The many ways to earn passive income with ICX

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

Passive income with ICX

This week, I took some time to write about Balanced, the new DeFi platform coming to the ICON project.

The news was announced last week, and I touched upon the announcement in this newsletter. However, a few days later, I published a lengthier piece going through a bit more analysis of how Balanced works and how it can benefit both individual ICONists and the ICON project as a whole.

When it comes to benefiting individual ICONists, one feature in particular stood out:

Like many other platforms, Balanced provides its users an opportunity to mine its native token. In this case, ownership of Balance Tokens provides a chance to participate in governance, as well as payment in network fees (paid in ICD).

When it comes to governance, Balance Token owners will be able to weigh in on the following adjustments to the platform:

  • Adjustments to fees

  • Adjustments to the unstaking period

  • Adjustments to collateral ratios

  • Adding new pegged tokens

When it comes to network fees, “all Network Fees will be split pro-rata amongst qualified Balance Token stakers and paid on a weekly basis,” according to the white paper.

In other words, simply by holding your ICX as collateral in the Balanced protocol and borrowing ICD (the platform’s stable coin) against it, you can accrue Balanced tokens. The amount of tokens you accrue depends on the percentage of the overall collateral deposits your ICX represents—so if early on you’re one of only a handful of people using Balanced, you have a chance to capture a higher percentage of the token distribution.

Should the project continue to grow and gain momentum — and earn more fees — you’d be entitled to earning income via your Balanced token holdings.

This would be the third major mechanism for earning passive income on with ICX. The other two are ICONbet and staking.

Similar to Balanced, ICONbet rewards TAP to those who use the platform, distributing the most tokens to the users who use the platform the most (determined by betting volume). Those who hold TAP are entitled to the excess treasury, which is paid out daily.

(For more on how ICONbet’s TAP works, be sure to read the long article I wrote a few weeks back.)

Finally, of course, we have staking, which probably all ICONists are familiar with by now.

What’s nice about this is that, with the exception of staking, these passive rewards aren’t inflating the amount of ICX. In the case of Balanced, the holder is gaining ICX as a result of the ICX fees paid by other users. In the case of ICONbet, holders are gaining ICX as a result of the profits captured by the ICONbet platform via the gambling losses of users.

And, perhaps, someday, staking too will be deflationary, should transaction fees someday eclipse reward inflation.

Not only does this create a rewarding opportunity for ICONists who wish to earn more by just sitting on their hands, but as word spreads of people who are earning passive income from the ICON platform, it will draw further attention and, hopefully, demand for ICX over the long term.

News from ICON World

J.H. Kim’s recent interview on Korean national TV has been subtitled in English

Due to popular demand from the community, ICON has translated J.H. Kim’s interview on Money Today with English subtitles.

In the past, RHIZOME has transcribed the entire interview in English in an easy to glean written format as well.

The first P-Rep governance meeting with the ICON Foundation has been released

On February 14th, several P-Rep teams attended the first ever governance call with the ICON Foundation. Min Kim, Founder of ICON and ICON Foundation Council member was present and led discussion on key topics such as i_rep, upcoming IISS changes, and ways P-Rep’s can contribute to ecosystem growth.

Props to Xr0 on twitter for providing the intro!

P-Rep weekly meetings are now underway

Thanks to CatalystNode and help from RHIZOME, the first P-Rep weekly meeting was a success! Topics discussed can be found from the relevant thread here on the forum.

If you’d like to listen to the topics discussed without having to watch the meeting, the meeting is also available in podcast form.

ICON Foundation releases it’s latest roadmap update

Key themes for 2020 extrapolated on in the latest roadmap update are network enhancement, open source enhancement, governance system update, and BTP/Sidechain.

Reliant Node has built a new ICON authentication system for website logging

Star Wars and ICON?

ICON Blockchain graphic animation is played in South Korea’s tallest skyscraper

ICONBoom hosts the very first ICON London meetup

P-Rep team “ICONBoom” recently hosted the very first ICON London meetup. Attendees were given ICX to purchase drinks and amenities during the meetup.

RHIZOME Report EP15 has been released

RHIZOME team members, Brian Li and William McKenzie sit down and discuss the latest updates within the ICON ecosystem.

Seoul Metropolitan Government to release blockchain-based voting system

Recently, we learned that the Seoul Metropolitan Government is to release a blockchain-based voting system. The blockchain that will be used is none other than loopchain which the Seoul Metropolitan Government is mandated to use for “all current and future applications”.

Blockchain Industry News

Crypto Exchange FCoin Insolvent After Revealing Up to $130M Bitcoin Shortfall - CoinDesk

Zhang said the system problem coped with these "decision errors" gave a large amount of users the opportunity to sell and withdraw more than what should have been on their account balance, causing the significant loss of FCoin's assets on its own balance sheet.

