ICON: Detailed review on the project

Nov 8, 2018 · 28 min read
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ICON is a decentralized network of blockchain communities.

ICON’s blockchain technology is being applied in the real world such as banks, securities firms, hospitals, and universities. ICON is scalable not only to public blockchains(e.g. bitcoin, ethereum) but also private/permissioned, and other interchain blockchain networks. ICON will be in the center of connecting different blockchains to build a more valuable and scalable network.

A transparent governance system and artificial intelligence (AI) guided incentive system is at the core of ICON’s sustainable network. Through the mutual trust earned with our system, C-Reps and Nodes will actively contribute to the ICON community.


Components of the ICON Network
Components of the ICON Network: ① Community, ② C-Node (Community Node), ③ CRep(Community Representative), ④ ICON Republic, ⑤ Citizen Node

Community is a network comprised of different nodes with the same governance system. Financial institutions, governments, schools, e-commerce platform, healthcare, Bitcoin, and Ethereum can all be considered a Community. Each community has different compositions and scales of nodes, according to their characteristics and circumstances.

C-Node (Community Node) is the building block of a Community that affects the consensus or decisionmaking process of Community governance. C-Nodes are available to both individuals and organizations (banks, brokers, insurers, schools, governments, etc.), and Node policies are determined by the members of each Community.

C-Rep (Community Representative) is a representative unit of Community and a unit that comprises ICON Republic governance at the same time. It has the right to vote on transaction verifications and its governance in ICON Republic. C-Rep is selected according to the decision of each community, and CRep can be changed from one node to another. In other words, C-Reps are subject to change depending on the situation and purpose of each governance. Furthermore, C-Rep will receive incentives for its maintenance and activation of ICON Republic.

Only the node representatives that have highly contributed to ICON Network above a certain level are qualified as C-Reps. A node representative’s contribution to ICON Network is scored by IISS (ICON Incentives Scoring System), the AI (Artificial Intelligence) based scoring system of ICON. The node representatives that maintain I_score(IISS Score) above a minimum requirement for a certain period can acquire the minimum requirements to qualify as a C-Rep. Finally, it will be decided whether the representative Node can be selected as a C-Rep or not through the process of consensus between incumbent C-Reps within Representation Channel. A specific cap of the C-Rep and the minimum requirements for C-Rep qualification both can be modified through the consensus between C-Reps.

ICON Republic
ICON Republic is the connector of different communities. It is comprised of representatives called CRep, and other Citizen Nodes. ICON Republic’s governance is determined by votes of C-Rep, and hence, decentralized. ICON Republic functions as a communication channel between communities. ICON Republic does not interfere in the governance of the communities.

Citizen Node
Citizen Node is a component of ICON Republic. Anyone can participate as Citizen Node by DAPPs created on loopchain. However, Citizen Node does not have voting rights for the governance of ICON Republic but has only the right to generate a transaction. Citizen Node can also be a C-Rep with voting rights if certain conditions are met.

Conceptual Model

With ICON, numbers of blockchains are connected around Nexus via Portal. Nexus is a loopchain based blockchain. It facilitates a decentralized governance by allowing Portals and different nodes to participate. Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP) facilitates transactions among independent blockchains connected to Nexus through respective Portals. This structure, connecting a network with one type of governance to another network, works as Internet that connects every computer into one communication network by establishing ‘Networks of Networks’.

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Internet is a computer network system across the globe that connects the world with standard Internet protocol called TCP/IP. Likewise, ICON uses BTP as the standard protocol. In order to construct a massive network of blockchains, it guarantees independent governance to different blockchains and makes mutual connections only when they are needed. It does not connect every participant to a single blockchain.


Nexus is a Multi-Channel blockchain comprised of Light Client of respective blockchains. Each blockchain is connected to Nexus via Portal and each Portal, basically the representative of independent networks, participates in Nexus blockchain network as a node. Since Nexus is built on the basis of loopchain, its consensus is achieved based on LFT consensus algorithm, one of the loopchain features with a unique function of grouping. Nexus includes a Representation Channel through which operational policies are proposed and selected by voting. Each Portal, as the C-Rep representing its community, participates in the Representation Channel.

Tokens called ICX (ICON Exchange) are embedded in Nexus and the interconnected blockchains can use ICX to transfer values. As a blockchain itself, Nexus can be connected to another Nexus, allowing different blockchains with different governance structures to execute transactions and exchange values.


As a component that connects independent blockchain to Nexus, Portals are connected to Nexus through BTP. Depending on the policy of respective blockchains, Portal can be organized by a single node or multiple nodes, or it can make another form of consensus network to serve the different needs.

