proprietary blockchain infrastructure for ICON and have a huge blockchain development background), and DAVinCI (who have a focus on artificial intelligence and will analyse data to optimise the ICON network – DAVinCI already have working partnerships with AXA Insurance, Samsung Card, Hyundai Capital and several other huge corporations, which will likely make cooperation with them on the ICON network easier in the future).

ICON already has existing partnerships in place:

  • In finance:
    • Partnership with Woori Bank – the 2nd largest bank in South Korea and a subsidiary of Woori Financial Group – to create a currency similar to Tether/USDT, tied to the Korean Won for increased market liquidity.
    • SBI Ripple Asia – to assist with cross-border transactions.
    • ‘Korea Financial Investment Blockchain Consortium,’ a blockchain consortium backed by 25 securities firms – already using the Blockchain ID service.
    • Dayli owns Coinone cryptocurrency exchange – where ICX will likely be listed first.
  • In education:
    • A trial of U-coin (a digital currency which can be used in vending machines around campus) will be rolled out at 3 Korean universities early this year.
      • Korea University
      • Sogang University
      • Sohang University of Science and Technology
      • By Q3 of 2018 there should be 10 universities trialling U-coin.
  • In healthcare:
    • Severance Hospital
    • Samsung Medical Centre
  • Blockchain Interoperability Alliance (ICX, AION, and WAN)
    • ICX will work together with AION and WAN, two different cryptocurrencies, to develop a global standard for interchain communications.

And several more, you can see a few more areas and partnerships in the image below.

ICON (ICX) partnerships

Economic Model:

The ICX token itself has utility and is usable on the platform; for example, according to a developer’s technical Q&A from Reddit: “ICX enables transactions among different cryptocurrencies by determining the exchange rate through DEX Reserve. Second, ICX can be used as for DApp tokens U-coin, which is a DAPP developed by our blockchain team for Korean University Consortium, can be one of these use cases already in development. Another example – ICX can be a token for ICO platform like ERC-20.”

ICON blockchain interconnectivity

SUMMARY

The ICON project looks like it’s stacking up to be a major contender in the battle to make it to the top 10 cryptocurrencies. With a standout background in both the founding companies and the teams themselves, as well as a number of high-profile and impressive partnerships already existing, ICON have positioned themselves well for growth in 2018 – both in terms of the project itself, and the price of ICX.

Up until now, projects working on building a blockchain infrastructure seem to be some of the biggest winners in the space – Ethereum, EOS, Cardano, NEO etc. – and ICON aims to match what they do, as well as adding blockchain interoperability from early on. With South Korea being the number 1 ranked ICT (information and communications technologies) country in the world, it makes for the perfect place for a project with the ambition of ICON to take its first steps.

 

 

This is of course just a basic ICX analysis and why we like the ICON project. You should always do your own research, and starting with the whitepaper is a good start.

Disclaimer: We are invested in ICX.

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