Mind the Gap: Why ETH Price and DeFi Adoption Aren't in Sync - CoinDesk

It’s also difficult to envision adoption among a wider market of borrowers not yet initiated into crypto investing. Would a Main Street borrower purchase ETH in order to obtain a cash loan worth less than said ETH? Perhaps, if DeFi lenders could accept non-crypto collateral. This would not be a trivial development.

In fighting at Cosmos leads to project split - Decrypt

On Monday, Decrypt reported that Tendermint director Zaki Manian had resigned, but will continue to work on the project. The company’s Director of Product, Jack Zampolin, subsequently told us that he had also departed. And Tuesday’s announcement adds Director of Security Jessy Irwin to the roll call of resignations. 

Tron Community in Uproar as Genesis Coins Used in Super Reps Vote - Cointelegraph

The Tron (TRX) community was beside itself on Wednesday, Feb. 19 after founder Justin Sun’s address was shown to have voted in two Tron Foundation apps as a Super Representative (SR). Both Tron-Ace and Tron-Bet were voted in as Super Representatives by the Zion address, the same account which received 99 billion TRX from the coin’s genesis block.

The arrival of DeFi

Welcome to this week’s edition of RHIZOME Wire!

Defi has arrived

While this week was yet another one full of exciting news and development on the ICON network, what stood out most to me was the announcement of Balanced, the first DeFi project on the ICON Network:

Here is a segment from the announcement:

Native protocol tokens like ICX are too volatile for payments. If we use ICX as collateral instead, we can create stable tokens to pay one another within the ecosystem. DeFi is essential to the success of any decentralized public blockchain protocol, and we’re excited to work on the first piece of ICON’s DeFi ecosystem.

I’ll be providing a more in-depth dive on why Balanced is important for the ICON ecosystem, but for now I’ll focus on a couple key points.

From a general standpoint, the launch of Balanced brings overall stability to ICON. I don’t need stability from a network perspective — but rather, an economic one.

One of the biggest criticisms of cryptocurrency is that its volatility makes it hard to use as a form of payment or currency. If people believe it will go up, they won’t want to spend it. If people believe it will go down, they won’t want to accept it. In most cases, people tend to have a belief of both outcomes in their mind, which can ultimately lead to a lack of use as a form of payment.

As the ICON system has continued to mature, the number of ways to use ICX has continued to grow. For instance, P-Reps earn ICX which can be used to fund initiatives to expand the ecosystem. ICONists can use ICX to gamble on ICONbet. The ICON Foundation and other P-Reps are providing community grants denominated in ICX.

In these cases, the lack of a consistent price of ICX makes it hard to fund these activities. For instance, a team could submit a grant to fund a project for 100,000 ICX. However, after only one month, perhaps the value of ICX has fallen by half. Now, they’re going to be underfunded unless the terms of the grant are frequently adjusted.

By injecting a stable coin into the mix, it allows for a more consistent form of payment. By receiving ICD (the stable coin of Balanced), it won't be necessary to constantly calculate the price of ICX. More importantly, it won’t require the recipient to immediately sell ICX to lock in the USD equivalent. If they have 100 ICD, they’ll have $100 USD worth today, tomorrow, or next month, regardless of what the price of ICX does.

Meanwhile, Balanced provides another incentive to not sell your ICX. By depositing your ICX holdings as collateral, you benefit from the following:

  • You will still continue to receive staking rewards, since the collateral pool continues to earn those and distributes them to those who deposit their ICX (for more details on this process, be sure to read the white paper).

  • You will also receive mined Balanced tokens by depositing collateral.

  • With your ICD that you have received via your collateral deposit, you have the ability to “take advantage of the 0% interest rate to borrow ICD and sell it for an Ethereum stablecoin. Then lend it at a higher rate using the Ethereum DeFi ecosystem.” (According to the Medium announcement)

These all provide opportunities to further grow your ICX holdings (and accrue Balanced), potentially adding value even beyond staking. With these new incentives, there will be even further inducement to hold, rather than sell, regardless of price.

All of that is good for ICON and ICX.

More to come in the near future…

News From ICON World

ICONLOOP and Saramin HR signed an MOU to to build a Blockchain-based HR recruitment ecosystem

ICON Foundation:

The purpose of the MoU is to increase Saramin’s customer experience and value through ICONLOOP’s blockchain certificate issuance and management service ‘broof’ and its digital identity platform ‘MyID.’ Furthermore, it will contribute and collaborate in building a more robust and vibrant blockchain-based digital ID and verification ecosystem in Korea.

Accordingly, RHIZOME team member, Brian Li wrote an in-depth post examining the potential implications and intricacies of the announcement.

