ICON (ICX): Revolutionizing the Blockchain Landscape in Korea and Beyond

ICON Network (ICX), South Korea’s largest blockchain initiative, connects online communities with enterprises in banking, healthcare, government, and more.


ICON is a blockchain network based in South Korea that uses the Goloop protocol, which is a proprietary blockchain protocol. The ICON Foundation is the key facilitator, trying to connect several blockchains to build the ICON ecosystem. The goal of these projects is to enable widespread network interoperability.

The ICON Network’s native cryptocurrency, ICX token, is used to enable smart contract functionality as well as network consensus validation and protocol governance inside the ICON ecosystem. The ICON project and its key initiatives are described in this article.


What Is the ICON Blockchain Project?

ICON is South Korea’s largest and most well-known public blockchain project, having launched in August 2017. ICON aspires to create a blockchain network that connects autonomous online communities with real-world businesses.

ICON’s open-source technology has benefited everyone from small independent software development teams to huge enterprises like the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Danal Co. (KOSDAQ: 064260), and Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH).

The ICON Network uses a BFT-DPoS (Byzantine Fault Tolerance Delegated Proof-of-Stake) consensus mechanism and a Delegated Proof-of-Contribution economic governance protocol (DPoC). On-chain governance, scalability, and interoperability are all features.

The ICON Network is operated and maintained by over 135 validators known as ICON Public Representatives (P-Reps) from over 35 countries. The ICON ecosystem’s native coin, ICX, is used to provide smart contract capabilities as well as network consensus validation and protocol governance.

The goal of the ICON Project is to assure the legitimacy of decentralized data exchange between citizens, governments, and commercial businesses in a transparent manner.

The ICON Network will be able to accelerate enterprise adoption and public blockchain innovation in Korea and beyond with the imminent introduction of ICON 2.0: Batang, an updated network built on Golang.

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Enterprise Blockchain Adoption

The ICON Project is well-known for its enterprise-focused approach and success. ICONLOOP, a major blockchain technology business in South Korea and the primary contributor to the ICON Project, is leading this endeavor.

With more than 70 enterprise members, including Samsung Electronics, Naver Cloud, and Bithumb Exchange, ICONLOOP heads MyID Alliance, Korea’s largest decentralized identification (DID) consortium. For real-world applications in banking, healthcare, government, and more, ICONLOOP uses both its own proprietary and ICON’s open-source blockchain technology.

The ICON Network is used by three enterprise apps offered by ICONLOOP:

  • Zzeung, an identity authentication and management service
  • BROOF, a digital certification and management service; and 
  • VisitMe, a visitor check-in and management service. 

Jeju Island, South Korea, chose Zzeung for private, encrypted COVID-19 contact tracing in August 2020. The ICON Project aims to preserve the health and safety of Jeju Island’s 15 million annual visitors while also safeguarding personal identity and privacy.

Shinhan Bank, South Korea’s second-largest commercial bank with assets of $375 billion, chose Zzeung to establish the country’s first blockchain-based financial Know Your Customer (KYC) authentication service in the same month.

The Financial Services Commission has authorized Zzeung as the first mobile app that can open new customer accounts remotely with full KYC compliance.

Other ICON Project contributors, such as Danal Fintech, a Danal Co. subsidiary, have recently joined the enterprise blockchain adoption initiative. Danal Fintech said in November 2020 that it would incorporate ICON’s native ICX coin into Paycoin, its worldwide payments, and its remittance platform.

Customers will be able to pay with ICX at any of Danal’s 60,000 merchant partners, including fast-food favorites KFC and Domino’s Pizza.

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ICON Network’s Public Blockchain Innovation

Various decentralized, community-led efforts make up Public Blockchain Innovation. Decentralized governance, decentralized applications (dApps), and interoperability are the three main components.

As of December 2020, more than 1,000 users engage with ICON governance on a daily basis, according to Dapp.com data. P-Reps are elected by ICX holders to manage the ICON Network, which has strong on-chain governance procedures. The Contribution Proposal System (CPS) is one of them.

It’s a decentralized grant program that uses a portion of the block rewards to finance new community-led projects.

Interoperability is the final step in the ICON Project’s aim, as stated in the original whitepaper. The ICON Network includes the Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP), a unique cross-chain interoperability solution that operates in a decentralized manner without requiring any kind of trust, consensus, or game theory; it is totally secured through its technological architecture.

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Cryptoeconomics of ICX Coin

Because all transaction costs on the ICON Network are burnt, every interaction made by the aforementioned activities feeds into ICON’s token economic model.

As a result, the more activities generated by these efforts, the higher the transaction costs, and the higher the transaction fees, the more scarce the ICX coin becomes. Furthermore, the circulating supply of ICX continues to decline, making the ICX currency even more scarce.

Over 61 percent of ICX circulating supply is staked in the network as of December 2020, up from 38 percent in December 2019.