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. 

The Certification Innovation

Welcome to this week’s edition of RHIZOME Wire!

A new standard

Once again, this week brought some exciting news to the ICON project:

Here is an excerpt from the Naver article explaining the change (my apologies for the rough translation):

When this law came into effect, the certificate system that was introduced in 1999 and inhibited service innovation through market monopoly and created user inconvenience, disappeared into history.

Instead, it is expected that other digital signature means such as blockchain will be activated by introducing an evaluation and recognition system for electronic signature authentication in consideration of international standards.

For a bit of history and context regarding Korea’s now-former certification system, I encourage you to read the entirety of this (RHIZOME team-member) Brian Li post, presciently written exactly two years ago as of today. The post goes into the difficulties of the certification system as it existed, and also speculates on how ICONLOOP may play a role in future certification.

It is hard to correct any of the predictions that Brian made in his post, as the majority (if not all) of them are still on track; however, I would like to add some additional context, seeing as there have been two years of developments since it was written.

First, to get a true sense of how widespread (and unique) this sort of certification process is, here is a quote from Keechang Kim, Professor at Korea University Law School:

Almost all internet banking, e-commerce providers and e-government agencies in Korea require users to present user certificates (issued by an NPKI accredited CA) for authentication purpose and to ensure integrity of transaction records (transaction confirmation). No other countries that I know of have achieved this level of adoption of PKI technology at the client side.

(NPKI refers to “National Public Key Infrastructure” while CA refers to “certification authorities.”)

[The 1999 Digital Signature Act] stipulates that where signature is required by law, in order to satisfy such a legal requirement electronically, one has to use the certificate issued by an NPKI accredited CA. No other electronic signatures, no matter how secure, reliable or appropriate, can meet the legal requirement for a signature under the Korean law.

In other words, there has essentially been a government-monopoly of sorts on certification; ultimately, if your signature hadn’t been accredited, it was essentially invalid. This is in contrast to similar digital-signature laws in other areas. For instance, in both the EU and the United States, a digital signature is still viewed as legitimate, even if it doesn’t have a “reliability” stamp of approval from a government agency.

While this form of “signature discrimination” didn’t really have much of an impact on Korean citizens who had accredited signatures, it did have an effect on foreigners attempting to conduct business in Korea:

Inside Korea, the Korean NPKI certification service has become ubiquitous and it certainly feels like a “standard” technology. But once you leave Korea, the technology and the services are hardly known. They are, for all practical purposes, un-workable for non-Koreans and even for Koreans outside Korea. Indeed, this piece of technology (as it is used for user authentication and transaction confirmation) is the one which isolates Korean e-commerce from the rest of the world as it prevents Korean e-commerce providers from reaching out to customers in the rest of the world.

If that weren’t enough, the systems security was also lacking:

But most of all, there are serious security vulnerabilities of the Korean NPKI implementation of user authentication and transaction confirmation. As the accredited CAs routinely “re-issue” user certificates online without face-to-face verification of the applicant’s identity, phishing attacks to obtain user credentials needed to obtain user certificates through online application/issuance became rampant.

Accordingly, it makes sense why the national government would finally see a need to break away from this economically discriminatory and vulnerable certification system.

Of course, this didn’t happen overnight; the government had been laying the groundwork for this move for some time (this quote is from January 2018):

The government said it plans to gradually revise related laws, including the Electronic Commercial Act and Digital Signature act, which make certificate verification mandatory. It hopes various authentication methods such as blockchain and biometric authentication will replace the old verification method.

Here’s another one, also from 2018:

After the government announced in March to enact a revised electronics signature law, including the abolition of authorization certificate, a discussion about setting up a platform that can replace the electronic signature for financial transactions has been in progress.

So, now the question becomes: who will be the biggest beneficiary of this change, and who is most likely to become the new standard (assuming a unified standard emerges)?

Here is a section from ICON Newsletter #9, titled “How does MyID compare to other digital identity projects in Korea?”

There are several identity consortiums in Korea including:

  • MyID Alliance: currently has 52 organizations including Samsung, Kyobo, Shinhan and IBK and various other companies across industries such as security firms, e-commerce companies, and manufacturing companies.

  • Initial DID Association: the group includes Samsung, financial services firms like KEB Hana Bank, Woori Bank, KOSCOM, as well as mobile carriers SK Telecom, KT, and LG UPlus.

