Scratching the Bull and the Long-Term Value of ICON (ICX)
Disclaimer: This is not financial advice nor should anyone take my thoughts as financial advisements. These are mere opinions, you should consult with your financial advisor before entering into any transaction. I was not compensated by ICON for this piece but do hold a position.
South Korea as a prime incubator:
A position in ICON is just as much a position in South Korea and the culture/economy/tech that fosters it. Three points here:
- S. Korea is a powerhouse — Whether it be their confucian values or something about kimchi, Korea knows about GSD. One doesn’t have to look much further than the “Miracle on the Han River” to get a sense of the tenacity of their spirit. So if the task at hand is displacing antiquated systems with a more efficient (yet native) blockchain protocol such as ICON, they’re going to do it.
- High technology penetration and adoption rates — South Korea benefits from the world’s fastest internet, a prominent video game market (digital currency has long resonated with gamers), and 2nd to Israel for its national expenditure on R&D. The crypto fervor has been further evidenced by the “kimchi premiums,” signaling a demand for cryptocurrency that Koreans are willing to back with their own finances.
3. Cultural Insulation and Regulatory Alignment — Chaebols were estimated to contribute to ~60% of the growth of S. Korea’s economy during the last 60 years which despite their controversy, points to a larger cultural trend that Korean industry is insulated and heavily intertwined. While it remains to be seen how these cultural tendencies affect cryptocurrency in the country, it is reasonable to expect ICON to have a fair runway to expand outwards with a minimal threat of encroachment inwards. Additionally, the team members and their respective networks have a robust capacity to cement the necessary partnerships for success. Lastly, in spite of what crypto utopians may think, regulatory alignment is key for broad adoption, and not long after S. Korea’s blanket bans, the government has been laying the groundwork for a future with blockchain in it.
- Business execution — Every company leads with with an emphasized discipline (ex. Apple’s design approach vs. Microsoft’s function over form) and ICON focuses on fortifying real-world applications early and often. While many projects talk about what blockchain could do, ICON is humbly doing them where it makes sense today and postured for where it could be tomorrow. Evidenced below is the progressive entrenchment of ICON with existing businesses prior to introduction of early dApps:
2. Leadership — It is my observation that there exists a dichotomy of dialogue in the crypto-sphere between “WTF is a blockchain?” and uber-technical gurus who speak on mostly deaf ears (let’s be honest). ICON is one of the few projects I’ve seen that takes a humble approach of techno-realism, flexibility, and education. Given that crypto projects today are no more than well-funded startups, the leadership and people involved are critical, and ICON’s measured approach refreshingly instills a lot of confidence.
3. Interoperability — While seemingly every crypto project today is fighting to be the one truly relevant blockchain, ICON looks to be taking a more accommodating approach under the very realistic assumption that there will be many different blockchains and it is in the best interest of decentralization to facilitate interoperability. Even the new ICONex mobile wallet allows for both the storage of ICX and ETH, a rare tactic of openness and acceptance amidst a sea of overly defensive crypto projects.
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