P-Rep team “Blockmove” introduces it’s latest development - ICON Vanity Address Generator

Blockmove has also released it’s January update, viewable here.

RHIZOME Report EP14 has been released

In the fourteenth installment of RHIZOME’s podcast series - The RHIZOME Report, Brian Li and William McKenzie of RHIZOME sit down and discuss the latest developments in the ICON ecosystem.

Min Kim opens up discussion on P-Rep responsibilities/duties

The ICON team published a new LFT2 repository on GitHub

Thanks to ICONation team member Spl3en, ICON has been working on a new consensus algorithm inspired by PBFT that improves transactions per second (tps) on the network.

Accordingly, the ICON Foundation responded to the tweet by stating “More to come….”

The broof is in the pudding

Issue #5 of ICON newsletter has been released. Last week, ICON announced that POSTECH would issue diplomas to all 828 of its graduates utilizing broof. Accordingly, an actual POSTECH digital diploma was shown within the newsletter.

The Korea Financial Services Commission and Seoul Metropolitan Government are launching educational programs

Earlier in the week, the Korea Financial Services Commission announced that they alongside the Seoul Metropolitan Government “ will provide KRW19 billion over a 4-year period (2020-2023) to launch educational programs aimed at cultivating more specialists in digital finance”.

It’s important to note that the Seoul Metropolitan Government is mandated to use ICON’s loopchain as its standard blockchain platform.

New MetrICX features are on the way!

RHIZOME posted a sneak peek of new MetrICX features that are in development including multi-address support, dark mode, and more.

DeFi is coming to ICON

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is coming to ICON. BalancedDAO, a new DAO with collaboration from P-Rep teams ICX_Station, Parrot 9, and iBriz-ICONOsphere seeks to bring DeFi to the ICON ecosystem.

Number of P-Reps reaches 100!

The P-Rep team “RHYTHM” has recently joined the list of ICON P-Reps, bringing the total number of P-Reps to 100.

Corey Costa of UBIK Capital interviews the ICONbet Community P-Rep team

Corey Costa of the P-Rep team UBIK Capital has released his latest podcast interviewing the ICONbet Community P-Rep team.

ICONLOOP Selected for Busan Fintech Incubator

From The Iconist:

The southeastern port city of Busan announced Wednesday that the blockchain development company is one of five additional fintech companies selected to move into U-Space BIFC.

While it appears that, with only three employees, the expansion is somewhat modest, it still is an expanded physical presence which we can assume will continue to grow. Either way, more good news for the ICON ecosystem!

Blockchain Industry News

Why DeFi’s Billion-Dollar Milestone Matters - CoinDesk

It was only December when the entire decentralized finance (DeFi) market was worth less than $700 million. Early this morning, it hit $1 billion, a figure that even the most fervent blockchain skeptics would have a tough time dismissing as meaningless.

Inside Chainalysis’ Multimillion-Dollar Relationship With the US Government - CoinDesk

Federal agencies have spent at least $10 million ($10,690,706 to be precise) in American tax dollars on Chainalysis’ tools, services and training since 2015, when Chainalysis was founded, according to 82 records of federal procurement contracts reviewed by CoinDesk. Counting contracts with possible extensions, the company stands to take in more than $14 million.

US Authorities Charge Crypto ‘Trading Club’ Operators With Defrauding 150 Investors - CoinDesk

The SEC alleged in a press release Tuesday that Ackerman and his business partners operated Q3 Trading Club and Q3 I LP, raising $33 million by telling investors, many of whom were physicians, that he had developed an algorithm capable of generating profits by trading cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase Revives Margin Trading, With Conservative (for Crypto) 3x Leverage - CoinDesk

The San Francisco-based exchange said Wednesday in a blog post that its new “margin trading” feature provides leverage up to three times or "3x" for individual investors in 23 U.S. states, including the lucrative New York market. The leverage is also available to institutional traders in 44 states and nine countries.

This is what adoption looks like

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

The Moment of Adoption

This was a banner week for the ICON Project. Not only did the ICX token see a longed-for price increase, but a slew of good news also came out this week.

And this just wasn’t some partnership that may or may not pay off sometime down the road.

The news we received this year was concrete evidence that adoption of the ICON network was truly here. Now, this isn’t the “mass adoption” that we someday hope to see, but it was the initial trickles of what may one day be significant use of the ICON public network.

First, ICON unveiled a bit more information about what types of DID products that were in development. Two of them — broof and my-ID — were already well on our radar. But two others “VisitMe” and “Conference Room” were new uses for ICONLOOP’s authentication platform. What’s important is that all four utilize ICX.

