Today, ICON Foundation announced the rebranding of theloop to ICONLOOP, an ICX buyback program, and open sourcing of the ICON project. Let’s get into it.
theloop Rebrands to ICONLOOP
theloop, ICON Foundation’s main technology partner, has agreed to rebrand itself to ICONLOOP. The change will take place immediately, but will be fully reflected on the website and other marketing materials in near future.
This is a very smart and strategic move by theloop and ICON. Over the past year, we’ve seen many significant partnerships between theloop and institutions such as Nonghyup Bank, Kyobo Insurance, and the Korea Customs Service. Instead of broadcasting these announcements on theloop’s blog, the team chose to publish these updates on ICON’s official blog. I viewed this as ICON subtlety hinting at the possibility of future interoperability between these loopchain-based private blockchains, but many saw this as ICON using theloop’s partnerships for positive PR. Today’s rebranding of theloop successfully kills this FUD.
On a deeper level, the team had two options — feature ICON or feature theloop. In this case, the team chose to rebrand theloop to ICONLOOP, despite the fact that theloop has been around much longer than ICON.
This is a strategic move that ensures ICON is the flagship product moving forward.
On an aesthetic level, theloop’s branding involves all lowercase letters, while ICON’s is comprised of uppercase letters exclusively. Instead of branding ICONLOOP as ICONloop or loopICON, the team has chosen to change theloop’s identity to conform to the ICON brand — subtle but significant.
$5M ICX Buyback
The ICON Foundation council members have unanimously approved its first ICX repurchase program. The new ICX repurchase program authorizes the foundation to repurchase up to $5 million of currently circulating ICX.
In response to the current bear market and negative sentiment regarding token price in the general community, ICON Foundation has approved a $5 million ICX buyback program. I have mixed feelings about this, and it feels like a rushed response to the community’s negativity. Every coin has experienced significant drops in this bear market, and the default emotions in every project’s community are sadness, anger, and rekt. The communities that maintain a hint of positivity and productivity are the ones that have digestible developments to talk about and share. By digestible, I mean informational blog posts, videos, and interviews straight from the team — stuff that doesn’t require a PhD in computer science. In my opinion, a $4.5 million buyback and a $500,000 allocation to content creation and community development would be much better for the project’s long-term vision. Yes, a $5 million investment is impressive and shows commitment, but the effects of that are short-lived. Spending a fraction of that money to create long-lasting content results in a much better and more impactful ROI, especially in such a manipulated market.
Token price isn’t the only dropping metric in a bear market. Consumer and investor interest is also dropping and will continue dropping until the next bull market catalyst. Bear markets kill scam projects and give real projects a low PR pressure phase to double down on development and marketing material for the next bull market. In other words, now is the time to work on informational blog posts, video interviews with partners and developers, and general SEO strategy to get your project discovered when interest in the crypto market comes around again in the future. In ICON’s case, they should be heavily targeting search phrases like “interoperability” and “connecting blockchains”. With all their partnerships and funding, there’s no reason why $5 million of cash should be spent on an ICX buyback and nothing more.
On the positive side, I think this buyback does show a commitment to ICX’s token value and helps counter the FUD regarding ICX being a useless token. The idea here is, “why would ICON spend $5 million to buy a useless token,” and this buyback does resolve this question.
Despite an immediate market reaction with a 10% increase in the price of ICX, I don’t think this buyback will have a large effect on the value of ICX longterm. $5 million is a drop in the bucket for a high cap token like ICX, and ICON’s announcement also mentions that the buyback might be done in a private off-chain transaction. In that case, the volume would not even be visible on the open market. Lastly, ICON stated this buyback is the “first ICX repurchase”, so we may see more in the future. If we do, I hope they come in the form of cash buybacks plus well thought out bounty programs.
ICON Open Source Release Schedule
Over the next two months, ICON will be open sourcing the ICONex wallet, developer SDK, T-Bears SCORE development/emulation tool, and ICON’s core software. This means the developer team has hit a major development milestone and is now ready to share their work for global contribution. This is great news, and will ultimately bring more developers to the ICON ecosystem while making the project more secure and reliable.