“Aims to provide real-time search word ranking data transparently, without a doubt.”
Greetings from the ICON Team,
The ICON Team has been sharing the internal news with quarterly reports and monthly development roadmap updates to increase transparency. To make it easier to deliver ICON’s internal updates and to stay connected to those interested in ICON, we’ve created a new featured article section called <People of ICON>! We will introduce blockchain experts in various fields including business strategy, service planning, technology development, and corporate culture through interviews.
So, let’s meet the ‘Without Doubt’ project team, the long-awaited first interviewees of <People of ICON>. The ‘Without Doubt’ project team joined ICON through a student internship program upon ‘Cultivating Innovative Youth Talents 2018’ project. Previously in 2018, ICONLOOP was selected to participate in the government-sponsored public project supervised by the Korea Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) and Korea Institute for Information & communications Technology Promotion (IITP). And as a part of the initiative, ICONLOOP offered a 1,000 hours of intensive curriculum for students including the ‘Without Doubt’ project team, majoring in information security and multimedia education at Baekseok University.
We interviewed Leeyop Jeong, Taeyang Lee, Seungjae Lyu, and Jungho Lee of the ‘Without Doubt’ project team after a 1,000 hours of intensive effort.
Q. Please introduce yourselves and tell us why you became interested in blockchain.
-Leeyop Jeong: I manage the backend and web server. I first encountered blockchain technology at college as an assignment and was fascinated by the technology’s potential, leading me to join the ‘Cultivating Innovative Youth Talents 2018’.
-Taeyang Lee: I’m a front-end developer. I gained a strong interest in blockchain and cryptocurrencies during the Bitcoin hype in 2017.
-Seungjae Lyu: I’m in charge of web crawling and SDK connection with ‘SCORE(Smart Contract on Reliable Environment) for the ICON’s smart contract environment.’ Having a huge interest in security solutions led me to encounter bitcoin in 2014, which was naturally followed by a big interest in its underlying technology; blockchain.
-Jungho Lee (Team Leader): I’m in charge of connecting ‘SCORE’ SDKs with Lyu and web crawling. Also, as a team leader, I’m in charge of the overall project management and service planning.
Q. Could you please introduce the ‘Without Doubt’ project?
-Jungho Lee: As can be inferred from its name, the ‘Without Doubt’ project provides the real-time ranking data of search items from search engines like Google and Naver with transparency ‘without a doubt’. The project utilizes the ICON public block network and ICON tracker to accentuate the benefits of blockchain technology.
*ICON Tracker: a block explorer for ICON that displays all transaction records on the network to enhance transparency and credibility.
Q. I’m curious about the purpose of connecting real-time search records with ICON Tracker.
-Jungho Lee: Whether true or not, the possibility of data manipulation on search engines commonly used in our daily lives has been a constant issue. The ‘Without Doubt’ service was planned to provide all data without filtration by utilizing the non-volatility and irreversibility factors of blockchain technology. Although the service cannot prevent the act of manipulation directly, we expect to indirectly prevent the possibility of manipulation.
-Taeyang Lee: During the service planning, ‘Seoul Metropolitan Government’s appointment letters for its Blockchain Governance Team’ served as a useful reference. All data related to letter of appointment issuance records is stored on the ICON public blockchain, making falsification and fake issuance impossible. Authenticity of the record can be also verified on the ICON Tracker by searching for a specific transaction.
Q. Please tell us about the characteristics of the service provided by your team.
-Seungjae Lyu: ‘Without Doubt’ service has three main characteristics.
1) Records real-time search items ranking data at regular intervals with continuous web crawling
2) Stores the data in real-time and permanently in the ICON public blockchain
3) Provides a browsing system that allows users to view the rankings history at a specified time
-Leeyop Jeong: With the timestamping feature, reporters or bloggers seeking correct information are likely to be our main target users.
Q. Were there any difficulties while developing the service?
-Jungho Lee: 1,000 hours literally flew by. It took a week for research and planning, and three weeks for development, TestNet uploading, and code audits. We had to learn development languages while focusing on creating the basic prototype at the same time.
-Seungjae Lyu: As there is no API support that provides all real-time search items for a specified time period, we had to utilize a bypass crawling tool instead. Additionally, since we tried crawling in a ‘while’ sentence in the development language, the data collection period was somewhat inconsistent at first. However, we were able to solve the problem with some developer mentors’ insight.
Q. How was your first encounter with the ICON development environment?
-Jungho Lee: I was most surprised to find that there are plenty of ‘well-organized’ development materials. It was also beneficial to have senior developers to whom I could easily approach for feedback when faced with difficulties during problem-solving.
-Leeyop Jeong: I really enjoyed the atmosphere that encouraged the sharing of ideas freely. And of course, the cafe-like lounge with unlimited coffee as well!
Q. Do you have any future plans for the project?
-Taeyang Lee: We plan to have regular meetings to steadily improve the project output. For example, from the UI perspective, we will add graphs that can easily identify trends or the overall ups-and-downs of the top 20 keywords of a specific date.
-Leeyop Jeong: If there is a sudden disappearance from the actual search records, I think adding a tag can help us to obtain additional insights about the issue. Adding to this, one of our future goals is to offer rankings history for various categories such as music or films, in line with the, ‘Top 10 — -’ culture prevalent in our modern society.
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