Here’s what I wrote on Tuesday about these platforms:

These four forms of DID – my-ID, broof, VisitMe, and Meeting Room – all have use cases applicable to our daily lives. Whether it’s scanning your driver’s license at a bank to open an account, receiving your diploma via broof, scanning into your office building, or making a reservation at a restaurant, all of these activities could happen in any given day. In a country with a population of 50 million – which is what South Korea has – you can start to see how adoption of these services could lead to explosive adoption, growth, and use of the ICON network and ICX token. 

On Thursday, we received two more nuggets of good news.

First, we learned that South Korea’s Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) will officially be issuing diplomas to graduating students via the ICON public blockchain. 

Here’s what I wrote about that development, and why it’s truly the first mark of real-life blockchain adoption:

Ever since the beginnings of the past bull market – and well throughout the bear market – one of the primary critiques of blockchain technology was the lack of adoption. Sure, Bitcoin could be used as currency and some interesting projects are being built on Ethereum, but there were few examples of mainstream institutions utilizing blockchain in a purposeful and practical manner.

Well, in this case, one of Korea’s top universities issuing one of its most important documents on the blockchain is essentially the definition of “adoption.”

Of course, there have been other uses of ICON’s public network that could be classified as “adoption.” For instance, POSTECH also issued certificates to graduates of its blockchain CEO course.

However, by utilizing ICON for a document of such importance helps build trust in the ICON network. Other institutions may be observing and thinking “well, if one of the top universities in Korea trusts this blockchain, we can too.”

It’s this sort of observation, proof of concept, and publicity that starts the ball rolling to the last and most critical step: mass adoption.

Shortly thereafter, we received news that signed an MoU with Saramin HR to build a Blockchain-based HR recruitment ecosystem:

Today, our technology and ecosystem expansion partner, ICONLOOP, signed an MoU with Saramin HR, which operates the job placement platform and search engine Saramin (, to collaborate in building a blockchain-based digital ID and authentication ecosystem. Saramin HR is Korea’s leading job placement platform, similar to

The purpose of the MoU is to increase Saramin’s customer experience and value through ICONLOOP’s blockchain certificate issuance and management service ‘broof’ and its digital identity platform ‘MyID.’ Furthermore, it will contribute and collaborate in building a more robust and vibrant blockchain-based digital ID and verification ecosystem in Korea.

Brian Li of RHIZOME speculated just a couple of weeks ago that this could be a potential use of blockchain in conjunction with ‘broof’:

Since ICON is a public blockchain that can be queried with APIs, it would be possible to build out automated filters to check for certificate validity. A system like this can be tied into blockchain-based identify protocols like my-ID to create a fully automated “proof of credential” system for HR departments, government background checks, educational institutions, and more. This is much faster and more reliable than the traditional method of calling someone on the phone to verify credentials because it effectively takes social engineering, administrative mistakes, and other human-induced factors out of the equation.

While this week of news was certainly exciting, it will be even more exciting to see how all this comes together over the coming months and years. With so many pieces in motion, it’s not unreasonable to say we may be on the road to mass adoption.

News from ICON World

Interchain POC for private to public chain interoperability = Completed

ICON Foundation:

We continued to improve network stability, started development on our contribution proposal system to help accelerate the growth in the ecosystem, and are developing security features to enhance our network. This month, we also completed our interchain proof of concept (POC) for private to public chain interoperability. We hope to share a demo of this to the community very soon.

Korea Startup Forum hosted an event on DID at ICON HQ

Henry Lee, Head Strategy at ICONLOOP shares photos of an event hosted at ICON’s office in Seoul, South Korea. The event was focused on digital identification (DID) and topics of discussion were pertaining to how blockchain can solve issues plaguing DID and credential authentication. 

J.H. Kim was featured on national news, again

ICONLOOP CEO, J.H. Kim was featured on national news, discussion on broof and ICON’s HQ in Seoul, South Korea was also shown. 

Accordingly, P-Rep team ICON DAO translated the coverage, readable here

LINE’s Link Chain gets FSA approval in Japan

LINE’s Link Chain has been whitelisted - officially approved by the Financial Service Agency in Japan. There’s potential for future ICX usage if LINE’s chain needs to connect to other chains via ICON’s BTP which is slated for commercialization by the first half of 2020. 

P-Rep meetings will begin next week

P-Rep meetings are underway with the first meeting scheduled for February 14th at 3-5PM PST. Discussion on future meetings/structure is underway the forum. 

Why ICON’s Upcoming Integration with Chainlink is Important

RHIZOME team member, Brian Li discussed why ICON’s upcoming integration with Chainlink is important, noting - “Since interoperability is ICON's main focus, the integration with Chainlink allows all blockchains connected to ICON to access decentralized oracle data from Chainlink nodes – the implications are huge.”