The Portal is best understood as an analog to the SWIFT network in international banking, which facilitates communications between financial institutions with different currency systems. Likewise, the number of nodes in Nexus can also be single or plural. Nodes are managed in one group by loopchain’s grouping function. Portal represents its own blockchain as a C-Rep and suggests the policies and votes for it within Representation Channel to realize a decentralized governance.

BTP (Blockchain Transmission Protocol)

BTP is a protocol to connect transactions among blockchains that are linked to Nexus. It is through the Notary Channels in Nexus that the transmitter blockchain transfers the transactions to the receiver blockchain.

In this sense, Nexus nodes with voting rights to the Notary channels possess multiple channels, where the Light Client of each blockchain connected to Nexus is counted as one channel. A Notary channel is implemented based on Multi-Channel function of loopchain. It can identify the transactions confirmed by respective blockchains through the blockchain’s Light Client connected to Nexus.

Multiple signatures of nodes with voting rights to request Notary registration are included in the blocks to form blockchains of the Notary Channel. The block data with the transactions registered to Notary channel will then be transmitted to the Receiver blockchain via Portal. When the Receiver blockchain verifies the relevant block data, it validates the signature of each node based on the certificates of nodes from Notary channel. If two-thirds or more of the signatures are confirmed according to the Notary channel standards which follows the LFT consensus algorithm, the agreement will be confirmed and the requested transaction will be executed.

BTP consists of NotaryRequest(Tx) which confirms whether the transaction from the transmission blockchain is confirmed in Nexus and Notary(Tx) which transfers the transaction confirmed by Nexus to the receiving blockchain. Transactions initiated in the transmission blockchain are identified on the Nexus through the Light Client of the corresponding blockchain and registered in the Notary Channel.

Transactions registered in the Notary Channel are delivered to the receiving blockchain, and the receiving blockchain verifies the signature of the delivered Notary block to verify the consensus in Nexus, and thereby processes the transaction.

DEX (Decentralized Exchange)

DEX is a trading platform that executes transactions automatically on a blockchain, rather than a centralized exchange that relies on a trusted third party, typically represented by cryptocurrency exchanges. Although centralized exchanges are easy to use and are available of various types of transactions such as reserved transactions and margin transactions, users have to completely trust the exchange and anonymous transactions are difficult to take place since users have to sign up before use. In particular, users are the ones who suffer from the damage when accidents such as hacking break out, as in the case of the Mt.Gox security breach. DEX, on the other hand, enables automated transactions without the need to trust a particular exchange, supports completely anonymous transactions, and is free from problems such as server breakdown and hacking. Bitsquare and Bitshares are some examples of DEX, but they had some issues of users always having to be online during the transactions, in addition to issues regarding liquidity shortfall.

As a blockchain network that links multiple blockchains with their own unique governance, ICON provides DEX based on ICX. It enables transactions among different cryptocurrencies by determining the exchange rate through Reserve based on the Bancor Protocol.

For transactions between ETH and ICX, DEX can be comprised of nodes with voting rights to Reserve Smart Contracts within Ethereum and ICON. In this case, the price of ICX is determined according to the following equation:

𝑅𝑒𝑠𝑒𝑟𝑣𝑒𝐵𝑎𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑐𝑒 = 𝑅𝑒𝑠𝑒𝑟𝑣𝑒𝑅𝑎𝑡𝑒 × 𝐼𝐶𝑋𝑉𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑒 × 𝐼𝐶𝑋𝑃𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑒

𝐼𝐶𝑋𝑃𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑒 = 𝑅𝑒𝑠𝑒𝑟𝑣𝑒𝐵𝑎𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑐𝑒 / (𝑅𝑒𝑠𝑒𝑟𝑣𝑒𝑅𝑎𝑡𝑒 × 𝐼𝐶𝑋𝑉𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑒)

If one purchases ICX with ETH via DEX, the Reserve Balance composed of ETH increases and the ICX Volume decreases, resulting in an increase in the ICX Price. Conversely, buying ETH with ICX reduces the Reserve Balance and increases the ICX Volume, resulting in a decrease in the ICX Price. Please refer to the Formulas for Bancor system for the details on the purchase price and ICX token number calculation.

If ICX is listed and traded on another exchange, its value at the corresponding exchange and the value at ICON DEX may be different. In this case, arbitrage transactions which lead to ETH inflow and exchange will take place, thereby resulting in similar price levels of ICX.

