Last month, CaptainAltcoin’s Dobrica Blagojevic searched the seas of crypto garbage for some promising altcoins that could prosper when the blockchain spring finally arrives. He listed three: BAT, ARK… and ICON.

He was particularly impressed with ICON’s ever-expanding list of partners, citing the then-recently announced partnership with leading Japanese blockchain consulting company LayerX. The two will team up to expand ICON’s ecosystem in Japan by cultivating the local developer community and by ensuring the integrity of the ICON Network through a code audit alliance. LayerX is also a partner in ICX_Station.

Then last week, ICON announced yet another partnership, this time with crypto management DApp VELIC. Under this strategic partnership, VELIC will use ICON’s proprietary blockchain technology to expand its financial services. ICON, meanwhile, will grow its ecosystem by providing support to VELIC, a global service that can introduce ICON to a broader, worldwide user base. Keep an eye out for our upcoming interview with VELIC.

To give you a visual sense of how much ICON expanded its web of partnerships in 2018, check out the following chart by blockchain think tank SpecR. They tweeted – to mixed reactions from the Twitterati – that ICON’s partnerships “placed the project in a truly rarified sphere within the blockchain landscape.”

Many of these partnerships are still in their early stages, and even if they are eventually successful, we’ll need to wait to see what impact they have on ICON’s network and its ICX token. That said, if these partnerships can generate real-world use cases for loopchain, the blockchain technology upon which the ICON Network is built, they could indicate big things for the project in the months and years ahead.

The Last Two Weeks in the ICON Republic:

BlockExplorer News’s Ana Balashova likes how Aion and Wanchain are trying to tackle some of the blockchain’s big issues.

Invest In Blockchain reports, “The top-performing dapp platforms in the blockchain ecosystem, considering the number of dapps built on them, include Ethereum, EOS, AION, NEO, Tron, Icon, Wanchain, Lisk, Tezos, and Cardano.” According to the article, ICON currently has DApps built upon it: Blue Whale, WeBloc, Cosmochain, Airbloc, MECA Casino, Carboneum, ZenSports, Discover X, LogisticsX and Stayge.

Representing the Korean blockchain industry, ICON served as a featured host in “Seoul Immersive Blockchain,” a private blockchain study trip led by official educational institutions of the Singaporean government.

Though many readers here may not need it, Coin Rivet provides an overview of ICON and its related products.