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The relationship between ICON and ICONLOOP →

November 22, 2018

ICON Foundation:

ICONLOOP private networks with strong use cases on the public chain have been carefully selected with the eventual goal of connecting with the ICON network via the ICON Nexus and every transaction will require ICX for transaction fees.

This should clear up any doubt over ICON’s plans, both in the short-term and the long-term. Like I’ve said many times before, an interoperability-focused platform is useless without third party entities to connect. It makes sense that ICON is focused on carefully selecting private blockchain clients that have legitimate reasons to connect to each other via the public ICON network.

Currently, most, if not all of ICON’s development resources are dedicated to building out ICON’s public chain, and as ICONLOOP is built on the same blockchain engine, just a few additional developers are required for customization of private blockchain implementations.

This is a very important point. The majority of ICON’s development team is focused on building out infrastructure for the public blockchain. Since both the private and public networks use the same underlying blockchain technology, only a few team members are needed for case-specific private integrations. This is contrary to the popular belief that most of ICON’s developers are working on private blockchains for clients.

Our primary focus is on research and development of ICON technology for interoperability between private ICONLOOP networks, and the general public chain. Due to our heavy focus on the public chain, we’ve had to be very selective with our ICONLOOP clients, and decided to work with just a select few.

After reading this, I’m fairly certain that the “select few” private blockchain clients that ICON is working with will do business via the public network after the infrastructure and use cases have been built.

Private ICONLOOP networks are safer options for many corporations due to the regulatory uncertainties surrounding public blockchains. Many companies in Korea are interested in blockchain and issuing digital assets on the blockchain, but have chosen to initially work with ICONLOOP in implementing private solutions with plans to move on to the public blockchain once regulatory uncertainty settles.

It would be nice to get some clarity on the specifics behind the “regulatory uncertainty” that is preventing Korean corporations from using public blockchains in addition to private ones. If I had to guess, I’d say that the majority of the concerns over adopting a public blockchain in the current regulatory atmosphere has to do with public relations and optics. At the moment, the legality of ICOs in Korea is still being discussed and the public ICON platform can be used to issue initial coin offerings. I can see why a risk-averse company that is interested in blockchain would like to work with a private blockchain provider that also has a native public platform as well.

ICON is currently working to bring ICONLOOP’s CHAIN ID to the public ICON blockchain and this interoperability will allow anyone in any network to gain access to CHAIN ID. Personal identity is at the core of every interaction we make, regardless of industry. This means that to enable a seamless user experience of identity authentication, the CHAIN ID network needs to be connected via the ICON Nexus and the Blockchain Transmission Protocol, using ICX for fees to:

  1. Private ICONLOOP networks of all the relevant industries.
    This has been a strong demand in many ICONLOOP’s consortiums for a while as many were interested in the cost efficiency and ease of use of CHAIN ID.
  2. Public ICON network.
    Using ICON’s interoperability feature, Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP), any user on other public blockchain protocols such as Ethereum will also be able to connect to and use CHAIN ID.

This is very interesting. If I’m reading this correctly, it sounds like CHAIN ID will eventually be a service on the public ICON network that can be accessed by both private ICONLOOP clients and any other blockchain that wants to use it for identity verification and other authentication-based tasks. Since CHAIN ID will live on the public ICON platform, interactions with it will require transaction fees in the form of ICX. I’m not sure how the transaction fee will work for other blockchains who want to use CHAIN ID. My guess is ICON’s DEX may be able to perform a currency swap into ICX for the transaction fee.


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