Such an ICX-based DEX scheme enables trading of the cryptocurrencies of various independent blockchains connected to ICON. In the case of blockchains that use BFT15 series consensus algorithms in particular, such as loopchain, exchanges are processed in real time. For example, if there is a blockchain for financial institutions connected to Nexus and a cryptocurrency called Fcoin used only among the concerned financial institutions, Fcoin DEX service is provided based on the Reserve made up of Fcoin and ICX, in which Fcoin and ICX can be traded in real time. Moreover, since the converted ICX can then be used for exchange with other cryptocurrencies connected to ICON, transactions among different cryptocurrencies are ultimately realized.

Another key feature of ICON DEX is that it can establish an A.I. Analysis Model based on the accumulated data such as total call volume, transaction frequency, and price involved in transactions among different cryptocurrencies. Such data enable various adjustments of features such as the Reserve Rate and the Reserve composition ratio of each cryptocurrency, which in turn create a stable cryptocurrency that can be used in real life.

Nexus Public Channel

Nexus includes a Public Channel opened to anyone. It is embodied in Nexus through the Multi-channel function of the loopchain. Anybody can participate in the Public Channel as the name implies. Users participating in the Public Channel can not only participate in ICX transactions, but can also create and use various DAPPs17. The concept of DAPPs in Public Channel is similar to that of Ethereum, but there are differences in how it is deployed and executed. Ethereum includes the compiled codes in the transaction data and executes the codes with Virtual Machine (VM). On the other hand, in Public Channel, DAPPs are developed and registered in the DAPPs Store in advance; nodes that want to participate in the transaction must download and install DAPPs from the DAPPs Store in order to use it.

Nodes participating in the Public Channel are divided into Light-Client-based nodes that can register and confirm transactions and Full Nodes which validate the transactions. In the case of Full Node, certain qualifications are required as it plays a key role in ICX transaction, smart contract operation, and DApp operation. Only the nodes that satisfy specified qualifications within ICON Republic can become the Full Node through the selection of each C-Rep.

ICX collected as transaction fees from transaction participants will be provided to Full Node and Light Client, thereby acting as incentives to each principal for block generation and transaction validation.


ICON essentially aims for a decentralized governance. Each blockchain connected to the Nexus has its own governance structure. The Nexus functions as a form of indirect democracy, where the representatives of each blockchain reach consensus by exercising a systematically and fairly allocated vote. To this end, Nexus also includes Representation channels to propose policies and cast votes, in addition to Notary channels to process BTP.

Representation Channel

Representation channel is a blockchain channel composed of nodes that participate as a C-Rep and thus have the right to vote. It is a consensus system that decides the rules of all issues take place in Nexus. It is basically through C-Rep that blockchains connected to Nexus hold the voting rights. Other nodes such as nodes that support off-chain transactions of ICX exchange and banks can also participate in Representation channels. In a Representation channel, one can manage node policies regarding node addition and removal in Nexus, adjust ICX transaction fee, manage node selection and removal from Notary channel and Representation channel.

The voting rights are distributed to the community based on I_score, which is the contribution level of corresponding community towards the invigoration of ICON Network. Participant which is not a C-Rep can increase the quota of voting rights of C-Rep through the I_score delegation contract. Therefore, even though the size of community is small, it can increase its own influence within Representation channel by securing supporters in network.

LFT (Loop Fault Tolerance) is a traditional BFT consensus algorithm that improved Raft algorithm, one of the State machine replication algorithms that is often used as Fault Tolerance mechanism in the current distributed environment, to be Byzantine Fault Tolerant and optimize itself to the nature of blockchain network.

The object that organizes the blockchain network is called node. These nodes are responsible for generation, validation, retention of blocks and each node can create a signature that can distinguish its own message. Most of the networks using consensus BFT series algorithms can be divided into leader nodes and validator nodes. Leader nodes vote for validation of a block by verifying the contents that leader has made. LFT can be also divided into leader nodes and validator nodes.

In the initial stage of the network, verification nodes transfer the transactions that need to be executed to the leader node. The leader node then creates a block from collected transactions and transfers the block to all the other verification nodes with its own signature. When each verification node receives the block, they 1) confirm the creation of the block, 2) check if the block level and the prior block hash are correct, and 3) validate the block data. If step 1 to 3 are correct, ‘vote data’ is generated and shared to all nodes. It is important to transmit vote data to every node. If leader node is Byzantine, it is possible to separate certain nodes from the network by transmitting blocks only to the nodes that is above the quorum. To prohibit this sort of problem, vote data is transmitted to every node. A node without any block can know if the block is created or not and also request the block to the others.

