Due to technical difficulties with the 2nd ICONSENSUS live conference call, we will be covering the third and final discussion first. In Friday’s call, P-Rep candidates Paradigm Citadel, ICON Sweden, Rhizome and Common Computer had the chance to introduce themselves and their plans to expand the ICON ecosystem.

Justin, also known as 2infiniti, and Josh Choi, Director of Public Affairs at ICON, were present as moderators. Here’s a recap:

On node strategy

Paradigm Citadel has experience setting up nodes for a lot of different networks, both on their own servers and on AWS. They are currently creating an application named Citadel specifically for ICON and a few other crypto networks, which aims to incentivize staking. David, co-founder and Head of Strategy, explained that it is difficult for ordinary people with no knowledge of blockchain to invest and engage in decentralized finance. Their goal is to “create an application so that normal people can, with a single click and little knowledge of programming and computer science, invest and engage with ICON anyway they like.”

ICON Sweden’s team of 7 boasts impressive technical expertise, with many having two or more Masters degrees in computer science, security and project management. With knowledge in business critical data center operations, security, cryptography, risk management, compliance, financial services and privacy (including privacy legislation and banking regulations), there is a lot the team can do. As Syed explained, their biggest strength is using best practices in information security. ICON Sweden is currently managing block production operations for several EOSIO chains and have been running live block production operations for both Telus’ MainNet and TestNet. With CPU execution times of under 1.3 millisecond, production nodes on the MainNet have never seen any downtime, and have not been hacked so far. When it comes to ICON, they have been looking into ICON T-bears, Score, test cases and scripts. “We have the confidence that we can deploy and manage a highly skilled, reliable, redundant and resilient infrastructure that can take care of most threat scenarios,” says Syed.

Unlike other P-Rep candidates, Rhizome has less technical experience, but Team Lead Brian reassured that they were planning on using the Google Cloud platform to host their nodes and follow best security practices by having redundancy across at least two different zones and setting up a firewall that only authenticates ports that need to be opened. Despite not being the most technical team amongst candidates, they are “willing to learn and improve, and are seeking help from more experienced teams,” explains Brian.  

Common Computer have technical background in blockchain, building AI networks, machine learning techniques and distributed computing. Most of their team members come from reputable tech giants Google and Naver (South Korea’s biggest search engine). To become a secure node operator, they plan on conducting block analysis by using machine learning. “Not only would we verify transactions, but also analyse patterns from a large number of transactions using our resource networks,” says Minhyun. They also plan on supporting data-driven governance, which means they will deliver useful data analysis to the ICON data community based on AI.

On expanding the ICON ecosystem

Paradigm Citadel’s approach consists of three parts: making ICON nodes safe, improving the user experience for people to engage in the community and ecosystem easily, and incentivize programmers around the world to use ICON as an infrastructure to code. Having worked in crypto since 2013, they’ve realized “people don’t understand that the very heart of adoption lies in user experience and user interface.” By creating their application, they are incentivizing ordinary people to stake, hold, and have different roles in the ICON community. They are also planning on designing a service that will help the ICON community understand what’s going on in the system. More specifically, they want to develop a proper dashboard or statistics mechanism that can easily demonstrate information and analyze data. This platform would allow programmers and companies to see their average transaction values and other interesting stats.

“When we talk about the safest place where one could invest and could see the future of blockchain technology, we always say, ‘if you don’t know where to invest or what to do, always head to ICON’. We’re going to do our part as best we can to foresee the growth of the ICON community and ICON Foundation,” states David.

ICON Sweden will focus on three objectives: security, community growth and mass market adoption. As Syed explained, “for any blockchain network project to succeed, a healthy and growing community is needed. Without community growth, nothing can be successful.” The team hopes to leverage their pre-existing relationships with the EOSIO community to expand reach and grow the ICON community. They also plan on organizing meetups, collaborating with universities and connecting with youth to introduce them to ICON and create opportunities for them to build projects as part of their thesis work. Additionally, they are hoping to prepare more educational material for the masses as well as in-depth training material on how to design and deploy a skilled infrastructure and create DApps for P-Rep candidates. Lastly, they want to focus on mass market adoption, which they explained could be achieved by ensuring that block projects are user friendly, people friendly, enterprise friendly and government friendly. ICON Sweden plans to focus on governance. Some of their ideas include creating an e-goverance DApp and integrating blockchain with national IDs. In order to materialize these thoughts, they are planning on doing air drops and generating utility tokens for the ICON ecosystem.

“We will be making decisions in the future based on feedback from the ICON community. Together we can help each other grow the ICON community to make sure ICON really succeeds and becomes the number one blockchain to solve all kinds of problems out there in the field,” says Syed.

The Rhizome team is focused on content creation and marketing. While they don’t have technical backgrounds, they do have experience in writing and video and music production. Their goal is to constantly and consistently create content that people can share and discuss. They are already pushing forward with this plan, writing posts every few days, uploading videos and planning on releasing a podcast in the next few weeks. Having been around since the very beginnings of ICON, they are confident in their knowledge of the ecosystem and community, and hope to expand into bigger and more ambitious things like attending conferences and creating more fun, informative and accessible content. The third thing they would like to do is capitalize on is helping other P-Reps maintain professional branding. They are hoping to assist with writing, production and mixing, so that any ICON-related content sounds and looks good. All in all, Rhizome is focused on creating marketing content that people want and are proud to share.

“We’ll be pushing out content over the next two and a half months or so. I want to stress the last point I made, if any of you guys need help with making things sound and look good, please message us and we will assist you with that. As a project, together we can do well!” concludes Brian.

Since Common Computer is a very technical team, they are aiming to bring the ICON network to the next level of intelligence by building an AI network that uses the world’s cloud resources. They hope to enable people to build, run and deploy large scale projects such as machine learning algorithms in a simple and cost effective way. The team also plans on building an AI marketplace which can provide additional AI features on top of ICON smart contracts, thus enabling DApp developers to use various AI components reliably and in a cost-efficient manner.

“In the long term, ICON aims to build a decentralized network that allows blockchains to transact with one another. AI computing power will definitely become necessary for ICON to achieve this goal. So this is how we’re trying to contribute to the ecosystem,” explained Minhyun.

For an in-depth look at each P-Rep candidates proposal, head to icon.community’s candidate list. Stay tuned for the 2nd ICONSENSUS call, which will be uploaded on ICON’s Youtube channel later this week!

Watch the full discussion here: