A “moonshot” is an altcoin that can surge in value, multiple times its current worth based on its functions, achievements and reality.
Most cryptocurrencies today do not label themselves as any kind of financial product or security, to avoid heavy scrutiny from financial regulators. This has drawn the criticism of cryptocurrencies from many in the traditional finance sector, calling them worthless.
However, the true value of money or any medium of exchange is first trust, and then community. If it can be trusted and a community is totally in tune with it, it will remain and stand the test of time. Blockchain has brought trust to the financial system through absolute transparency. Although the technology is still in its infancy, its value of trust cannot be deemed negligible.
Yet, it takes more effort to build a solid community, especially when it comes to transitioning those who are still both feet deep in the traditional system. An excellent investment in blockchain would be one that has a great technological framework and can drive traffic (i.e. people, products, companies, services, etc.) from the traditional system to the blockchain.
Moonshots are often cryptocurrencies that are underpriced and show great promise over the medium- and long-term. Day traders and short-term traders make decisions based on speculation and daily price fluctuations. This often does not catch the moonshot. The focus of a moonshot is towards the medium/long-term.
Note: This is not investment advice and the aim of this is not to shill a coin. The purpose of this is to get a grasp of the potentials of the cryptocurrency in discussion.
What is ICON?
ICON is a South Korean venture similar to the blockchain projects Ark and Ethereum. ICON has been tagged the ‘Korean Ethereum’. The mission of ICON, as it can be seen boldly on their website, is to “hyperconnect the world.” ICON can be seen as a decentralized network and ecosystem that aims to connect different blockchains together. ICON has its own smart contract platform to make individual projects—however, the primary goal is to connect blockchain-based projects, assets, etc.
The vision of ICON, according to the whitepaper, is expressed as so:
“The ICON project aims to build a decentralized network that allows independent blockchains with different governances to transact with one another without intermediaries. Anyone can create a new blockchain project and join the network. A new blockchain project is free to connect with existing projects and create new unique worlds or blockchain multiverse. ICON itself can be viewed as both a living organism and an ecosystem.”
The ICX Token
The ICX token is a loopchain-based smart contract digital protocol that facilitates, verifies, and enacts a negotiated agreement between consenting parties within ICON.
Loopchain is basically a high-performance blockchain that can provide real-time transactions based on enhanced smart contracts. This makes the ICX token a utility token used for real-time payments on the ICON blockchain. This implies that the bigger the ICON blockchain gets, the higher the demand for its ICX tokens. Higher demand for ICX tokens means higher prices.
The total supply of ICX is 800.46 million. 50% was sold to the public during the ICO. The other 50% is allocated to the foundation (14%), community group and strategy partners (10%), team, advisors and early contributors (10%) and reserve (16%).
3 Aspects of ICON That Makes it a Potential Moonshot
The Network Structure
The vision of ICON is to connect communities through the blockchain. The network structure is the design with which ICON carries out this connectivity. The ICON Network is classed into 5 components: Community, Community Node (C-Node), Community Representative (C-Rep), ICON Republic, and Citizen Node.
Here is a brief explanation of how the network works:
- A community is considered a network with different nodes but with the same governance system. Schools, government, Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc., are examples of communities
- A C-Node is the building block of a community, responsible for governance and functioning of a community’s blockchain
- A C-Rep is a representative unit of a community and a unit of ICON Republic governance at the same time.
- ICON Republic is the connector or hub of the different communities, comprising of C-Reps and other Citizen Nodes. (ICON Republic operates a Loop Fault Tolerance consensus algorithm)
- Citizen Node is a component of ICON Republic through which the regular ICON user connects to the network
- A Community and ICON Republic are connected through ICON’s Decentralized Exchange (DEX). DEX provides exchange ratio in Community and ICON Republic and facilitates exchange values in real time based on that ratio. Connection between different communities is made possible through ICON Republic
There are already over 1,000 blockchain projects in the world today, and more will be created as the future unfolds. There must be a way for the blockchains to be able to interact with one another. The network that gets this connectivity right will be huge. This connectivity is what ICON aims to achieve.