To create blocks, leader receives vote data from nodes more than quorum. Leader creates new blocks with vote data and transmits to every node. This saves the need to transmit every data once again to guarantee that nodes more than the quorum have finished the same vote. It also allows to confirm the block by verifying the vote of new blocks. If transmitted block is not the initial one, validator node performs verification of vote data more than quorum when verifying blocks. This is when every node final commits prior blocks.

The blockchain is a technique for nodes without trust to construct a trust network through distributed data agreement. Not every state machine guarantees a response like the current state machine replication system. Each node provides a service and creates a transaction. Leader nodes can reject a transaction of a specific node when a block is created. To minimize this problem, Spinning was used to reduce the number of service faults that could be caused by the Byzantine leader by replacing the leader for every block creation. In addition, we have developed a method to directly tolerate a fault handler by avoiding the complicated leader fault tolerance algorithm used in existing algorithms such as Tangaroa.

SCORE (Smart Contract On Reliable Environment)
SCORE is an enhanced Smart Contract feature of loopchain that ensures high-performance contracts to run directly in the node operation environment without a separate Virtual Machine (VM). SCORE is easily deployable and can be created for various applications as it runs separate from the underlying blockchain processes.

Multi-channel feature allows independent channels to be created within the same blockchain network and execute request, consensus, and Smart Contracts. Since the channel is established with only two business nodes, integrity and assurance are ensured on a channel-by-channel basis, and transaction data is held only by actual transaction parties.

Tiered System
Apart from the initial authentication process to participate in a blockchain network, each transaction is validated and secured through PKI-based authentication. loopchain can also set different access privileges to create nodes with specific functions (e.g. audit, supervision) to monitor certain transactions, if necessary, without participating in the actual transaction.



ICON’s team impressive, with over 120 team members across at least 3 departments: AI, blockchain, design and security.

  • Total: 124 people.
  • Development: 76 people.
  • Business / Marketing: 38 people.
  • Operations: 10 people.

Foundation Council

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Source: lcon.foundation

KJ Eee
KJ is Founder of Nomad Connection and CEO at DAYLI Intelligence. Nomad Connection is the company behind Zimly, a P2P media service with over 3 million users worldwide. KJ was previously software engineer at the SecureSoft team which developed South Korea’s first firewall ‘Suhoshin’ in 1996. KJ holds a BS in Computer Science from from the Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH).

JH Kim
He majored in computer science and engineering at POSTECH University, and has worked in the field of information security for nearly 20 years. He has experience in developing patented applications such as PKI, authentication and security protocol and products applied to embedded environment to enterprise environment in finance, public, and private sector. He holds the CISA qualification and is currently the CEO of theloop, the blockchain specialized company.

Jay Kim
Jay holds BAs in Political Science and Philosophy from Korea University. As CPA at PwC Consulting for over 10 years, Jay was a specialist in strategy and IT operations for leading financial institutions. Jay is now CFO at theloop, a blockchain developer based in Seoul.

Hoon Lee
Hoon was previously Senior Analyst in macroeconomic research and strategic planning at Woori Finance Research Institute, the corporate think-tank at South Korea’s Woori Financial Group. Hoon holds a BS in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Ph.D in Management of Technology from Seoul National University.

Min Kim
Min brings more than 12 years of experience as corporate director, entrepreneur, investment banker/M&A consultant, VC investor, and mentor to up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Min began his career as Investment Banking Analyst (Tech) at Deutsche Bank, later serving as COO of Tapas Media, the American digital content sales platform. Min has a degree in Business from UC Berkeley.

Guido Schmitz-Krummacher
Guido Schmitz-Krummacher is our Board Member based in Switzerland. He has worked for 25 years for SME in MD, Board or CEO positions. Guido joined the crypto-industry a year ago and is an interchain of different crypto foundations and companies.

AI Department:

  • Sunghwan Kim — AI Department Leader.
  • SH Park — AI Director.
  • Seok Heo — AI Developer.
  • ST Kwon — Data Engineer.
  • SY Kim — Product Manager.

Blockchain Department:

  • YG Lim — Product Manager.
  • Nathan Kim — Product Manager.
  • Flora Kim — Product Manager.
  • Amy Jung — Product Manager.
  • Jiyoung Lee — Product Manager.
  • Henry Hyunil Lee — Product Manager.
  • Dongok Ryu — Blockchain Developer.
  • Hyunkoo Shin — Blockchain Developer.
  • ByeongKil Sohn — Blockchain Developer.
  • Jintae Hwang — Blockchain Developer.
  • Junghwan Ahn — Blockchain Developer.
  • Jungsang Yoo — Blockchain Developer.
  • Chunghyun Kim — Blockchain Developer.
  • Heizel Kim — Blockchain Developer.
  • Jinho Yoo — Blockchain Developer.