BongAn Ha discusses broof and “VisitMe” 

ICX_Station announced the beta launch of ICON VOTE 


Looking at these problems prompted us to launch ICON Vote, a communication platform for P-reps and ICX investors. We believe voting is a key feature of governance. ICON Vote enables P-Reps to interact directly with their supporters through on-chain votes accessible only to their voter base. P-Reps utilizing ICON Vote will offer their supporters a greater voice in governance, funding decisions, and other deliverables.

The Future is Decentralized ID

ICON Newsletter Issue #4 has been released. One of the projects listed, “Meeting Room”, has generated 14,456 transactions so far. 

The first ICX Comic has been released! 

Chainlink, ICON, and MakerDAO meetup has been rescheduled

Following the recent announcement of the Chainlink, MakerDAO, and ICON meetup, Min Kim weighed in on twitter to explain why the event has been rescheduled and moved to March 18th, 2020. 

Blockmove has added Korean support to tracker 

Thanks to the help from RHIZOME, Blockmove has added Korean support to their blockchain explorer - 

We have just added 🇰🇷Korean🇰🇷 to! Many thanks to @bwhli and team @RhizomeICX for their GREAT he4PL4

ICX/USD trading is now available on Binance.US

POSTECH to issue diplomas using broof to all 828 graduates 

Henry Lee, Head Strategy at ICONLOOP shared exciting news that POSTECH will issue diplomas using ICONLOOP’s digital certification service to all 828 graduates of POSTECH in February. I also wrote more about the announcement.

Blockchain Industry News

USA vs. Virgil Griffith: What We Know (and Don’t) in the Bombshell Crypto Sanctions Case - CoinDesk

Griffith pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Thursday, which kicks off the next phase of discovery. Prosecutors told a federal judge some documents have already been produced, with more to come. The full amount of evidence they have to support their case has yet to be made public – including any exculpatory evidence that would show Griffith did not violate sanctions restrictions.

Messaging Giant Line to Launch Link Token Trading in Japan in April - Cointelegraph 

Line already began Link trading on its international BitBox cryptocurrency exchange in mid-October 2018. Due to stricter national cryptocurrency regulations in Japan, LVC had to wait to obtain a license from local financial regulators in September 2019 before launching its BitMax cryptocurrency exchange in the country.

Jack Dorsey Enables Bitcoin Emoji on Twitter Posts - CoinDesk

Dorsey announced Sunday Twitter users could now use the bitcoin symbol as an emoji, appearing automatically after "#bitcoin" or "#btc.

Ethereum Incubator ConsenSys Slashes Headcount 14% in Latest Strategic Shift - CoinDesk

In the coming months, ConsenSys will finalize the transition from its venture production model and spin out a number of its internally funded projects into the ConsenSys Investments portfolio,” the company said in a statement.

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce Proposes 3-Year Safe Harbor Period for Crypto Token Sales | CoinDesk 

The two-year official at the Securities and Exchange Commission – nicknamed “CryptoMom” by the blockchain community – has formally proposed a safe harbor for token projects. It would give them some breathing room to develop their networks and communities before having to worry about the regulatory regime.

Price discussion

Welcome to this week’s edition of RHIZOME Wire!


Without question, the most exciting thing to happen within the ICON community this week has been the dramatic price increase in ICX. Following months of constant downward movement — culminating in a price slightly below ICO — many are beyond pleased to see the rapid price action. For some, it’s reminiscent of the bull market of 2017. It’s way too premature to predict if that’s the direction we’re going — we’ve had a few pumps like this throughout various points in the bear market — but it’s still nice to see.

However, if we are entering a new phase of constant price increases, being left behind can be potentially costly. With the parabolic increases of the following week, it made me wonder just how quickly things moved in 2017-18, so I did a bit of research.

Here is a snapshot of a 59-day span in late 2017 and early 2018:

Keep in mind, this is well after ICO. While the price initially shot up after ICO, it then kicked into a downtrend for an extended period of time. The $0.78 mark is where it began to build its uptrend.

It took 17 days for that price to basically double. It took another 19 days for that price to double. It then took 6 days to go up 31.15%. When all was said and done, it had gone up 1487.4% in less than two months before it started it’s long-term downtrend.

During parabolic moments, what generates the most momentum is that you no longer gauge prices increases in absolute dollars and cents, but in percentage increases. Right now, every increase of one cent feels like a monumental achievement. When the next bull market happens — if, and whenever it may be — gains in cents turn into gains in dimes which turn into gains in dollars. And that’s when things start to move quickly.

The Impact of Staking

During a brief conversation on Telegram, there was a discussion about what might happen if the price increases rapidly again — would whales sell as soon as they hit a reasonable profit?

My reaction to this has two parts. First, during a bull market, rationality typically flies out the window — even the savviest of traders and investors find it hard to avoid the idea that they may be selling “too early.” I don’t think the next bull market will be any different — that, any selling is met by equally fervent buying.

