The relationship between ICONLOOP and ICON still mystifies some observers.

That’s OK. Even we get confused about it sometimes, and we write about ICON for a living.

ICONLOOP is a tech company based in Seoul. The DAYLI Financial Group, one of Korea’s largest fintech groups, founded it as a subsidiary venture in May 2016. ICONLOOP was originally named “theloop,” but adopted its current name (i.e., ICONLOOP) in August 2018 as part of a rebranding effort.

The company specializes in the design and implementation of blockchain technology. It has developed its own blockchain engine, loopchain, upon which it bases a wide range of services.

Many of ICONLOOP’s projects are private enterprise blockchain solutions based on the loopchain engine. The company enjoys over 100 business partnerships, some with corporate giants such as Samsung, Naver LINE and SK. The company also works on projects for public organizations such as Seoul Metropolitan Government.

To repeat, most of these projects are private blockchain networks, i.e., permissioned networks built for specific clients, often private companies.

One of ICONLOOP’s projects, however, is a public blockchain network. This is the ICON project. ICONLOOP doesn’t “own” ICON, per se – as a public blockchain, nobody truly owns it. But the company provides all the technical support for the project, which runs on the loopchain engine. ICON uses its own token, ICX. The ICON Foundation, led by the ICON Council, oversees the development of the project.

To reiterate:

ICONLOOP = the company

loopchain = ICONLOOP’s independently developed blockchain engine

ICON = ICONLOOP’s public blockchain project

Of course, some of you may still be wondering how ICONLOOP’s private blockchain networks impact the ICON project. Though the ICON Foundation has already explained this on its own, we’ll provide a brief summary of our own. In short, ICONLOOP’s private blockchain networks provide important use cases for loopchain, the core technology upon which ICON is built. ICONLOOP also aims to connect the private networks to ICON’s public network in the future, consequently increasing the demand for the ICX token.

P.S.: If you need a refresher on the differences between private and public blockchains – and hey, who doesn’t? – see this helpful post at Big Blue’s blockchain blog.