  • US Byun — UX Design Department Leader.
  • Mingyeong Song — Design Department Manager.
  • Gail Kang — Marketing Department Leader.
  • Kyungmin Chun — Security Department Leader.
  • Joon Heo — Security Department Manager.

And others.

People from GitHub:


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Source: lcon.foundation

Don Tapscott

Don is one of the world’s leading authorities on innovation, media, and the economic and social impact of technology and advises business and government leaders around the world. He has authored or co-authored 15 widely read books all over the world, including the international best-seller Blockchain Revolution, which he co-authored with his son, Alex Tapscott. In 2015, Thinkers50 named Don as the 4th most important business thinker in the world. In 2017, he established The Blockchain Research Institute, the world’s leading think-tank dedicated to understanding blockchain opportunities, challenges and use-cases.

Paul Veradittakit

Paul is Partner at Pantera Capital leading blockchain investments. Prior to joining Pantera, he worked at Strive Capital as an Associate focusing on investments in the mobile space. Previously, he was at Hatch Consulting and LECG and performed business development and marketing for Urban Spoils, an early stage startup in the daily deal aggregation space. Paul graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Political Science.

Jehan Chu

Jehan is a former front-end developer with ten years’ experience in web and enterprise application development. He has been a cryptocurrency investor since 2013, with successful investments including Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Melonport and acts as Advisor to the Melonport, QTUM and OpenANX. He founded the Ethereum HK community (2014), co-Founded the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong (2014) and founded the Hyperledger HK community (2016). He was a partner with the KMA on the Blockchain: Surge event, and a Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG) Council Member. Jehan is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and a Masters degree candidate at Hong Kong University (2017).

Jason Best
Selected as one of the 10 most influential people in crowdfunding by Forbes.com, he is a contributor to TechCrunch and Venture Beat and a co-founder and principal of Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA). Recently, he was on the executive leadership team of Kinnser Software, ranked by Inc Magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies in the US.

Yiseul Cho
Studied at MIT, worked for Facebook and run her own startup in Korea before moving to London. In London she set up a blockchain R&D lab which has worked with major card company, investment bank and remittance startup. From 2016, she works for HSBC as its 1st blockchain team focusing on blockchain data analytics. She also runs the biggest blockchain community group (1850 members) in London focusing on private blockchain technology, and works as partner at Blockchain angel investor group in Korea and specialized ICO marketing company for Korean market.

Simon Seojoon Kim
Simon​ ​Kim​​ ​is​ ​a​ ​blockchain​ ​evangelist​ ​and investor.​ ​He​ ​is​ ​the​ ​co-founder​ ​of​ ​Knowre, a​ ​startup​ ​that​ ​was​ ​named​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​top 10​ ​innovative​ ​AI​ ​math​ ​education companies​ ​by​ ​Fast​ ​Company. He​ ​has managed​ ​various​ ​projects​ ​for​ ​10​ ​years​ ​as a​ ​UX​ ​designer. Simon​ ​studied​ ​computer science​ ​and​ ​engineering​ ​at​ ​POSTECH University.

Eddy Travia
Eddy Travia is a pioneer investor in blockchain technology startups and the CEO of Coinsilium, a London-based venture builder, accelerator and investor in early-stage blockchain technology companies (NEX:COIN). In July 2013, after several years in private equity in Greater China, Eddy co-founded Seedcoin, the world’s first global incubator of digital currency startups and, in May 2014, was named among the ‘Top three Most Influential Investors’ at the Blockchain Awards. Eddy has led early-stage investments in 17 blockchain companies around the world. He also regularly delivers keynote speeches on blockchain and advises corporates and financial regulators.

Ismail Malik
He has over 20 years experience in Technology related startups and entrepreneurship covering Asset Management, Cryptocurrencies, Mobile Payments in the City of London and Emerging Markets working with leading firms such as Vodafone, Cellnet and News International. He was the founder of the world’s first Blockchain Lab and first ‘DLT’ company within Level 39 in Canary Wharf (world’s largest Fintech accelerator).


The ICON Foundation is proud to announce that on September 20th, 2018, they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with SK Planet for ‘Blockchain Technology and Business Cooperation’. The ICON Foundation and SK Planet will work together to create new customer values and business opportunities by linking ICON’s blockchain technology with the Korea’s leading mobile services, such as OK Cashbag and Syrup provided by SK Planet. More information can be found here.

