ICX Station San Francisco is doing what it’s always done – meeting and talking with projects and companies interested in working with ICON.
Says co-manager Scott Smiley, “Right now we’re focused on the things that bring a lot of strategic value to ICON specifically, rather than looking at the broader industry.”
Those things include two-layer solutions that build out the infrastructure of ICON. An example might be specific developer tools with specific use cases, which would add more usability to ICON from a developer’s point of view.
Co-manager Daeki Lee adds, “We’re trying to help projects that can accelerate mass adoption from the consumer base.”
Gaming for crypto
The San Francisco branch of ICON’s official accelerator program has seen much interest in gaming in the blockchain space. Though gambling DApps remain highly popular, joining them are games of other genres. Lee cites Korean-developed EOS Knights, an RPG built on EOS, as a good example.
Why has gaming proven so popular in the blockchain space? The answer is easy – money.
“I think one of the things people really like about playing blockchain-based games is the ability to actually earn money from it,” says Smiley. “A lot of people obviously love playing Fortnite, and Apex Legends just came out as well. There’s nothing that robust in the blockchain ecosystem, but if you look at what gets blockchain gaming communities excited, it’s new opportunities to start making money.”
Teaching and promoting
ICX_Station San Francisco is talking with educational institutions in the United States, particularly those with an interest in blockchain. They’re trying to get these institutions to begin teaching courses on ICON.
ICON has its appeal to educators. “I think there’s a general interest in blockchain, so I think it’s a matter of how we market ourselves as one of the interesting blockchain projects to teach,” says Lee. “I think what we’re really trying to promote is the legitimacy that we have with a lot of use cases in Korea with governments and enterprises. Those examples are rare in the blockchain space and Korea being one of the leading countries in blockchain adoption has been helping us get a lot of interest.”
ICX_Station has been taking part in ICON’s P-Rep campaign as well. They’ve been pushing the campaign in North America, working out details and talking with high-quality potential candidates. Smiley says, “We’re trying to find good people to manage the network.”
Making life easier for developers
ICX_Station San Francisco has taken pains to upgrade the ICON Developers Portal, the one-stop emporium for all your ICON development needs.
The accelerator has been making continuous improvements to the website since the accelerator assumed responsibility for it. The existing development portal lacked many of the resources the community needed. It failed to reflect updates made on Github, for instance. Moreover, new developers found the site difficult to use because it presented its information in a manner that made little sense to developers.
The new developer portal was revamped to cater to a developers’ train of thought. It also incorporates updates from Github in real time. Developers from external parties seem to enjoy using it, as do Lee and Smiley. “We like how it looks right now,” says Lee. “Overall, we’ve been receiving positive feedback.”
The crypto winter may have hit the blockchain community hard, but it’s far from dead. Lee and Smiley say interest in blockchain remains strong in San Francisco. “Sentiment at this point is pretty solid,” says Smiley. “If you’ve lasted this long in the crypto winter, then you’re likely here to stay. I was just at Demo Day and a meaningful number of companies were pitching blockchain-related ideas, so it’s definitely still alive and strong here in Silicon Valley.”
“There are a lot of meetups, almost everyday. Daeki and I are going out there and talking to people about ICON and trying to see what the most recent trends in the space are,” he adds. “The industry is still moving forward.”
Lee concurs. He says it’s essential for ICON to have a presence in San Francisco, where you can find many cutting edging projects, smart people and interesting ideas. This gives ICON a front row seat to the action. “We’re trying to communicate a lot of these learnings back to our headquarters in Korea,” he says.