ICON’s decentralization marks the beginning of its transition into a full blockchain solution.
The Blockchain Spectrum includes four phases:
Blockchain-enabling: The “building blocks” of blockchain, including cryptography, distributed computing, peer-to-peer networking and messaging.
Blockchain-inspired: According to Gartner, real blockchain solutions include five elements: distribution, encryption, immutability, tokenization and decentralization. Blockchain-inspired solutions, however, use only three of these: distribution, encryption and immutability. Gartner believes these sort of solutions will dominate enterprise solutions through the early 2020s.
Blockchain-complete: Blockchain-complete solutions implement all five blockchain elements. “Blockchain-complete solutions deliver the full value proposition of blockchain using all five elements — distribution, encryption, immutability, tokenization and decentralization,” writes Gartner. “Blockchain-complete solutions will feature tokenization enabled by smart contracts and decentralization, two components blockchain-inspired solutions lack. These solutions enable trade in new forms of value (such as new asset types) and unlock monopolies on existing forms of value ad processes (such as digital commerce or digital advertising).”
Enhanced Blockchain: As technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and decentralized self-sovereign identity solutions enmesh with blockchain networks, enhanced blockchain solutions will emerge that “expand the types of customer and the value that can be tokenized and exchanged and will enable a large number of smaller transactions to occur that would not be possible with traditional mechanisms.”
With decentralization, the ICON network is transforming into a “blockchain-complete” solution, one that promises to deliver on the full potential of the blockchain.
This transformation may not yield dramatic results in the short term, but give it time. Gartner research vice president Christophe Uzureau writes, “Though not immediate, the proliferation of blockchain-complete solutions will push organizations to explore new ways of operating with greater degrees of decentralization than they have now.”
ICON obviously sees the benefits of tokenization and decentralization. ICON’s white paper presents the network’s vision of a decentralized, tokenized future:
“ICON aims to eradicate various boundaries that have been (sic) existed in the centralized system. Imagine stock investors in Korea trading Apple stocks in real-time with US stock investors, or medical researchers at Korean university hospitals obtaining permission to work with diabetes patients’ data from Sydney and London. Crossborder connections will be accelerated through the tokenization of assets and rights, and the dynamics of the network will be maximized. Currencies, tangible assets such as real estates and automobiles, intangible assets such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks, our legal rights such as suffrage and citizenship, and even DNA data or blood tests can benefit from tokenization. This forces us to rethink everything, even obscures the space-time boundary, and makes distinguishing tangibles from intangibles meaningless. It is possible to trade 0.2 apartments with 0.8 cars, and pay insurance fee directly just by uploading 5 posts on our social media.”
As an added bonus, as decentralization brings new value to ICON, the transition could allow the network’s chief technology partner, ICONLOOP, to focus even more on developing practical applications of blockchain technology such as decentralized identification services like my-ID.
ICON’s transition to decentralization may encounter some bumps in the road, but that’s to be expected with a technological paradigm as groundbreaking as this.
“A sustainable economy is one of the great features of the ICON network. It cannot be done without decentralization and we are accomplishing the first step,” says ICON’s cryptoeconomist Changju Lee. “In the second step, we should vote for contributing P-Reps who deserve rewards and this requires distributed votes. Some P-Reps are receiving excessive rewards and contributing P-Reps need more votes. Please consider which P-Reps to vote for and this will make the ICON network better.”
Lee adds, “After decentralization, ICON will have more opportunities in various areas because it cannot be controlled by countries or companies. This could help us to get more companies to use the ICON network or get listed on more exchanges. This is a big step to interconnect the world.”
“The launch of the decentralized network is the first of many major milestones we hope to accomplish as a network,” says Ricky Dodds, ICON’s Head of Institutional Markets, “I’m looking forward to partnering with the community to build features, tools and applications that ICONists find useful and further the adoption of ICX.”
“We’ve seen our community activity pick up significantly ahead of this moment, particularly on the development side and we look forward to working together more closely from here,” added Min Kim, ICON Foundation council member. “The foundation is extremely proud of all the hard work it took to get us to this point.”