It has been 5 months since the ICON network went through decentralization. The ICON ecosystem gathered 100+ validators across 30+ countries. As validators join the ICON ecosystem, many have asked how they can add value to the ecosystem as they try to align themselves with DPoC (Delegated Proof of Contribution), so we created an ICON Ecosystem Map hoping that it can be a guide for P-reps interested in adding value to the ICON ecosystem.
As mentioned in the past few P-rep governance calls, the current focus of the ICON ecosystem is to bring in more ICONists (# of users) and create uses cases (# of transactions). In order to drive these KPIs, we believe the best way to add value to the ecosystem is by 1) creating a developer friendly environment and 2) creating meaningful blockchain use cases on the ICON network. In the ICON Ecosystem Map, we compared the ICON ecosystem to the Ethereum ecosystem, the most robust ecosystem within the blockchain world, and tried to identify what is already built and what is currently missing.
Working on this ecosystem map taught us the following three lessons: 1) The ICON ecosystem is getting more mature and more robust everyday, 2) The ICON ecosystem has some unique use cases, however 3) we still have many things that need to be built to make the ICON ecosystem more attractive.
1) As seen from the ICON Ecosystem Map, many infrastructure projects are being built by communities (ICONSwap, ICONPay, Insight, Balanced, MyICONWallet) and many are also being built by ICON’s partners as well (Morpheus Labs, Chainlink, Formatic). Many are currently in the early stage of development, but we hope to see many of them live soon to make the ecosystem more developer friendly. Additionally, we start to see some good use cases on the Ethereum ecosystem being built on the ICON network by communities (FutureICX, Risk free lottery, Devblockchain.tech) as well.
2) Despite being in the early stage of development, the ICON ecosystem starts to show impressive accomplishments. ICONbet is a unique DAO based iGaming platform, which has ranked №1 in terms of 30 days transactions among hundreds of blockchain-based iGaming platforms. It has shown valuable and unique community behavior in which community members are running for a P-rep to support the platform and community developers are building additional games for the platform. We may be seeing a real DAO happening, which has previously failed in the Ethereum ecosystem. We have also seen unique enterprise focused use cases such as Broof and VisitMe as well as the unique Kpop (culture) focused use cases such as Stayge and Somesing.
3) That being said, we are still in the early stage of development of the ecosystem, and we need many more things to be built. In terms of infrastructure projects, we realized that several of the missing projects, such as a chain analysis project, could be done through partnerships as seen in previous examples (Chainlink, Morpheus Labs, etc.). However, we do need more robust developer tools, which can’t be done through partnerships, and are hoping that our community developers can create an equivalent of Truffle for the ICON ecosystem.
Use cases tend to be trickier as there are not many use cases that support multiple chains at the moment, so it is best for our ecosystem to come up with unique blockchain use cases ourselves. We have noticed that ICON doesn’t have a use case with NFT although standard documentation is ready to be leveraged. We believe NFTs have many blockchain specific use cases such as card games, RPG games, marketplaces, etc, and hope that our community developers can come up with interesting NFT use cases. Finally, as we see stable coins introduced to the ICON ecosystem, a lending platform would be a helpful addition to the ICON ecosystem.
This ICON Ecosystem Map is just version 1 and we plan to update the ecosystem map as our ecosystem matures. Projects that are currently being developed have their logos shown semi-transparently. Please reach out to Daeki Lee (@Dkong5) on Telegram or leave comments here if you have inquiries about the ICON Ecosystem Map.
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