September 19thㅡICONLOOP signed an MOU with SK Holdings C&C to cooperate and co-develop blockchain business models in financial industries. This MOU aims to build a tailored service model for banks, insurance companies, broker dealers, and other financial services firms. More information can be found here.

September 5th, 2018 — The ICON Foundation and Portal Network announced a strategic partnership agreement to build ICONick (ICON Name Service), the domain name service on top of the ICON blockchain. ICONick is governed by smart contracts that transform human-comprehensible decentralized website names, such as ‘yourwebsite.icon’, into addresses that can be understood by decentralized network machines. More information can be found here.

August 29, 2018 — ICON and the W Foundation, a nonprofit organization for environmental preservation and refugee relief, signed an MOU today to apply blockchain technology to the W Green Pay(WGP), a pollution reduction compensation system. More information can be found here.

New strategic partnership between the ICON Foundation and CertiK, a smart contract auditing firm with a patented technique to automate formal verification of smart contracts. This partnership will lead to a more secure ICON Ecosystem, as DApp projects launching on ICON will soon have the ability to submit their SCOREs to CertiK for an almost entirely automated smart contract audit. More information can be found here.

June 22nd, 2018 — theloop and Kyobo Life signed an MOU to build a next-generation blockchain insurance platform. Last year, Kyobo Life and theloop collaborated on blockchain-based “Smart Insurance Claims”, and this MOU signifies the continued efforts to build out this platform. More information can be found here.

ICON has signed a strategic partnership with the Bodhi Foundation, a decentralized prediction market platform that is native to the Qtum blockchain. ICON and Bodhi will work together to enhance Bodhi’s prediction platform through interconnecting with other blockchains in the ICON network. The strategic partnership with Bodhi will strengthen the ICON community in China and may lead to more collaboration with DApps on other platforms. More information can be found here.

ICON and Carboneum signed a strategic partnership to proactively help Carboneum with its technical development on ICON blockchain and strategically support the project’s further expansion. Carboneum is a decentralized infrastructure and protocol for social trading, leveraging blockchain to promote transparency, automation and a fair fee mechanism, which are missing in social trading systems today. More information can be found here.

June 8th, 2018 — ICON and Deloitte Startup Advisory Group (Managing Director, YS Kim) signed an MOU to develop, empower and commercialize blockchain based projects. Collaboration between Deloitte Blockchain Lab, which has developed and commercialized more than 30 blockchain projects, and ICON’s technology is expected to strengthen both companies’ competitiveness in the blockchain industry. More information can be found here.

May 30th, 2018 — ICON announced its strategic partnership with TRIVE (previously known as “TRi5 Ventures”), a Venture Capital firm based in Singapore. The strategic collaboration, first of its kind in the Venture Capital industry in Southeast Asia, is aimed to educate, equip and empower the regional startup and blockchain community. More information can be found here.

May 14th, 2018 — ICON and LINE PLUS, a global social platform with over 200 million monthly average users(MAU) worldwide, has co-founded ‘Unchain’ to build LINE’s blockchain network. Unchain aims to develop various DApp services while building synergies with ICON to expand the blockchain ecosystem. More information can be found here.

On May 10th, 2018, theloop and aSSIST(Seoul School of Integrated Sciences & Technologies) Business School signed an MOU for blockchain education alliance. The two parties have agreed to develop and provide blockchain training programs. More information can be found here.

Tokyo, May 8, 2018 — ICON announced a strategic partnership with Japan’s first crypto fund, B Cryptos (representative Hiroyuki Motoyoshi) to revitalize the blockchain ecosystem in Japan and abroad. More information can be found here.

On May 8th, 2018, ‘theloop’ and IT-B2B service company ‘E4net’ signed an MOU for the Blockchain-platform Business Alliance. The two companies have agreed to provide platform users with a variety of services such as increased reliability of the authentication system. More information can be found here.

theloop has signed an MOU with AD4th to support digital marketing for blockchain business. The two companies agreed to share their expertise to strengthen the blockchain industry. More information can be found here.

March 21, 2018; theloop has signed a MOU with Nonghyup Bank to explore Blockchain & FinTech projects. The ceremony was held at the NH FinTech Innovation Center in Seoul. More information can be found here.

Seoul, January 29, 2018; theloop has signed a MOU with Cyberdigm, a company specializing in unstructured contents management, in hopes of collaborating efforts to develop a blockchain-based contract platform. Both companies expect to enhance the credibility of the electronic contract system using blockchain technology. They believe this cooperation will lead to decrease in cost and simplification of the process. More information can be found here.

