Op-Ed: ICON (ICX Coin) – A Korean ClusterFUD with Strong Ideas
There has been a deluge of FUD over the past few months, which has been spread by mainstream media publications due to comments made by representatives from various international centralised institutions (from governments and national banks, to billionaires). Fortunately, despite this, the value of most of leading coins have been enjoying a gradual return to prosperity since the January crash.
Good news came today (2nd March 2018) to the early investors who got involved with the ICO of the South Korean ICON coin (ICX); who were contacted with the surprise offer of an airdrop of coins, in return for completing an email delivered survey.
This coincides with the launch of IconEx, which the team describe themselves as “a wallet where you can keep not only ICX but also other various cryptocurrencies.” The PC version is available now via Chrome extension, however they describe plans to release mobile app wallets for the Android and iOS platforms “in the near future.”
Recipients will receive their promised free coins through this proprietary application-based wallet as the chain signals the move from Ethereum based ERC-20 tokens to their own ‘main net’ version.
Over the course of this report we aim to explore the potential long-term value of the ICX coin; and more importantly whether it will recover from its recent downturn in value, or if hodlers be riding this one down to zero?
Icon Coin: “hyper connect”-ing the world
ICON claims to be a decentralised solution which offers the benefits of hyperconnectivity which are more often associated with the centralisation. According to their whitepaper, their goal is becoming “a connector of disparate cryptocurrencies with different blockchain governances, and furthermore, a connector of the crypto world to our real world”
Their approach and developments to date have gone far beyond attempts by many of their peers (‘atomic’ cross-chain currency swaps) with a platform which is described most easily as the South Korean answer to the likes of Ethereum. They are a platform, with unique key features which can be appropriated by those who choose to build their own decentralised technologies upon it.
ICX is listed on leading Western cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Binance – as well as appearing on leading market caps which include CoinMarketCap and CryptoCompare.
The coin has enjoyed a large trajectory for much of its existence, but it’s not all good news as the coin has been in continuous decline since it’s $9.36 high on January 30th, 2018.
Currently sitting at a measly $3.64 at the time of writing (early March), ICX hasn’t seen the same return to form that the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum and many of the forks thereof have enjoyed recently.
Furthermore, the community posts as seen on their official Medium page paint a less than pretty picture of the Western investors who feel let down by the efforts that the ICON team have put into marketing their coin outside of their own country.
ICX Coin: a brief history
ICON launched their ICO late 2017, with it commencing in October of the same year. Prior to that, it had been under construction for a couple of years; and was created by the owners of Coinone (an exchange platform valued at approximately $4 billion), ‘Dayli Financial Group’.
Their public whitepaper wasn’t published until January 30th, 2018, in which they made a bold (but true) claim that “the majority of blockchain projects place emphasis on their decentralization methodology and lack evidence of adoption in the real world due to their technological and business limitations” – an issue which many cite as a key player in cryptocurrencies becoming a burst ‘bubble’.
The company has more recently made waves due to their pioneering of the ‘Loopchain’, which has achieved wide-spread adoption across a variety of sectors in their native Korea. This includes insurance providers, banks, universities, and hospitals.
Technical Rundown for Icon ICX (all features, and encryption tech, etc)
#1. ICX: ICON’s own cryptocurrency coin, which can be used for real time transactions, in addition to atomic cross-chain transactions.
#2: DEX (Decentralized Exchange): the platform which allows for seamless P2P cross-chain atomic transactions (without the need for coins going through a third-party intermediary).
#3. Loopchain: best exemplified by Icon’s proprietary use-case, titled ‘Nexus’ – which acts as the interface between different blockchains. It facilitates the ‘hyperconnectivity’ which the platform seeks to provide and could essentially be considered as Atomic Swaps 2.0 due to their capabilities reaching far beyond simple currency transactions.
#4: LFT (Loop Fault Tolerance) consensus algorithm: this allows for real-time transaction processing; and is highly versatile enhanced BFT (Byzantine Fault Tolerance) 26-based algorithm.
#5: ICONick: the wildcard out of all the innovations due to its value independent from ICON’s greater vision. ‘ICONick’ allows users to create bespoke nicknames in place of the traditional alphanumeric jumbles that you are used to seeing as wallet addresses.
#6: BIA (Blockchain Interoperability Alliance): another primary asset in Icon’s toolbelt, the BIA is a way of ensuring the future of ICON’s vision by sharing it with like-minded independent blockchain developers. To date, the alliance includes (besides Icon) AION, ICON, and Wanchain as leaders – who work together to define and agree upon shared standards.
#7. ‘Smart Contracts’: With the help of this unanimous technology, ICON can allow innovators and entrepreneurs to create their own communities – forking from the ICON chain, and incorporating the inter-connective features offered by the platform. There isn’t any requirement for these forked communities to implement the ICX token at all either; as well as being able to create their own proprietary dApps (or ‘Decentralised Apps’).
Is the Icon coin Iconic, or Ironic? The present and future of ICX Coin
The company unfortunately seems to have next to no marketing, at least not in English beyond their Medium blog and Social Media profiles.
If you can speak Korean then it may be worth investigating further but otherwise, it would be more worth waiting to understand the full potential the technologies can have both in Korea and internationally. As they aren’t interested in trying to gain Western investment, it’s safe to say that it’s probably not worth investing for now.
The market trends seen recently also are highly disconcerting. There has been no sign of correlation with the positive trends seen by many other coins in the market this year so far, and until the devastating drops cease you should steer clear of this one.
On the positive side of things, the company has attempted to rebuild the tarnished relationship that has been declining with early investors through the airdrop. They are also communicating more with the existing community, with promising upcoming features including hardware wallet support. See below for their current roadmap.
Icon Roadmap (as of February 2018)
03/18 : Token Swap, Mobile wallet
04/18 : IISS launch, ICO platform
Q2: ICX / ETH DEX, Public Channel
Q3: Governance Channel, IISS Improvement
Q4: SCORE Improvement