“I think there will be a lot of opportunities within the ICON ecosystem in the future and anyone who has time, some resources and awareness about ICON should try to get involved with it. It’s a great project.

So thinks Syed Mushabbar Sadiq, a member of ICON Sweden, a “highly energetic, dynamic, optimistic and ambitious team” that hopes soon to manage one of the ICON network’s main nodes as a P-Rep. The very first team to jump into the P-Rep election race, ICON Sweden brings not just enthusiasm, but a wealth of experience in information technology and blockchain management. In short, they know their stuff.

One of the P-Reps’ biggest jobs will be to make sure the security of the production nodes and the blockchain is maintained,” says Syed. “We are especially competent in this area.”

Getting in early

ICON Sweden is the alter ego of Swedencornet, a six-person team of blockchain enthusiasts. Most of the team members are ICT (Information and Communications Technology) specialists. The team is headquartered in Kista, the ICT cluster of Stockholm.

Syed himself has over two decades of experience in information security, risks management and compliance. Currently the Senior Information Security Officer at Nordea Bank, one of Scandinavia’s biggest banks, he has worked with corporate giants such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise, HID Global and ICON Sweden’s neighbor in Kista, Ericsson. He’s been involved with ICON from the very beginning, having taken part in its ICO.

If the community selects ICON Sweden to manage one of the network’s main nodes, it wouldn’t be the team’s first rodeo. They are block producers in Telos and other EOSIO chains. They participate in the governance, protection and enhancement of EOSIO’s ecosystem and were co-chairs in the Telos Launch Group for Working Groups Security and GRC. The team is also a credited co-author of several Telos governance documents.

Indeed, their experience with EOSIO was one of the reasons they jumped into the ICON P-Rep campaign so early. They joined EOSIO’s MainNet just two weeks after its launch. “But that made a huge difference,” says Syed. “So this time we wanted to get involved as early as possible.”

Besides, ICON represents a chance to be involved in something new, something amazing, something global. “I think it’s a good opportunity to be involved in ICON,” he says. “One of the great things about ICON is that it allows inter-blockchain communication. I think that’s a very interesting and powerful idea. We need interoperability among diverse communities and ICON can make this happen.”

Listening to the people

ICON Sweden envisions an ICON that is as decentralized as possible, with its users – the ICONists – at its core. “The ICONists, the stakeholders within the ICON ecosystem, they are the key players to be served,” says Syed. “So ICON’s future governance should be based on the wish list of the ICONists.”

Drawing on his background working with major corporations, Syed thinks that ICON needs to be friendly to enterprises and government by aligning itself with industry best practices, regulations, standards, and well established secure frameworks. He says this will ensure ICON’s easy adoption.

“ICON will allow the possibility to interconnect different, diverse blockchains,” he says. “And these blockchains could be public or private, so that different enterprises could join ICON’s ecosystem. I come from the enterprise world and I see a lot of problems in the existing blockchain ecosystem that are obstacles for the enterprises who want to join.”

Those problems include over-centralization and a lack of accountability that spooks enterprises and government. Even individuals are put off by the every-person-for-themselves environment.

“Most of the people I interact with in the blockchain world are very technical-focused. The same is true for most Bitcoin gurus. They don’t give much regard to the general public, to whom a lot of responsibility is transferred,” says Syed. “They believe that in the blockchain world, everyone has to take care of their problems by themselves. But this is not how the real world works. I think one of the reasons mass market adoption has not yet happened is that most blockchain ecosystems are not end-to-end people-friendly, they’re not enterprise-friendly and they’re not government-friendly. The barrier to entrance is very high for ordinary people. They need to understand lot of things.”

ICON, however, could be different.

“ICON wants to be as decentralized as possible. P-Reps elected by ICONists will be able to influence the future governance of ICON,” says Syed. “This means that policy-level decisions in the future ICON governance will be based on the ICONists’ wish lists. There will also be different kind of communities with their own C-Reps who may also have be able to influence ICON’s future governance. This will lead to a truly decentralized blockchain network. There are lot of stakeholders with different kinds of power, and they will all be able to balance each other.”

He adds, “I know that in blockchain, different people have different views, and most are probably anti-government, but I think if you want to achieve mass market adoption, enterprises and government should be part of the ecosystem.”

Managing nodes, building community

ICON Sweden has built a community that the team can educate about ICON and its network. One of the team’s goals is to transform itself into a decentralized autonomous organization. He says, “We want our community to dictate how we behave in the future.”

The team is also focusing on developing applications, especially ones for e-governance. These applications will primarily target enterprises and governments.

Syed stresses once more the team’s experience. He says, “I think the experience we have from the EOSIO world will help us a lot here to get a good, solid base in terms of managing production nodes and building up a community, and in terms of what kinds of applications we need to develop.”

To the voters, he asks them simply to vote for who they think is best.

“Please study us, look at us,” he says. “We have all the information on our application and a website listing all our team members. Look at our competence and when you cast your vote, please think carefully. After you have done your research, please vote for whoever you think is the best team. We think we’ll be one of the best teams: we are strongly competent and have special expertise in information security, privacy, risk management and compliance.”