Another milestone for ICON

Welcome to this week’s edition of the RHIZOME Wire!

BTP is real

While many in the ICON community knew the announcement was coming soon, the official “unveiling” of the Blockchain Transfer Protocol (BTP) was very welcome news.

We are now almost three years removed from the ICON Foundation ICO during the summer of 2017. At that time, the hype in and around the cryptocurrency space was reaching peak levels, and expectations were often at unrealistic levels. For many people who made contributions to ICO offerings, it’s likely they expected the technology they were “investing” in to be ready and available in just a couple of months.

I believe part of the reason the cryptocurrency bubble was deflated in early 2018 (and continued to deflate over time), was that those sky-high expectations weren’t being met. Few understood just how revolutionary and difficult this new technology was; they equated building a blockchain with the same difficulty as building a website from scratch. Hard? Sure. But it doesn’t take that long.

Beyond that, few within the community were able to differentiate a “launched product” from a product that was reliable, scalable, secure, and trusted by institutions. This created frustration for many ICO contributors who saw a headline saying “Project XXX officially launches product!” They likely thought to themselves “WTF! My project is still in the early stages!” What they didn’t consider, however, was just because the project’s team said it was “ready” didn’t really mean it was. If nobody that matters is willing to use it, for whatever reason, it doesn’t really matter if it’s “ready” or not.

This brings us to BTP, which is ICON’s “core” product:

The ICON Network, since its inception, has set out on a mission to “hyperconnect the world”. This catchphrase refers to the feature “interoperability”, and the technology to enable this feature is called Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP). To realize blockchain’s full potential, we want distinct protocols to have compatible ways to interact and communicate with each other, and the ability to interoperate at the protocol level. We have not deviated from this goal, and today we present BTP.

Here’s a more precise description of what BTP accomplishes:

BTP (Blockchain Transmission Protocol) is a standard that renders heterogeneous blockchains interoperable, including blockchains that entail completely different consensus models and algorithms. Here, we define interoperability as the ability to facilitate value transfer, service invocation, and data exchange. These siloed operating blockchains can securely anchor transactions through a universal standard as a trustless settlement layer.

To get the full scope of what BTP can accomplish, be sure to read the entire Medium post.

Keep in mind, it didn’t take this long for BTP to be built due to lack of ability or focus — ICONLOOP’s many employees have deep development experience and resumes. BTP took this long because a) Building a reliable blockchain is difficult and b) Building a blockchain that can talk to other blockchains is especially difficult.

There are plenty of people in this space who believe they understand blockchain technology and how difficult (or “easy”) it is. However, most of these people could not even begin to explain what any of this means.

Now, it’s one thing to have the technology in place, but it’s another thing to have businesses lined up to use it.

On that front, ICON is also well positioned. We are all aware of the (growing) list of participants in the myID Alliance (which is now at 62). This is a list of large, established businesses who are ready and willing to onboard BTP technology once it’s available. Here’s the image and explanatory paragraph the ICON Foundation included in their Medium post on BTP:

Registered personal DID (Decentralized ID) data in the MyID application is verified on the public ICON Network, which then allows its owner to exchange messages to a public or private network that is interlinked via BTP, without having to resubmit their DID document and public key to each chain.

While it’s unclear just how quickly the Alliance will implement BTP, what is clear is that being able to utilize the public chain for interoperability was a key selling point among Alliance participants. Otherwise, an Alliance wouldn’t be necessary — each participant could have just signed a private agreement with ICONLOOP to develop their private blockchain and called it a day. Their participation in the Alliance indicates a desire for interoperability among other Alliance members — a feature that requires BTP.

ICON has been able to build two key pillars: a reliable, functional technology, as well as businesses who are interested in using it.

There were plenty of blockchain projects that had developed exciting “partnerships” during their early days but, due to an inability to provide adequate technology, these partnerships never came to fruition. ICON has not had that problem.

Based on the fact that ICON has launched their core product — with actual business interest — puts them in rare company among the entire blockchain space. ICON doesn’t need to be the only “winner” to make ICX holders happy; it just needs to be among the winners. That outcome is looking more and more likely by the day.

News from ICON World

How to use server less functions to interact with the ICON blockchain

RHIZOME team member, Brian Li shared a post explaining how to use server less functions to query data from the ICON blockchain.

ICONex gets a new update for iOS

Reliant Node releases MyICONWallet mobile app

P-Rep Governance meeting #4 is coming up!

Minhwan Kim explains the meaning of MyID connecting various blockchains

The path to sustainable economics

Recently, ICON released details on how they want to see the economic structure of the network entail moving forwards and provided guidance for P-Reps.

Accordingly, RHIZOME will be following ICON’s guidance.

Blockchain Industry News

South Korea's ICON Releases Blockchain Interoperability Protocol - Cointelegraph

ICON however, has always stated its mission to “Hyperconnect the World”, and this latest release is a large step towards that goal. BTP is an interoperability protocol, which allows distinct stand-alone blockchains to interact and communicate with each other, including those with completely different consensus models and algorithms. It also allows for interoperability between public and private blockchains.

New index on Bloomberg tracks gold and Bitcoin together - Decrypt

Dubbed the CoinShares Gold and Cryptoassets Index (CGCI), the index is designed to provide investors exposure to cryptocurrencies, in a "risk-managed" way. The index comprises of 31.75% cryptocurrency in 5 equally weighted constituents, with the remaining 68.25% consisting of gold.

Craig Wright Called 'Fraud' in Message Signed With Bitcoin He Claims to Own - CoinDesk

After a list of bitcoin addresses Wright had provided as being his holdings in an ongoing court case were briefly and “inadvertently” made public by plaintiffs on May 21, 145 of the addresses were used to sign a public message both calling Wright a “fraud” and making it plain that he does not in fact own or control them.

New Framework Passed in Cayman Islands, Addressing Virtual Assets -

The Cayman Islands government has recently passed new framework, addressing the treatment of virtual assets, and AML, within the nation. This framework, which was first put forth in early May of 2020, is comprised of 5 bills; each of which has the goal of facilitating a transparent, and safe, environment for market participants. 

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