The second factor is the existence of staking.

Let’s pretend you’re an ICX whale who owns 200,000 ICX. You’re going to be earning about 100 ICX per day in staking rewards.

Let’s also pretend that the price of ICX goes up to $5. That means, by just doing nothing, you’re earning $500 per day. That’s $182,500 per year - doing nothing.

If you’re in that position — do you really want to sell your staked ICX?

Of course, some may just take their daily rewards and sell them on the open market, but it’s hard to tell if this type of gradual selling would have much of a negative impact — especially in the absence of whales “dumping.”

One way or another, we’re entering a new frontier with staking rewards, as few tokens offered the opportunity during the prior bull market, leading us with little to create a prior comparison.

News from ICON World

MakerDAO, Chainlink, and ICON

Several days ago, the ICON Foundation announced they will be hosting a meetup with notable projects MakerDAO and Chainlink. 

On February 11th at 7pm (KST), we will host a joint meet-up alongside leading blockchain projects, MakerDAO and Chainlink. We are happy to host Kim Jin-woo, General Manager of Korean Community of MakerDao and Yeongin Lee, Korea lead for Chainlink. Bongan Ha, Cryptoeconomic architect of ICON, will also participate in the meet-up by discussing interchain and ICON’s roadmap.

Governance 101

Issue #3 of ICON Newsletter has been released. In the third issue of ICON Newsletter, Min Kim discusses the latest announcements and happenings within the ICON world. 

ICX_Station Announces Support for ICONbet


We are excited to announce our support for ICONbet. At the time of writing, ICONbet has generated over five million transactions and over $140,000 average daily volume over the past week; it is the number one DApp on the ICON Network and in terms of dollar value of daily volume it hovers around the top 30 measured against DApps across all blockchain networks. Given the success in its early days we are excited to support the project in taking the next step forward. 

Min Kim encourages ICONists to not delegate to the ICON Foundation node

Min Kim chimes in on twitter encouraging the ICON community to vote for other P-Reps and provides a few recommendations for P-Reps in the short-medium term.

ICON New York City meetup is underway for 2020

Corey Costa of the P-Rep team UBIK Capital is working alongside RHIZOME to organize a New York City ICON meetup later in the year. 

RHIZOME’s accomplishments 

RHIZOME team member, William McKenzie weighed in on twitter detailing a few of RHIZOME’s accomplishments thus far as a P-Rep. 

William McKenzie@wbm_97
Going back before we were even a P-Rep team, we’ve consistently put out numerous fresh content on the #ICONProject, developed an app over 450 ICONists use, and much more. We will continue delivering. #ICON #ICX…


Thank you ICONists for all the support you’ve shown us recently! We appreciate the support and look forward to continue educating and growing the #ICON ecosystem. #ICONProject #ICX

ICON DAO brings SesameOpen to ICON 

P-Rep team ICON DAO has been assisting SesameOpen in joining the ICON network. 

Accordingly, SesameOpen has recently applied for an ICON community grant.

3 new partners join the My-ID Alliance 

The My-ID Alliance has 3 new partners that have recently joined including - INITECH, SSensStone, and 8percent. Accordingly, there are now 47 My-ID Alliance partners. 

New Features coming to MetrICX

RHIZOME team member, Brian Li teases a mockup for an upcoming redesign of MetrICX. 

Dr. ICON demonstrates DID in action at ICON HQ 

Dr. ICON shows Digitial Identification (DID) in action at ICON’s office in Seoul, South Korea. In the video, ICON’s DID protocol is used to enter the office building! 

Blockchain Industry News

Ripple's Brad Garlinghouse Hints Firm May Seek IPO Within 12 Months - CoinDesk

I think over the next 12 months you’re definitely going to see IPOs in the crypto, blockchain space. I’m not sure we want to be first but we certainly don’t want to be last either, so I expect we’ll be on the leading side of that, not the lagging side,” Garlinghouse said.

Bitcoin Gold 51% attack highlights the weaknesses of proof-of-work | CryptoSlate

The 51 percent attack Bitcoin Gold experienced last week sparked an industry-wide debate about the security of the network. Many saw this as proof of BTG’s redundancy, but few focused on the problems in proof-of-work itself that enable these kinds of attacks to happen in the first place.

E Pluribus Unum: Four Class-Action Suits Against Bitfinex Over 2017 BTC Price Now One

Per an order dated Jan. 24 and filed Jan. 27 from Judge Failla of the court of the Southern District of New York (SDNY), four complaints have been consolidated. Plaintiffs Leibowitz, Young, Faubus and Ebanks — as well as assorted sub-listed parties in each of those cases — will now have their cases heard jointly. 

