ICON has emerged as an applicable and disruptive blockchain comprising of other private blockchains all knit together in the most secure and seamless way possible – the loopchain. Of course I’ll get to that later, but first let me say something about what I’ve been calling the “mother of all the blockchains”.
ICON – The mother of all the blockchains
So far what we’ve seen since the advent of the Bitcoin is an influx of different technologies based on it that strive to disrupt their respective industries. The thing is that they do show the promise to completely do away with the inefficiencies in those respective industries, but what keeps on bothering me and other mundane people like me is that they are not COMPLETELY mainstream. There’s still a long way for them to go.
In fact, some of them have certain inefficiencies in themselves also. For example, Ethereum has a hard time in accommodating a flood of transaction, EOS is just like Ethereum; it differs only in the Smart Contracts, and this is why, it, too, has the scalability problems, Bancor is expensive, and (sorry if this breaks you) Bitcoin is too conservative to be mainstream.
In this scenario, someone had to come forward and create something that is decentralized (blockchain-based, essentially) and has the mechanism that could enfold every industry, every component of a community into one big family where people or the individual nodes can exchange information, assets, and anything you name freely, without barriers, and reliably.
That someone was the team that created ICON.
I do not need to reinstate, I guess. By now, you would have understood what ICON is built for. In the words of the people behind it, it is built to,
Hyperconnect the World.
To understand it even more clearly, lets delve into its architecture.
ICON has many components:
- Community – The individual or private blockchain of any hospital, school, financial institution or whatsoever.
- C-Node – The individuals comprising a community are called C-Nodes. They can take part in making the Node policies.
- C-Rep – The “decision-makers”. These are respectable nodes that put more efforts than others in making ICON worthwhile.
- ICON Republic – It is the combination of communities governed by C-Reps, but it has nothing to say in the governance of individual communities. Instead, it merely acts as a connector of or a channel of communication between the communities operating on the ICON.
- Citizen Node – Besides the C-Reps, the ICON Republic also has Citizen Nodes. These nodes are basically the DApps running on the chain; however, they have no voting rights.
All of these components make the blockchain of ICON viable, but at the core of them is the loopchain or the ICON Nexus.
The role of the loopchain technology
It is not a rocket science to understand that in order to accommodate a huge variety of blockchains, the core of the system has to be flexible so that it can adjust according to the needs of those individual blockchains. This is where ICON has nailed it. It has introduced the loopchain technology and has based the very architecture of the system on it. Conclusively speaking, the ICON Nexus is based on the loopchain technology, which allows every community to create their own blockchains according to their needs.
It also has connectivity repositories, mind you. It connects to each of the individual blockchain through C-Rep. Thus, if you still have not got it, the ICON Nexus is the ICON Republic and the C-Rep is called the Portal.
So, it goes like this:
As you can see in the image (cropped from the whitepaper of the ICON), individual communities are connected to the Nexus through Portals.
The communication between an individual community and the ICON Nexus takes place through Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP), and frankly speaking, this is where ICX or the ICON Token comes into play. That is to be dealt with later, but first savor the creation of the “networks” that are interconnected through the Nexus and yet they are separated as they have their own governance. I am already taking a deep sigh imagining this creation.
I don’t have to imagine actually as the ICON has already been implemented in South Korea.
Implementation of the ICON
From capital markets, insurance, universities, to healthcare, loopchain technology has been adopted, but it is only a matter of time that it will expand into every other industry.
This fact buds from the use cases of ICON where ICONex (the ICON’s Wallet) can act as a sole DEX wallet for faster transactions and exchanges of assets through cryptocurrencies, ICONick is the human-redable ID of the users on the network, and its Blockchain Interoperability Alliance (BIA) is the medium connecting individual communities.
Those use cases are the creation of an ecosystem where doctors in South Korea could ask for medical records of a patient in London or where university students could access services through dedicated coins.
ICX – the ICON Token
One of the features of ICON is that it has its own decentralized exchange called DEX, which is based on ICX – the token. Any transaction that has to be taken place between the communities or the blockchains on the ICON network has to take place in ICX. This works essentially on the footprints of the Bancor protocol where the value of the ICX is determined by the way transactions are made between this coin and other coins such as ETH. The formula is just as follows:
Price = ReserveBalance / ReserveRate x ICXVolume.
As it shows, the increase in the ICX volume due to the decrease in the Reserve Balance of a coin exchanged for it means a decrease in the price of it. Conversely speaking, the more you buy ICX with ETH, that would mean an increase in the price.
ICON takes an advantageous edge over its competitors because of its massive scalability and practical applications. Any blockchain tech that wants to become mainstream has to incorporate itself in the ICON ecosystem because currently, this is the only secure, feasible, and practical way to go. Specially with their recent partnership with LINE (a social platform with over 200 million users), the adoption rate of ICON has exceeded all others.
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