- Project name: ICON
- Token symbol: ICX
- Website: https://icon.foundation/
- Whitepaper: http://docs.icon.foundation/ICON-Whitepaper-EN-Draft.pdf
- Hard cap: 150,000 ETH (ICO contributors own 50% of total token supply if hard cap is reached)
- Conversion rate: 1 ETH = 2,500 ICX
- Maximum market cap at ICO on a fully diluted basis: US$78 million assuming current ETH price of $260
- Bonus structure: None
- Presale or white list: Pre-sale from Sept. 20 - 22: ETH 30 or less / Sept. 25 - 27: ETH 100 or less / Sept. 29 - Oct. 12: ETH 1,000 or less (register on their website to sign up for presale)
- ERC20 token: Yes
- Crowdsale date: Presale from September 20, 2017 and public crowdsale from October 20 (please refer to ICON’s website for the most up-to-date information)
- Token distribution date: Tokens are distributed after contribution but tradable in Q4 2017
Video summary (video is 9:50 long)
What does the company/project do?
The ICON Project aims to connect all the activities in a country through its own blockchain. It is creating an open source ecosystem that allows organizations like government departments, universities, hospitals, and financial institutions to interact without third-party networks that charge transaction fees or delay the process.
ICON’s vision is to allow people to use ICX to pay for products and services directly to organizations that partner with the ICON Network. ICX will essentially be the currency that can be used in the real world for various products and services.
There are several key elements of ICON Network:
- A smart contract platform named SCORE.
- A consensus algorithm named Loopchain Fault Tolerance or LFT – ability to process large amount of transactions in real time.
- Multi-channel – transactions can be taken place on a channel basis by configuring separate channels for each task on a single blockchain network.
- Modular architecture – each module can be customized to ensure its high scalability.
- Delegated proof of stake consensus algorithm – community representatives (for example, a company in the insurance community) are incentivized for the activities generated within the community.
- Inflation – set at a maximum of 20% per year.
- Interchain – different blockchains can be connected with the ICON Network.
Here is an introduction video of ICON (video is 2:10 long):
How advanced is the project?
ICON is a project developed by a Korean company named theloop. The engineering team of theloop began its research and development from June 2015.
theloop is a joint venture formed between DAYLI and 3 Korean universities. theloop’s parent company, DAYLI Financial Group, raised over $100 million from venture capital firms with a valuation of $4 billion.
theloop is leading four blockchain consortiums including the Korea Financial Investment Blockchain Consortium, the largest blockchain consortium in Korea and one of the largest of its kind in the world, consisting of 25 securities firms including Samsung Securities, Hana Financial Group, Korea Investment & Securities, etc.
theloop has been working with different organizations on various projects, some of which are listed below:
- Completed a KYC/AML authentication smart contract platform for Korea Financial Investment Consortium.
- Creating an insurance claims automation platform for Korea Healthcare Consortium.
- Creating a digital currency payment system for Korea University Consortium.
- Completed a proof-of-concept for an equity crowdfunding platform for YINC.
Below is the future roadmap of the ICON project:
- Financial Investment Consortium: Blockchain ID service open
- U-Coin pilot service open: 3 Universities
- Nexus Mainnet launch
- DEX (Ethereum/ICX) launch
- Wallet Web/iOS/Android
- Public channel open
- A.I. advisor launch
- Expansion of DEX reserve pool to most of major cryptocurrencies
What are the tokens used for and how can token holders make money?
ICX is the currency for the ICON blockchain, similar to how Ether is for Ethereum. ICX tokens can also be used for the generation of other tokens within ICON. Since ICON also allows interchain communications, ICX is needed to transfer from one blockchain to another.
As ICX is needed to perform various actions on ICON, the more usage ICON has, the more valuable ICX tokens should be.
theloop has 11 fulltime employees. Its parent company, DAYLI Intelligence, had 148 employees as of May 2017.
The bios of the core members of the team are listed below:
Jonghyup Kim, Foundation Council – 18 years of experience, previously Engineer at BT Works and Jang Media Interactive.
KJ Eee, Foundation Council – Majored in computer science and engineering at POSTECH University and developed 'SUHOSHIN', the first firewall in Korea. He founded Nomad Connection and has gained 3 million users through P2P Media Service Zimly. Currently, he is the CEO of DAYLI Intelligence.
ICON also has a strong team of advisors, including Don Tapscott, co-founder of the Blockchain Research Institute, Jason Best, co-founder of Crowdfund Capital Advisors, Jehan Chu, Managing Partner of Kenetic Capital.
- The company is started by a Korean FinTech startup that is valued at $4 billion. It is now established as the market leader in Korea with the largest blockchain network, with over 40 organizations in the financial services, insurance, education, and hospital space.
- The project has been under development for over 2 years and has real world applications. The first production blockchain service, a KYC authentication platform, was launched in August 2017 with 25 securities firms.
- An experienced team is running the project. DAYLI Intelligence has over 100 employees and most of whom has contributed to the project in some way.
- The interchain capability makes ICON a blockchain agnostic platform. It can benefit regardless of which blockchain becomes the dominant platform in the future.
- It is uncertain whether ICX tokens will be tradable before migrating to its own blockchain (which is estimated to happen in November 2017). Therefore, it has a longer lock-up period than most other ICO projects.
- ICON may face difficulty expanding outside of Korea due to language and culture barrier.
- There are uncertainties around the regulatory environment for Korea regarding ICOs. If ICOs are not allowed in Korea, it would somewhat limit the use case for ICON.
- The maximum inflation of 20% is quite high and dilutive to ICO participants.
Overall, we are neutral about this ICO for flipping but like its long-term potential. Our thoughts on buying the tokens for flipping and investing for the long term are as follows:
Neutral. The upside potential is great and the ICO should have no problem reaching the hard cap given market response, but ICX tokens will not be tradable until Q4 2017, which is longer than most of the other ICOs.
For long-term holding
Good. The ICON project is one of the most advanced ICO projects out there, with an established technology and strong partnerships with various large enterprises and government affiliates.
We believe ICON can be a strong competitor to other blockchains like QTUM and NEO, which currently have a market cap between $500 million to $1 billion. Therefore, ICX has strong upside potential.
For more information about the ICO, please visit the following links:
ICON blog: https://medium.com/@helloiconworld
Interview of ICON co-founder Min Kim by Bitsize Bitcoin (video is 38:10 long):