Coinbase Custody Goes International With New Entity in Ireland - CoinDesk

Based in Dublin, Ireland, Coinbase said in a blog post that client demand for institutional-grade custodial services drove the move. Separately, a spokesman for the exchange said Coinbase Custody now has $8 billion in assets under custody, up from the $7 billion announced in November.

Our Network: Issue 6 - Spencer Noon

Our Network is a weekly newsletter presented by Spencer Noon. In this week’s issue, contributors within the communities of Tezos, Ethereum, Decred, Zcash, and Bitcoin shared data-driven insights pertaining to each of their respective projects.

Worth a read.

The importance of an oracle

Welcome to this week’s edition of RHIZOME Wire!

A partnership with ChainLink

This week, the ICON Foundation announced they have formally reached an agreement with ChainLink — another popular blockchain platform — to serve as a decentralized oracle solution for the ICON public chain. Here is a quote from ICON’s announcement:

Oracles allow smart contracts to interact with data and systems from outside their native blockchain (off-chain). This opens up interchain communication and enables smart contracts to interact with traditional non-blockchain systems that currently power global economies.

Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network that allows developers to customize how their smart contract communicates with anything off-chain using varying levels of decentralization, data aggregation, and oracle selection. It gives smart contracts secure and reliable access to data providers, web APIs, enterprise systems, cloud providers, IoT devices, payment systems, other blockchains and much more.

To many, it may not be immediately clear why this is important or how exactly it works, so I’ll try to use a real-world example.

Let’s take Fantasy Football.

On one hand, you play fantasy football on one platform. Let’s say it’s Yahoo! Sports. You draft your team, set your lineup, and then on Sunday afternoon you eagerly pay attention to your screen, watching in real-time as your team’s score goes up with every five-yard rush, every field goal, and every touchdown.

But how does that app know that those events are occurring? Does Yahoo! Sports have an employee in every stadium methodically tracking every statistic on every play and immediately beaming it back to the fantasy platform? No.

Instead, Yahoo! Sports integrates with an API dedicated solely to tracking live NFL stats and updating them live on the web. In fact, there are likely multiple fantasy football platforms plugging into this same API.

Now let’s pretend you wanted to create a decentralized fantasy football application. Because this API isn’t blockchain based, you wouldn’t be able to integrate with it directly.

In addition — and perhaps more importantly — since the information is coming from a singular source, it’s susceptible to all the issues that centralized platforms are vulnerable to — namely hacking or manipulation.

This is less an issue for fantasy football since the implications aren’t as serious (although some diehard players might disagree). It is an issue in cases where, say, smart contracts are built around certain activities being triggered if certain financial indicators or prices reach certain prices.

Let’s say a smart contract is written — for whatever reason — to send 100,000 ICX to a given address if the price of gold hits a certain price. If the smart contract is tied to a centralized source of information — and that information is incorrect through manipulation, hacking, or other malfeasance — then somebody could be out a lot of ICX.

With a decentralized solution — one that potentially collects the price of gold from multiple, independent sources — smart contracts can reliably be programmed knowing that the underlying triggers will be legitimate.

Indeed, ICON also lists some concrete examples of how this oracle integration could prove useful:

  • Chainlink could be used to bring real-world professional sports data into NFTs that represent sports players. One could imagine creating a baseball game DApp where users must form a team of collected NFT baseball cards, all of which would periodically update with real-world statistics using Chainlink oracles.

  • Chainlink could be used to bring pricing data from traditional markets into decentralized financial products. For example, a variable rate blockchain-based bond could use Chainlink interest rate data feeds to calculate the total interest on the bond in a secure and decentralized way.

  • Chainlink could be used to include data from other blockchains in your ICON app. A way to utilize this would be to use Chainlink oracles to trigger a payment on the ICON blockchain after confirming that a payment occurred on the Ethereum blockchain.

So why ChainLink?

Simply put, ChainLink is the primary option for any blockchain seeking an oracle solution, primarily as a result of it’s security and reliability:

Chainlink is consistently selected as one of the top blockchain technologies by leading independent research firms such as Gartner. It is well known for providing highly secure and reliable oracles to great companies like GoogleOracleSWIFT, and many other large enterprises, as well as many of the world’s best smart contract projects/teams such as Web3/PolkadotSynthetixLoopringKaleidoOpenLawReserve, and many more.

While ICON had teased this partnership by remaining vague on the details since the conclusion of 2019, many assumed it would be ChainLink, as the platform is ultimately the clear option for those seeking an oracle solution. Ultimately, it’s encouraging that ICON has solidified this deal and done so with a leading platform.

While this alone is not a “game changing” announcement, it’s nonetheless a critical one that, when combined with all the other gradual progress ICON has been making, generates greater likelihood of the projects success over the long term.

