Name: ICON – Hyper-connecting the world in a decentralized network
Price Info: - https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/icon/
The Korean Ethereum. Focused on a community-based blockchain, Icon seeks to bring the different projects and crypto assets together without resorting to centralized exchanges, mainly for identification data, wallets, and goods and services - giving a real use case to daily problems.
ICON looks to be the center of an interconnected blockchain ecosystem. Accomplishing this goal of interconnecting all blockchains would do to blockchains what the internet did for the personal computer. On top of interoperability, the ICON network will also support decentralized applications, much like Ethereum, or Cardano.
Blockchains connected to the ICON network are able to function under their own independent governance and incentive systems. There are no barriers to entry; anyone can create a new blockchain project and join the network. New blockchains are free to connect with existing blockchains, thereby creating a new type of blockchain multiverse.
ICON isn’t the first project to tackle blockchain interoperability; notable projects working towards the exact same goal include Aion and Wanchain. As of right now, these projects are not competitors. Rather, all three of these projects (ICON, Aion, and Wanchain) are members of the Blockchain Interoperability Alliance — a group effort towards promoting interconnectivity between isolated blockchain networks.
This alliance was formed so that all three of these projects could collaboratively research interchain transactions and communication. It is worth noting that no formal contracts are keeping this alliance in place; this is a completely informal initiative subject to dissolve at any time.
ICON boasts a total of 46 members on its team and has many departments spanning across blockchain development, artificial intelligence (A.I.), and design/communications/security. Icon also has a diverse team spanning ICON’s advisory team and members of the ICON foundation — a Switzerland based non-profit set up to support the growth of the ICON network.
At its core, ICON is a multi-channel blockchain based off loopchain technology. Loopchain is a customizable high-performance enterprise blockchain with smart contract features. A product of theloop, loopchain was developed with flexible customization in order to fit the needs of a diverse group of industries. By using a Loop Fault Tolerance (LFT) consensus mechanism, loopchain is said to support quick, fork-less consensus.
Achieving Consensus: Loop Fault Tolerance
LFT is a modified version of Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT), or more specifically, another take on Tendermint, a consensus algorithm that combines PBFT with delegated Proof of Stake (DPOS) . The basics remain the same: leader nodes take turns proposing blocks of transactions and voting on their validity. A block is committed once more than 66% of validation nodes are in agreement on the block’s validity. In a vanilla PBFT network, all votes hold the same weight regardless of which node is making the vote. In Tendermint, votes are weighted based on the amount of tokens being staked by the delegate.
ICON’s LFT diverges from Tendermint for the sake of efficiency, reducing the amount of steps involved in the consensus process. LFT uses a technique called “spinning” which claims to simplify the algorithm used to select primary nodes (the leaders responsible for broadcasting blocks to validation nodes). The only official documentation on ICON’s LFT consensus mechanism outside of the ICON whitepaper is this whitepaper written in Korean.
The ICON network uses a decentralized exchange (DEX) to facilitate cross-currency transactions made on its platform. A decentralized exchange automatically executes trades between buyers and sellers on a blockchain. This is distinct from a centralized exchange, which serves as a middleman between both parties. ICON’s DEX is scheduled to debut sometime in Q2 2018.
Here’s how all these parts work together within ICON to produce a cross-platform transaction:
Blockchain 1 (B1) initiates transaction with Blockchain 2 (B2):
B1 token is processed by C-Rep which interacts with Nexus (loopchain) and transfers the asset. Nexus uses AI model to algorithmically determine value of B1 token in relation to current value of ICX. Decentralized exchange then converts that amount of ICX to B2 token. B2 C-Rep receives amount of their own token which represents B1 asset.
From the above, ICX is used as a means to transfer the value between one token to another, cross-chain, before finally being exchanged for B2’s native token via DEX.
ICX is used within the ICON ecosystem as a bridge currency to facilitate transactions between unique cryptocurrencies. An example of this is detailed above where ICX is used to capture the appropriate value of a token before exchanging that same value for a different token. ICX is also used to pay for transaction fees, and as tokens for decentralized applications built on top of the ICON network. In this way, within the ICON network, ICX functions similar to how ETH does inside of Ethereum.
While the ICX currently distributed is an ERC-20 token, an exchange will take place in the near future in which holders of the ERC-20 tokens will be able to swap for usable ICX tokens compatible with ICON’s native blockchain. The official date for this swap has not yet been announced, but it is expected to take place sometime in March 2018.
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