  • DID Alliance: includes 60 member firms and is focused primarily on the RoboAdvisor industry.

Of course, we are all familiar with MyID Alliance (which, according to their website, now has 62 members).

Here is the graphic ICON provided to compare the various consortiums:

Korean DID consortium comparison

While this is obviously going to be biased in favor of MyID, I do believe there is a clear edge above the competition.

I believe the most important evidence of this edge is the regulatory support. A company can have the best technology in the world, but if they don’t have the approval or favor of regulators for it’s use, it doesn’t matter. MyID has already checked that box, while the others either haven’t, or only partially have.

In addition, ICONLOOP’s DID solution has already received the “blessing” of sorts from the financial industry participants:

In October 2017, the Korea Financial Investment Association (KOFIA) — a self-regulating organization of the Korean financial investment industry — announced that:

“Korea Financial Investment Association, KOFIA, introduced the world’s first blockchain- based joint authentication service for the financial industry dubbed “Chain ID” on October 31, 2017.

The consortium is hoping to widen the adoption of the Chain ID across the entire financial investment industry within this year, and introduce it to other financial industries such as banking, insurance and credit card next year.”

Several months later, ICON announced the following:

“Answering to the needs of a new method of personal authentication, theloop has joined the Korea Financial Investment Blockchain Consortium as a technical partner to develop CHAIN ID.”

In other words, the organization that essentially all financial investment institutions are a member of essentially hired ICONLOOP to build their DID platform.

Meanwhile, here is another graphic from ICON showing the “evolution of our digital identity products”.

Evolution of our digital identity products

While it’s not clear if these three platforms are technically separate products, or if this image is showing the evolution of one product, I think it’s reasonable to conclude that a substantial portion of the technology used to build ChainID has been incorporated into My-ID; accordingly, the members of KOFIA likely have a strong attachment to My-ID, and the evidence of this shows in the number of KOFIA members that have joined the My-ID Alliance.

So what’s the grand conclusion?

  • For a while, Korea has eyed the overhaul of their identification laws and standards, and began laying the groundwork to do so.

  • This week, Korea finally pulled the plug on the prior certification regime.

  • The DID solution built and organized by My-ID appears to be at the forefront of filling the vacuum and providing a standard DID certification.

That, of course, is all good news.

But I have just one more thing to add.

It’s clear that Korea has been working “behind the scenes” for a while now to move on from their prior certification/identity laws. They couldn’t just revoke them one day without a clear path forward.

The fact the government finally moved on from the prior set of laws indicates to me that they felt a DID system was on the verge of implementation. It’s clear that My-ID is the platform that’s most ready for “primetime” based on regulatory approval, technical development, and business participation.

From my perspective, this all means that the gap between “speculation” and “implementation” is closing very rapidly.

News from ICON World

The latest episode of the RHIZOME Report has been released!

RHIZOME hosted a live giveaway as part of their video review of Reliant Node’s upcoming MyICONWallet mobile app release.

Be sure to check out the full episode!

UBIK Capital has developed a new tracker for ICON

Somesing has signed an MoU with SL Studio and partnered with JYPNation

The next P-Rep Governance Meeting will take place on May 29th!

UBIK Capital has released a new tutorial series for building on ICON with Swift programming language

Ricky Dodds has an AMA with!

Recently, Ricky Dodds had an AMA with the - much to those participating within the AMA’s surprise, some exciting announcements were revealed which have now been publicly announced.

BTP is coming!

ICONex android wallet has been updated to include a randomized P-Rep voting list

Recently, ICONex put up a surprise update with no formal announcement. For Android users of ICONex, there now lies the ability to have a randomized P-Rep voting list.

Props to VELIC for listening to the community and implementing the changes. For iOS users, the same changes can be expected to likely update soon.

Blockchain Industry News

Tokensoft Distributes $4M in Equity to Investors Using Ethereum - CoinDesk

The investors receive a digital representation of their investments (based on a Simple Agreement for Future Equity, or SAFE, model) on the Ethereum blockchain using the ERC-1404 tokens to ensure the SAFE agreements will be enforced on-chain. The ERC-1404 standard is used for accounting and compliance purposes.

