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ICON Foundation is creating a blockchain ecosystem that has already begun to hyperconnect the world. Not the theoretical world of cyberspace, but the world where people actually live and organizations actually do business.
From the start, ICON has focused on real world applicability. To do this, ICON connects independent blockchains with different governances, allowing them to transact in real time, rather than needing to rely on exchanges. Until now, this has been one of the biggest barriers to widespread use of blockchain.
Four consortiums covering securities, education, healthcare, and insurance, have already started using the technology to automate and smooth transactions. ICON is also partnered with Woori Bank, one of the largest banks in Korea. This demonstrates ICON’s use in the real world.
“We saw that individual blockchain communities – both public and private – were isolated because there was no mechanism to communicate in a meaningful way among them,” said Min Kim, a member of ICON Foundation’s council. “ICON simplifies data transfer and payments, making blockchain technology something that any organization can use.”
Imagine a patient who goes to a hospital for treatment. Both his hospital and his insurance company are part of the ICON network. The hospital can securely pass relevant information about the patient’s medical condition and treatment to the insurance company. In turn, the insurance company can make the payment directly using ICX. The hospital can use the ICX it receives to make other payments within the ICON network, or convert it to another currency such as Ethereum.
ICON works by connecting blockchain communities so that they can interact. This connected network is called the ICON Republic. These communities can choose or customize blockchains that fit their specific needs. They connect to the ICON Republic through Community Representatives, also known as C-Reps. These nodes also have the right to vote on verification of transactions and governance within the ICON Republic.
ICON is fully compatible with traditional blockchains, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, and also with all other third party blockchain networks connected to the real world. Connecting to the ICON Republic is as simple as creating a compatible decentralized application (DAPP). The possibilities for using ICON will continue to expand as more and more blockchains become part of the network.
ICON has been tested in Korea, which is home to three of the world’s top five cryptocurrency exchanges, in terms of volume, making it the de facto center of the cryptocurrency universe.
ICON aims for a decentralized governance. When a blockchain connects to ICON it retains its own, independent governance, but it can also participate in making decisions for ICON through proportional representation.
ICON is based on an enterprise blockchain technology called loopchain, developed by theloop. It uses a consensus algorithm that allows real-time transaction processing, operating based on a consensus algorithm called Loop Fault Tolerance (LFT). This is an enhanced form of Byzantine Fault Tolerance and operates similarly to Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS).
As with other proof of stake-based blockchains, ICON rewards nodes that validate transactions with newly minted ICX. The distribution is controlled by DAVinCI-based AI, which takes into account the money supply, transaction size and inflation.Further advantages of ICON include an enhanced smart contract feature called SCORE, the ability to create multiple, independent channels with integrity ensured on a channel basis, and a tiered PKI-based authentication process. Further technical details are available in the ICON Whitepaper.
The ICON Republic is developed by the ICON Foundation, which is registered in Switzerland and operates primarily out of Korea. ICON team members and foundation council members include a number of leading thinkers and technologists in blockchain and cryptocurrency, as well as people with more traditional finance backgrounds. Council members include KJ Eee, JH Kim, Jay Kim, Hoon Lee, and Min Kim.
More than 150 people have contributed to making ICON a reality. In addition to the ICON Foundation council, this also includes members of the teams at ICONLOOP, who provide the underlying loopchain technology, and at DAVinCI, a leading AI company whose machine learning algorithms will bolster ICON’s governance.
ICON Foundation Advisors
Don Tapscott is one of the world’s leading authorities on innovation, media, and the economic and social impact of technology, advising business and government leaders around the world. He has authored or co-authored 15 widely read books, including the international best-seller Blockchain Revolution, which he wrote with his son, Alex Tapscott.
Jason Best is the Co-founder of Crowdfund Capital Advisors and is widely widely credited with being one of the fathers of securities-based crowdfunding. He has advised numerous corporations and organizations, including the US government, on setting blockchain and cryptocurrency related policy. Jason is a contributor to both TechCrunch and VentureBeat.
Yiseul Cho is a blockchain entrepreneur and currently serves on HSBC’s newly created blockchain team. In addition to this, she operates London’s largest and most active blockchain community with nearly 2000 members. She is also a blockchain angel investor.
Ismail Malik is the CEO of Blockchain Lab, the world’s first Blockchain Lab which researches and develops new applications for the Blockchain, and the founder of ICO Crowd Magazine. He has over 20 years of experience in technology related startups and entrepreneurship covering asset management, cryptocurrencies and mobile payments.
Simon Kim is a blockchain evangelist and investor. He is the co-founder of Knowre, a startup that was named one of the top 10 innovative AI math education companies by Fast Company. He has managed various projects for 10 years as a UX designer. Simon studied computer science and engineering at POSTECH University.