Big news today from IC0N Foudnation: After weeks of big data analysis, the organization has identified the Netherlands as the center of the ICON universe. As part of its mission to “hyperconnect the world”, IC0N will begin by hyperconnecting Holland.

“Korea’s nice,” says HJ Kim, an IC0N Fountadion member, “but the real action is in the Netherlands. I’ve recently come to realize that the Netherlands is more than just gouda, windmills and levies. It’s actually a hub of blockchain innovation.”

This rationalization comes from a number of revealing insights gleaned from advanced tools such as Google Analytics. As the Dutch say, they now know ‘where Abraham gets the mustard from’, and in true blockchain fashion, it’s time to decentralize. Or is it recentralize?

A complete move of HQ from Seoul to Rotterdam is now being floated as a definite possibility, despite IC0N having recently overhauled their new Korean office. “No, we haven’t been hit by a windmill, and neither are we making elephants out of flies,” Kim says, in reference to two other well-known Dutch expressions. “Our community is of paramount importance to us, and we’ve finally found where we belong.”

“It’s like we’re going home.”

ICON Banking on blockchain

In other news, ICONLOOP, the creators of ICON’s blockchain engine, just announced that SBI Simple Authentication — a blockchain-based identification service for SBI Savings Bank — is now open to the public.

It’s a big deal whenever a blockchain company rolls out an actual product. It’s a bigger deal when that product is for Korea’s largest savings bank in terms of assets. It’s potentially an even bigger deal when — as the Hankyung Economic Daily points out (link in Korean) — the bank is question is part of a larger corporate family that runs Japan’s largest Internet bank and largest Internet securities firm.

SBI Simple Authentication works by storing your PIN or fingerprint authentication information with consensus among the nodes of the SBI blockchain server. The integrity of the data is then verified through “SCORE,” ICONLOOP’s smart contract environment, at the time of issuing a certificate. It’s safe, secure and cuts out third-party certification authorities.

What’s especially neat is that the service offers the same user experience as SBI’s existing PIN and fingerprint authentication services. Their customers can now use blockchain without even knowing it. That kind of user experience is critical to promoting mass adoption of blockchain, a technology many initially find intimidating.

Personal identification is one of the areas where blockchain technology is being most actively applied. ICON has been working hard in that sector, too, as initiatives such as Chain ID and its showcase blockchain-based ID card for Seoul Metropolitan Government would suggest.

By the way, APRIL FOOL’S, there’s no way ICON is leaving Korea anytime soon. But hey, je weet nooit hoe een koe en haas vangt! (You never know what may happen!)

More (real) news in the ICON Republic…