ICON (ICX) review! ICON is a cryptocurrency & platform attempting to hyperconnect the blockchain through the ICON Republic, ICON DEX, nodes, & Nexus using the Loop Fault Tolerance consensus algorithm.
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Number 9: What is ICON?
ICON is a platform aimed at building one of the world’s largest decentralized networks by creating an ecosystem in which independent blockchains can connect and interact with one another through smart contracts. A major component of ICON’s vision to “Hyperconnect the World” with its loopchain technology. It will allow communities that exist within what the developers have dubbed the “ICON Republic” to seamlessly connect with each other.
Number 8: Why was ICON Created?
A simple answer would be that ICON was created to connect. Their aim is to revolutionize the way members work within communities, but also the way in which communities work with each other. It was created as a way of breaking down the various boundaries that are characteristic of current systems, and allowing blockchains with their own systems of governance to transact with one another without intermediaries. ICON’s main goal is to offer a platform where interested parties from healthcare, education, insurance, security, financial industries, and others can coexist and interact on a single network.
Number 7: What are the Components of the ICON Network?
In order to understand how the decentralized “hyperconnectivity” in ICON works, it’s important to first identify the different components that exist within the network. In simple terms, a Community within ICON is a protocol or an individual blockchain that has its own governing system. The infrastructure of each community is made up of Community Nodes (or C-Nodes), the policies of which are determined by members of each Community. C-Reps, short for Community Representatives, act like elected officials for their communities, and are a governance component within the ICON Republic, with voting rights for matters like transaction verification and others. Citizen Nodes are also components of the ICON Republic. Through dapps created on the loopchain, anyone can participate as a Citizen Node. However, they don’t have voting rights and can only create transactions. The ICON Republic is the connector for all the different communities, and it doesn’t involve itself in their governance, as they're free to make their own rules and choose their own consensus algorithms. Think of the ICON Republic as a hub accommodating the independent communities coexisting on ICON’s platform. Outside of it, the platform has no control over how these communities conduct their programs.
Number 6: How Does ICON Work?
Portals are nodes that allow C-Reps to connect to ICON’s Nexus, which is a loop-based blockchain. Portals connect through the Blockchain Transmission Protocol, or BTP, which ensures that the connected independent blockchains can easily transact with one another. Think of BTP as being similar to the standard TCP/IP protocol that connects the world to the internet. Different computers around the world are connected to networks that, in turn, are connected to the Internet, which can be regarded as a “network of networks.” BTP ensures independent governance and only makes mutual connections when needed. Even though each blockchain is free to have its own design and consensus algorithm, consensus in Nexus and the ICON Republic is based on Loop Fault Tolerance, or LFT. As a multi-channel blockchain, Nexus also features a Representative Channel, where each Portal, as the C-Rep of its community, will have voting rights on proposed operational policies. ICX (ICON’s native token), is embedded in Nexus and will be used by interconnected blockchains to transfer values between them. Nexus also has reserve channels that allow anyone to issue bonds and purchase ICX issued from Nexus. Notary Channels are what process BTP. Nexus’ Public Channel will be open to anyone who wants to participate in ICX transactions as well to those who want to use or create different dapps. Citizen Nodes will be able to download and use these dapps from ICON’s DAPP store. Nodes on the Public Channel will be divided into Light-Client based nodes—which can register and confirm transactions—and Full Nodes, which are tasked with validating transactions.
Number 5: What is Loop Fault Tolerance?
As I mentioned earlier, ICON uses its own Loop Fault Tolerance consensus algorithm, which is based on the Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) consensus algorithm. If you’re unfamiliar with BFT, all you need to know is that it achieves consensus by voting for the validation of data and sharing the results. LFT on the other hand (or Loop Fault Tolerance) ensures finality, thus removing the possibility of network forks. It also promotes faster consensus by creating a group among trusted nodes, and it can also allow said groups to freely determine the number of votes. LFT is an improved version of BFT, which, much like the algorithm it's based upon, can be divided into leader nodes and validation nodes. Initially, validation nodes transfer the transactions, which are about to be executed to the leader node. The leader node will then create a block from the collected transactions, sign it, and transfer it to all other verification nodes. After each of the verification nodes receives the block, they must 1) confirm the creation of the block, 2) check if the block level and the prior hash are correct, and 3) validate the block data. If all three steps are correct, “vote data” is created and transmitted to every node. There is still much to be said about LFT and you can discover further information about the consensus process by checking out the LFT whitepaper provided by ICON...if you’ve got the technical chops.
Number 4: SCORE
SCORE (short for Smart Contract on Reliable Environment) indicates Smart Contracts provided by a loopchain. SCORE doesn’t run on a separate Virtual Machine. Instead, it runs directly in real runtime based on a container separated from the blockchain process. This means that even if there’s an issue with Smart Contracts, the basic blockchain can still operate within set parameters. SCORE also has a repository feature for versioning, which basically means that it doesn’t require data migration with each update, thus making the process quicker & easier.
Number 3: The ICON DEX?
In the interest of taking connectivity even further, ICON also boasts its own decentralized exchange, or DEX. DEX enables automated, anonymous, and trustless transactions that are free from hacking and server breakdowns. It’s a bold description, but not one without solid grounds to their claims. Through DEX, ICON Communities will have another gateway of connecting to the ICON Republic, in addition to the C-Rep portals. DEX will set currency reserves for each blockchain community, thus allowing for the real-time exchange of value within the ICON Republic, using its coin ICX as the intermediary currency. ICON’s reserve means that community members will be able to trade currencies without using public exchanges. Blockchains connected to the ICON Republic will be able to engage in trades and transactions, and exchange rates will be set by DEX using an Artificial Intelligence Analysis Model.
Number 2: Artificial Intelligence in ICON?
The AI Analysis Model is one of the key features within its DEX, and it can be established based on accumulated information, like transaction frequency, total call volume, or the price involved in different cryptocurrency transactions. Not only can AI be used to manage exchange rates and reserve values, but it also determines the ICON Incentives Scoring System (or IISS for short). Each network node's contribution will be rewarded with an amount of ICX calculated through IISS based on factors like the node’s frozen ICX, C-Rep status, ICX exchange volume, ICX exchange value of the whole community, or ICX volume traded through their DEX.
Number 1: Who is behind ICON?
ICON has an extensive team behind it comprised of experts from various fields such as engineering, blockchain, AI, and marketing industries. Advisors include Jason Best, a Forbes top 10 crowdfunding organizer, and Don Tapscott, a Canadian business executive with extensive experience in technological innovation and adoption. Don Tapscott co-authored the international best-seller Blockchain Revolution with his son, Alex Tapscott, and has been named one of the world’s most important business thinkers. Through a Korea-based company called “theloop,” ICON has established itself as a dominant market leader in Korea. Theloop is in charge of ICON Nexus development and its smart contracts. ICON is also connected with the ICON Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Switzerland. DAVinCI LABS is providing ICON’s AI analytics solution, but may also serve other functions such as credit scoring, fraud detection, & underwriting.
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