Coinbase says employees can work from home permanently - Decrypt

There were practical considerations to the matter. Even as many states begin the process of reopening, businesses still have to take precautions. Armstrong stated that maintaining six feet of separation in the office would be challenging. He added that “even if we moved into every floor of our SF HQ, we wouldn’t have enough space to bring all current SF employees back, let alone hire more.” 

Bittrex Is Puzzled Over 24M Stolen STEEM Tokens on Its Holding Account - Cointelegraph

The Bittrex co-founder continued that the exchange will carefully “review the facts of this transfer” in order to return the funds to the original wallet owner. But in order to get these funds returned, the owners will have to prove that funds belong to them, Lai elaborated. According to Bittrex, the transaction was sent “without the proper identifying memo,” which makes it hard to identify the ownership of the funds.

Finance and the Real Economy Can't Stay Out of Sync Forever - CoinDesk

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated many trends. It has sped up the rise of telemedicine and remote work. It has expedited the demise of shopping malls and handshakes. It has forced the collapse of companies that were always destined to fail and served as rocket fuel for those corporations already headed for the moon. Even at personal levels, the pandemic has served as an accelerant. Budding relationships are forced to move faster in quarantine. And all of this is not to mention the horrifying mortality rate among the already-vulnerable and elderly.

ICONLOOP's role in healthcare

Welcome to this week’s edition of RHIZOME Wire!

ICONLOOP to lead healthcare consortium in South Korea

This week brought some exciting news for ICONLOOP specifically and the ICON project generally.

First, on May 11th, there was an announcement that ICONLOOP was included among a list of publicly led and privately led blockchain trial projects for 2020. According to The Iconist, ICONLOOP’s role would be to help build “an integrated chronic disease management platform for Gangwon Province.

Later in the week, more information came out about ICONLOOP’s role in this effort and just what this would be trying to accomplish:

ICONLOOP announced Thursday that it had been selected as the supervising operator of Gangwon Province’s blockchain-powered integrated management platform for chronic diseases.

The project is one of 10 publically led blockchain projects for 2020 recently announced by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Korea Internet Security Agency (KISA). ICONLOOP will join with UbiPlus and EIDWare to form a consortium that will jointly begin work on the project by the end of the year.

(UbiPlus is a company specializing in customer-management solutions, while EIDWare produces voice-recognition technology aimed at seniors, including a voice recognition engine so people without internet connection can still use voice interface.)

And why Gangwon Province? A couple of years ago, when the Korean government announced their blockchain ambitions, they selected multiple zones to specialize in various blockchain activities:

Digital health care will be fostered in Gangwon Province, smart wellness in Daegu, autonomous driving in Sejong City, e-mobility in South Jeolla Province, smart safety control in North Chungcheong Province and next-generation battery recycling in North Gyeongsang Province. 

According, to The Iconist, “Gangwon Province is regarded as an optimal place for development of the healthcare industry with its aging population, a medical system plagued by poor accessibility, and its recent designation as a regulation-free zone for digital healthcare.”

The article goes on to describe the core goal of the project:

This project — to be conducted with public health clinics in the province and a provincial center for remote medicine — will focus on building a blockchain-based health management system for chronic cardio-cerebrovascular disease patients who cannot visit the hospital or find themselves in management blindspots.

With a focus on only one type of health condition, this project is obviously narrow in scope; however, it’s likely that — if successful — the project can scale to serve a much larger swath of the health care industry in not only Gangwon Province, but possibly Korea as well (although such scale is likely years away).

The article continues:

Through the blockchain-based platform, the system can make use of DID and transparently and securely manage health information. Based on this, the platform will be able to offer mobile services such as measured health data through AI-powered predictive analysis and IoMT (IoT for medicine).

The use of an ICON-led DID system in healthcare is far from a new idea. In the original ICON Whitepaper, healthcare was listed as one of the original consortiums ICONLOOP (theloop at the time) was working with. Here is how the white paper describes the vision for blockchain in health care:

Blockchain ensures the interoperability between different hospital systems and can manage the access rights to data and records reliably. We believe a secure distribution of medical information through blockchain and a fair reward system for those who share their data through the network will invigorate the medical ecosystem.