Seoul, February 12, 2018: theloop and Raonsecure, a biometrics technology services company, have signed an MOU to co-develop a FIDO system using blockchain technology. FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) is the global standard for biometrics using fingerprint, iris, facial recognition, etc. It is considered to be one of the rising next generation authentication technology. More information can be found here.

ICON have officially signed an MOU with Smilegate Stove on 6.FEB.2018. They will collaborate our efforts in building the next generation game platform together. More information can be found here.

ICON’s tasks to connect South Korea in its Blockchain-based ecosystem are gaining popularity. Recently, at the Blockchain International Digital Festival held by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, ICON showcased its participants what a Seoul citizen will experience with Blockchain Seoul project in partnership with the Seoul Government. More information can be found here.

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Use case

We have been continuously building use cases of blockchain with various communities made up of reputable institutions, including capital markets, insurance, university, and healthcare. Each community has started to embrace blockchain technology to solve existing inefficiencies and has begun to recognize the possibilities of expanding beyond respective communities by connecting with other communities. In a sense, ICON is a natural evolution of thriving blockchain ecosystem and is the solution to the need of bridging disparate blockchain communities.

Capital Markets

‘Korea Financial Investment Blockchain Consortium,’ the first industry-wide blockchain consortium backed by 25 securities firms, is leading the innovation of domestic capital markets with loopchain, a blockchain technology developed by theloop. Chain ID, launched in October 2017, is the Consortium’s first service. Based on Blockchain Signature Infrastructure (BSI) technology, Chain ID is capable of authentication as well as generating and verifying digital signatures in the absence of third party oversight. The Consortium plans to expand its blockchain services to other capital market processes, including post-trading and trading, through SCORE, the loopchain’s smart contract executionenvironment.

Throughout the global capital market, countless transactions are constantly being carried out through large group of intermediaries and centralized institutions. Because of these intermediaries, the transaction becomes lengthy and back-office work becomes complicated. In general, the clearing and settlement process (post-trading process) for stock transaction takes 2~3 days, and the United States alone spends over USD 9 billion dollars every year.

Top tier insurers and hospitals in South Korea have launched a pilot to incorporate theloop’s blockchain technology into their claims and payments processes. This project aims to automate the entire insurance claiming process, from patient authentication to sending medical records to insurance providers, through blockchain technologies without any intermediaries. The pilot project has been implemented through SCORE and started since December first initially for select insurance products.

The project received a government grant from the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning in April 2017, and is expected to gain further momentum by adding more products and inviting other insurance providers to the consortium.

Blockchain is driving the innovation of the insurance industry throughout its value chain. Innovation of claims and payment services not only can reduce the cost by improving the efficiency of the transaction process but also can greatly enhance consumer experience, thereby improving the overall satisfaction of the insurance industry.

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Compared to those of other financial industries, transactions within the insurance industry frequently involves external parties (both in terms of data and transfer of funds). However, these external organizations generally operate on isolated system infrastructures unique to each institution, which hampers efficient transactions. By ensuring interoperability and mutual reliability of different systems, blockchain dramatically improves the efficiency of transactions between various organizations. As such, we believe blockchain technology will continue to attract vast amount of interest from the insurance sector and accelerate the transformation of the industry ecosystem.

U-Coin (‘University-Coin’) is a cryptocurrency for university students in major universities in Korea and its pilot test has been launched since the end of 2017. U-Coin received a grant from the Ministry of Creation and Science in April 2017 and is expected to expand its services to other universities in Korea. Furthermore, U-Coin will expand its ecosystem by creating other cryptocurrency-based services that can be used in nearby communities and university towns, including cryptocurrency vending machines and easy payment/transfer systems.

University students are one of the most receptive to new technologies and have always been at the forefront of experiencing new innovations. Especially, with the pace of innovation accelerating, there are disparities between age generations in how they adopt and embrace new technologies. Similarly, the university students will play a significant role in the spread of this innovative technology.

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Precision Medical Hospital Information System (P-HIS) is the largest Healthcare blockchain consortium in Korea, joined by major domestic hospitals, and loopchain will provide the underlying blockchain technology.

This project aims to build the network to share precision medical data in a secure manner, and plans broaden the scope of medical data distribution globally through global networks, including OHDSI (Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics). This consortium is building a safe and transparent distribution system of medical information based on blockchain and promoting the introduction of cryptocurrencies to the ecosystem.