Strong Network and Partnerships
The backbone of the moonshot potential of ICON is hinged on the partnerships they have announced and how they are pursuing new ones. The leading cryptocurrencies in a few years will be those that have lured the most lucrative transactions to their platform.
One of the ways to ensure this is to create those partnerships in the early days. ICON is one of the leading cryptocurrency projects when it comes to partnerships. The figure below shows this in a glance:
Below are some details about the partnerships:
- Chain ID and Samsung Pass. Chain ID is a joint authentication system developed using loopchain that’s already being used by 11 securities companies in Korea. Now, Samsung has adopted it for Samsung Pass
- ‘Smart Insurance Claims’ for Kyobo Life Insurance, a Korean health insurance company
- theloop MOU with E4net, a company that provides total localization solutions (especially Asian localization) and also provides software development and consultancy services
- Loopchain technology to customs clearance procedures of Korea Customs Services
- Partnership with AD4TH, an adtech company in Korea, to set up Deblock
- Partnership with B-Cryptos to support ICON growth in Japan
- Partnership with Trive, a venture capital firm based in Singapore to create an ICON-focused curriculum at Trive’s programming schools in Southeast Asia
- Joint venture with Line Plus, a social media platform with over 200M monthly active users to launch Unchain. Unchain will be an underlying blockchain for dapps
- Carboneum signed a partnership to build on the ICON network. Bodhi also partnered in the same manner
- Partnership with Kyber Network, a decentralized and trustless exchange that facilitates instant conversion of crypto assets
- The Blockchain Interoperability Alliance with Wanchain and AION
- Partnership with Deloitte Blockchain Lab, to commercialize blockchain projects
- Partnership with Nonghyup Bank to promote financial API and blockchain use cases
- Partnership with Cyberdigm, a company involved in document centralization, collaboration, and knowledge management
- Raonsecure, a biometrics technology service company have signed to co-develop with theloop, a fast identity online system using blockchain technology
- Smilegate Stove, a game development platform, has also partnered with theloop to create the next generation game platform.
Any sound investment in the cryptocurrency ecosystem must take into consideration the already functional aspects of the project. The ICON mainnet was launched in January 24, 2018 and has remained live.
The token swap from the ICX ERC-20 token to the ICON network ICX coin took place towards the end of June 2018 on the Binance, Bithumb and Upbit exchanges. The token swap is still possible on ICONex until September 25. This token swap signifies a new chapter in the growth and development of ICON.
ICON has launched its own wallet which supports ICX (and some other cryptocurrencies) known as ICONex. It is available for download (as a Chrome extension). There is also an Android mobile wallet available for download. (The iOS version is currently under development).
Before 2018 ends, ICON plans to set up its governance channel, improve the ICON Incentive Scoring System (IISS) and also improve SCORE (Smart Contracts on Reliable Environments).
Currently, the value of the ICX token sits at about $1.70. The daily volume is about $38M. The value of the ICX token hit an all time high of $12.64 in January 2018. It has since declined by about 87%. This decline is not exclusive to ICX, but the whole cryptocurrency world. Bitcoin, the market leader of the cryptocurrency world, has declined by over 70% since its all time high in January.
The underlying fundamentals of cryptocurrencies does not suggest it will disappear into obscurity. Specifically, the partnerships and community that ICON is building suggests a very bright future. There may not be a better time to buy in when it is 87% down from its all time high. A point to note is that at the last all time high, the mainnet had not been launched and the tokens were ERC-20 tokens. A lot has changed since then and the future certainly looks bright over the medium and long term.
ICX coins can be bought on various decentralized exchanges and centralized exchanges such as Binance, Bithumb and Upbit. The coins can be stored outside centralized exchanges in the ICONex wallet.