From a more practical standpoint, here is a scenario Markus Jun (now serving as the Hyperconnect P-Rep) laid out way back in May 2018 (Chain ID, as referenced below, is essentially the namesake for earlier versions of ICONLOOP’s DID technology):

Here’s how this plays out in real life. Imagine that a student requires surgery. She may check into a hospital, verify her identity on Chain ID and give permission so that the hospital can share her medical records directly with her insurance company. This will trigger a smart contract that will immediately transfer her health records and her surgeon’s medical certificate (signed digitally on ICON’s Chain Sign) to the insurance company. The insurance company can then immediately process the insurance claim as both the health records and the medical certificate are tamper-proof on the blockchain and do not require additional verification or the sending of official paper documents, steps which typically slow down the process of traditional insurance claims and make them more costly.

With the backing of the government, strong partners, and an environment amenable to disruption, the project with Gangwon Province may be the first major opportunity to see the implementation of this vision. While it will take time to play out, this is certainly a development worth watching.

News from ICON World

Blockchain Company joins the MyID Alliance

Blockchain Company has joined the MyID Alliance and ICONDAO provided an English translation of the news.

Somesing announces a cooperation with “TJ YouTube Karaoke” YouTube Channel

TJ Media is Korea’s number one offline Karaoke device manufacturing and online music content production and distribution with 830,000 YouTube subscribers.

Korea’s Ministry of Science and Technology is aiming to inject $400M into blockchain R&D over the next 5 years

As a little bit of background to the news, ICONLOOP received the Minister of Science and ICT award for its development and popularization of the blockchain industry in Korea.

Liechtenstein Blockchain Innovator (LCX) announces a partnership with ICON Foundation

Corey Costa releases another podcast with Geo Dude of ICONbet

Topics such as DAOlottery, promos, what's coming up for ICONbet, DAOcheckers and other new casual games to be created were discussed.

Worth a watch/listen!

ICON weekly update #1

Brian Li of RHIZOME has started a new weekly update series on his site surrounding all the latest news/developments within the ICON ecosystem in a short and easily digestible format.

Be sure to check it out!

Reliant Node provides a sneak peek of their upcoming MyICONWallet release

Equally of interest, RHIZOME did a live giveaway for their video review of the MyICONWallet beta.

Be sure to check out the latest episode of the RHIZOME Report as soon as it’s released!

UBIK Capital releases a comprehensive report on their drone project

ICON P-Rep Delegation Pilot Program has begun!

Blockchain Industry News

CryptoKitties go live on Winklevoss-backed marketplace - Decrypt

Nifty Gateway is one such marketplace for crypto collectibles. The platform has been around since 2018, but the team relaunched the platform in March after receiving backing from the Winklevoss twins, the billionaire brothers behind Gemini. 

JPMorgan now serves crypto exchanges, Coinbase and Gemini first clients - report - The Block

JPMorgan is reportedly providing cash-management services to the crypto exchanges and handling dollar-based transactions for their U.S.-based customers. It will process wire transfers, and deposits and withdrawals through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network.

Verifiable Randomness for Blockchain Smart Contracts - Chainlink

Chainlink VRF helps enable and accelerate the development of smart contracts focused on blockchain gaming, security, layer-two protocols and various other use cases. Developers can easily integrate Chainlink VRF to utilize verifiable randomness in their smart contracts through our recently released developer documentation.

Crypto bank SEBA teams up with Tokensoft to offer asset tokenization solutions - The Block

SEBA plans to help its clients tokenize fiat, precious metals and alternative assets such as real estate and art, as well as help conduct security token offerings (debt or equity), per the website.

RHIZOME's latest ICON development

Welcome to this week’s edition of RHIZOME Wire!

A Real-Time Notification System for ICON

This week, RHIZOME announced that we had released an important update to our app MetrICX:

Recently, we pushed out a big update to the notification system for MetrICX. Previously, I-Score and deposit notifications could take up to 5 minutes to trigger. With the new system, the notification lag has been reduced to just 1-2 seconds. This drastic increase in performance was made possible thanks to a new notification system developed by RHIZOME team member Andrew Burns.

By itself, a quicker notification system is certainly a nice feature — the longer it takes for a notification to actually arrive, the less valuable the notification feature becomes. With implementation of near-instant notifications, MetrICX users will certainly have a more enjoyable experience.