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While sharing medical information is essential in improving the overall quality of medical services (e.g. prevention, diagnosis, treatment, research, etc.), improper disclosure or indiscriminate use of sensitive personal information can cause great damages. With the explosion of genomic information from next generation sequencing (‘NGS’) and medical data from wearable devices, both interest and discussion about ways to securely share medical information have reached its all-time high.

Blockchain technology is emerging as an alternative solution to this sensitive and complex problem. Blockchain ensures the interoperability between different hospital systems and can manage the access rights to data and records reliably. We believe a secure distribution of medical information through blockchain and a fair reward system for those who share their data through the network will invigorate the medical ecosystem.


Social metrics

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Github metrics
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Social media activity

Markets and volumes

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Information from Etherscan.io

Information from Coinlib.io:

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From TA perspective ICX is one of the best textbook examples of completed correction pattern. From the top of wave 1 we now have a complete wave 2 with classic ABC zigzag structure. It seems we are now in accumulation phase which can last for awhile but most often this type of action with price trading in a tight range tells us what it is in control of a professional buyer. So we expect some more sideways action before breakout


Other platforms for consumer Dapps: ETH, EOS, Cardano, Quantum, Lisk, RChain, GXChain, Nuls, Orbs, OST.


There is no new Roadmap yet, communication of ICON’s team isn’t any kind of good when it comes to milestones. Last roadmap was criticized harshly by international community since close to none milestones were reached in time and there no comments from the team.

Token Mechanics

ICON Incentives Scoring System (IISS) is yet to be implemented, details should be outlined in the upcoming release of the 3rd Yellow paper

Token Metrics

Market Cap $260 378 364 USD
Volume (24h) $10 060 446 USD
Circulating Supply 387 431 340 ICX
Total Supply 800 460 000 ICX


Target Amount offered: 150,000 ETH
Currency accepted: ETH Only
Fixed Price: 0.0004 ETH per 1 ICX (2,500 ICX per 1ETH)

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Use of Proceeds: Tech Company, Reserve, Foundation Operating Expenses, Business Development, Strategic Partnerships.

Tech Company: Development expense for blockchain engine, DAPPs, artificial intelligence, etc.

Reserve: Required for real-time DEX with other blockchain network. Reserve is divided into Reserve1 (ETH Reserve) and Reserve2 (Other Reserve). Reserve1 is required for DEX with Ethereum-based networks. Reserve2 is allocated to DEX with other non-Ethereum based networks.

Foundation expense: Covers operating expenses, marketing fees, legal & accounting fees associated with the ICON Foundation.

Business development fee: Fees associated with the global expansion of the ICON Foundation, including offices and business development related expenses.

Strategy Partnerships: Costs associated with ICON Network expansion, which are provided to the global business partners.



Team: top tier team and investors

Idea: nothing new, platform

Development stage: mainnet 3.0

Whitepaper: well composed, yellow papers are good but with missing last paper are incomplete, insufficient to understand incentives

Roadmap: unusable previous roadmap, no new one yet

I’ll start with problems of this project: ICON is well known for its previous overpromising roadmap. Team had a lot of problems following it, some of the milestones are still not reached, this project was harshly criticized for this. Most likely, because of harsh reception of the previous roadmap, ICON doesn’t publish new roadmap and doesn’t correct/update previous one, this way there are no promises with dates, only post-factum info on blog.

Second problem has some connection with previous one — it is bad interaction with community (I mean international one, can’t speak about interaction with korean speaking community). Delays in delivery of content are rarely commented by the team or it is done too late, when there is already a lot of FUD on forums. They pretty much use only blog and twitter to interact with the community.

Now let’s look at this project’s positive qualities: mainnet is launched, and updated regularly. There is work going on related to IISS and DEX (though with delays),GitHub open source release, 2 yellow papers were released (3rd one, the most crucial one is yet to be released). ICON frequently releases info about new partnerships, ecosystem is growing fast and steady. There are regular updates on projects/meetings/hackathons sponsored or visited by the team.

To sum up — this project is actively developing its ecosystem as well as it’s tech. It can be criticized for overpromising deadlines for some features it is pretty much the only problem this project has (along with bad communication). I can speculate that their frequent delays in platform development is connected with development of private usages of their platform. This project has a number of features and potential use cases which are noted by Korean and Seouls government, some of them are already projects in development. Ever growing ICON’s ecosystem already provides this project with clients and use cases, but some of those project are in development already and that is increasing workload. With the launch of the ICON Developers portal this project is now able to foster and nourish developers for their project.

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