News from ICON World

J.H. Kim & Money Today

Several days ago, J.H. Kim — ICONLOOP CEO and ICON Foundation Council Member — was interviewed by South Korea’s Monday Today. Unfortunately, the original video is in Korean.

Fortunately, RHIZOME went to the trouble to translate and transcribe the entire interview! This is one of the longer, more substantive interviews with a mainstream outlet, so I encourage you to give it a read!

However, if you’re pressed on time, The Iconist wrote a synopsis of the interview.

Latest episode of The RHIZOME Report

RHIZOME’s regular podcast, The RHIZOME Report, recently released it’s latest episode — this time, William McKenzie interviews Mark Thomas, founder of ZenSports — a sports betting app integrated with the ICON blockchain.

Mark takes time to discuss what exactly ZenSports is, how it’s token model works, the process of working with ICX_Station, the future of ZenSports, and many other topics.

New MetrICX Update

RHIZOME has added yet another feature to our app, MetrICX. Now, users can track the balance of various IRC-20 tokens that are built on the ICON ecosystem such as TAP, SSX, SPORT, and others. The update is available for both iOS and Android.

ICON Core Planning complete

The initial planning stages of ICON Core are complete and code is now being compiled:

For those that don’t know about ICON Core, I encourage you to read the original announcement.

More blockchain funding from Korea!

Korea is once again pouring resources into the development of blockchain technology. This time, “Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) announced last week that it and the Ministry of Science and ICT had selected 10 public blockchain trial projects for 2020. The government will spend KRW 600 million won per project for a total budget of KRW 6 billion,” according to The Iconist.

Here is the most intriguing line from the report:

At a briefing session on Friday, Min Gyeong-sik, the head of KISA’s blockchain center, said some of the projects selected this year utilize decentralized ID (DID), reflecting the recent interest in the concept.

With ICON’s key application currently being DID, it will be interesting to watch and see if ICON is able to take advantage of this opportunity. Stay tuned!

P-Rep coordination

Thanks to the efforts of P-Rep team Catalyst (run by community member Bittburger), P-Reps will soon be holding regular meetings to coordinate activities and strategy in order to more effectively contribute to the ICON ecosystem.

Blackjack coming soon to ICONbet

ICONbet, the leading DApp on the ICON blockchain based on transaction volume, is close to launching it’s next game: blackjack. The official twitter account of the platform teased the following screenshot of what the game will most likely look like:

The addition of blackjack has generated great anticipation among the ICONbet community for not only blackjack enthusiasts, but supporters of the platform who hope this will help ICONbet (and thus ICON!) continue to grow.

Blockchain Industry News

Confirmed: Craig Wright doesn’t have keys to $8 billion of Bitcoin (Decrypt)

Craig Wright’s lawyer confirmed to Decrypt today that Wright does not possess—nor even claim to possess—the private keys that can be used to spend $8 billion of Bitcoin that Satoshi Nakamoto mined in Bitcoin’s early days.

Liechtenstein Regulators Approve Ethereum-Based Real Estate Fund (CoinDesk)

The AARGOS Global Real Estate Fund was approved as an alternative investment fund (AIF) by Liechtenstein's Financial Market Authority (FMA), the company announced. The fund provides exposure to a global real estate portfolio through AARGO security tokens – built on the ethereum blockchain – with each token representing one share in the fund.

South Korea plans 20% tax on crypto gains (The Block)

The government of South Korea is planning to charge a 20% tax on income from cryptocurrency transactions.

The country’s Ministry of Economy and Finance recently ordered its office of income tax to review a crypto taxation plan, local news outlet Pulse reported Monday, citing “multiple” government sources. Previously, the ministry's office of property tax had reviewed the plan.

Goldbug Peter Schiff Loses All His Bitcoins, Blames Crypto for Own Ignorance (Steemit)

Notorious goldbug and Bitcoin critic Peter Schiff just fell victim to one of the classic crypto blunders - the most famous of which is "not your keys, not your crypto" - but only slightly less well-known is this:

Always back up your wallet and keys in a safe place.

All Princess Bride references aside, according to Schiff's tweet, his mobile wallet became corrupted and is no longer recognizing his password.

Fortunately, this “mystery” was solved:

Tether launches ‘gold-backed’ stablecoin on Ethereum and Tron (Decrypt)

Stablecoin company Tether today launched Tether Gold, a stablecoin pegged to physical gold. It is available as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain and as a TRC20 token on the TRON blockchain, and is listed on Bitfinex, Tether’s sister company. The minimum buy in is around $75,000.

Square secures patent for a new 'cryptocurrency payment network' (Decrypt)

Earlier this week, the payments giant secured yet another crypto-related patent—this time, one that specifically registers a system for converting payments made in fiat to “non-fiat instruments.” The news was first reported earlier today by industry publication CoinDesk.

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