ICON: A Platform Connecting the Largest Decentralized Networks in the World
With the rise of blockchain technology, the world has been exposed to a level of functional decentralization that has not been seen before. With transparency now at the core of most service platforms, our preconceived notions of today’s current social, political, and economic systems are being challenged on a near day-to-day basis.
While blockchain as a technology has already started showcasing its wonders by dissolving world borders and streamlining economic processes, there still remains a number of limitations that this new technology is confronted with. This is especially true in terms of performance, ease of use and lack of widespread adoption due to certain technical and business limitations.
The ICON Project (ICX) is an effort to devise a decentralized network that allows independent blockchains with different governance protocols to transact with one another without the interference of any intermediaries. As a result of this, ICON enables users with varying levels of technical know-how to create a new blockchain project and join the native ecosystem.
Interested in ICON? Here’s a quick rundown of the project:
Platform & Development
ICON can best be thought of as a dynamic ecosystem that is subject to constant evolution as a result of direct customer participation. A new blockchain project is allowed to freely connect with existing projects and create new blockchain multiverses.
At the core of ICON is its ‘loopchain,’ a high-performance blockchain that provides real-time transactions based on enhanced smart contracts. This blockchain leverages the Loop Fault Tolerance consensus algorithm, which is an enhanced BFT (Byzantine fault tolerance) 26-based algorithm that promotes faster consensus and eliminates the possibility of forks within the network. Additionally, the Loopchain’s enhanced smart contract system, SCORE, ensures that high-performance contracts run directly in the node operating environment without a separate virtual machine.
The project differs from centralized governance networks in the sense that all internal transactions on the ICON network are duly verified by a ledger that is commonly shared by the ‘community network.’ It is not controlled by a single authority and thus any involvement from external intermediaries is immediately cut and processing fees are greatly minimized.
ICON boasts of a number of online communities (i.e. digital entities) that are comprised of banks, securities, insurance providers, hospitals, universities and others. The platform offers a web of services that allow the aforementioned actors to be exposed to faster money remittance and frictionless value exchange of securities, medical records, academic data and more.
In addition to this, ICON uses a decentralized framework that ensures complete autonomy and independence of the company’s online communities at all times. For example, ICON allows each independent blockchain community on its network to autonomously determine their system and operational policies.
From an architectural standpoint, ICON is not just a mesh of connected blockchain nodes but rather a platform that provides community-to-community connectivity and can be utilized for real-world applications when transactions between different blockchain networks and digital entities are being executed.
ICON’s 2018 roadmap indications clear focus on user adoption, with a focus on the 5 major communities, including banks and hospitals.
The ICON team boasts a number of experienced AI and blockchain developers including Sunghwan Kim, YG Lim and Unsik Byun, all of whom have been in the financial and blockchain industries for years.
The project’s advisory team is particularly impressive and includes people like Don Tapscott, a Canadian business executive who specializes in business strategy and organizational transformation and Jason Best, who was recently selected by Forbes as being one of the 10 most influential people in crowdfunding. He is a regular contributor to TechCrunch and Venture Beat and has even co-founded an investment firm called Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA).
With ICON establishing a framework that connects a host of different digital communities like financial institutions, insurance companies, hospitals and universities with one another, one can see a bright future ahead for this platform.
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Disclaimer: The author(s) of this article may have a position in one or more of the cryptocurrencies mentioned above. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. Always conduct your own due diligence before making investments.