However, this quicker notification time isn’t the only feature RHIZOME has developed — in fact, it’s essentially just a side effect of the new project Andrew is working on. Here’s how he describes the way the new system works:

Before we were using a very rudimentary type of approach for MetrICX, by simply polling the ICON API for changes in the balance and I-Score of a registered user every few minutes. But we quickly realised that this was not scalable, if we doubled our user base then the lag between the deposit and the push notification would also double, who wants to wait 10 minutes to realise they have received a deposit. Instead of checking constantly for balance changes, it now simply subscribes to a “Deposit” event, and sends the push-notification immediately if the block contains a transaction activity from a registered address.

So what might this mean moving forward?

We want to make it easy for anyone to subscribe to an event using a smart contract (SCORE). By providing a callback url we are then able to send a notification to that endpoint everytime the registered event happens on the chain. Once we have this built, we will look at building this into an administration portal to help manage and create new subscriptions. As always, this is an on going process and we will pivot as needed.

In other words, Andrew is working on implementing a platform that allows developers (or their users) to set up a notification system for essentially any event that happens on chain. In the case of MetrICX, the app is “subscribed” in a manner that flags any moment a deposit is made into a users wallet and then notifies them. Of course, there are many directions this can go.

As a step further, an ICONist could set up an integration with an app such as “IFTTT”, creating a feature that would have, say, Alexa announce to the user anytime a deposit has been made into a wallet (or maybe you could have your computer play the sound of a cash register).

This implementation would be more for amusement than for anything, but there are certainly more serious ways to implement this new system.

For instance, these notifications could integrate with a payment tracking system utilized by a business - when the right type of notification came in — say, an ICX deposit of a certain amount — the business could automatically mark an outstanding invoice as “paid” if they were being compensated in ICX.

Perhaps for tax calculation purposes, and individual wanted to create a spreadsheet that would input any received deposits into a given wallet and, with the right type of script, stamp the deposit with the USD value of ICX at that given moment, thus creating an easily-reportable archive of all income into their wallet.

But we can take it even another step further by integrating this new feature with SCORE contracts. The new notification system doesn't simply just monitor ICX and IRC2 transfers — it also allows for notification on any EventData that is used by any SCORE.

Let’s break down what that means. Below is a screenshot of an event on the ICONBET contract. It’s describing what bet was placed, the amount, and the address (among other data points). If you wanted, you could integrate this new feature to generate a notification of any of these data points included in the event.

That means, if you wanted to, you could create a notification for anytime a bet of more than 1,000 ICX was placed; or, more specifically, anytime an individual hit 21 in BlackJack.

Or, we can take a more advanced version of our invoice example above.

Let's say you have event in a SCORE contract called GenerateInvoice. In this scenario, you’ve set it up so the contract gets called after a payment has been made. The notification could send to your invoice callback URL with value, what product was bought, address and any other message the business owner might want.

And remember, all of this happens virtually instantly.

There are countless other use cases of how this could be implemented, and I’m excited to see what ideas people come up with once it’s made fully available.

Ultimately, what this update will do is provide easier mechanisms for the world to have a direct (and automated) interaction with the ICON blockchain; while nowhere as grand or ambitious as the interoperability the ICON project itself seeks, it’s nonetheless a nice way to further integrate the ICON blockchain into our every day lives.

Stay tuned for more updates about the platform in the coming weeks.

News from ICON World

ICON Hyperconnect inboards Sharpn as a technical partner for ICON Hyperhack

Looking to learn more about ICONLOOP’s MyID Alliance?

RHIZOME has created several infographics detailing key facts about each alliance member. Be sure to check them out and read the newly launched MyID Alliance newsletter!

RHIZOME will be having a live giveaway this weekend!

As part of a video review for Reliant Node’s upcoming MyICONWallet release, RHIZOME has been taking questions from the community and will be giving away 100 ICX to 5 people.

Total MyID Alliance partners has reached 62

ICON DAO provides a translation of Sports Seoul’s MyID Alliance feature on Binance Korea

ICX_Station publishes their first transparency report

ICONLOOP has been selected as the leading provider for Gangwon-do as part of the 2020 blockchain public pilot demonstration by Ministry of Science and ICT and KISA

Blockchain Industry News

South Korean Government Unveils Massive Blockchain Development Program - TheNews.Asia

Without a doubt the now ever-present COVID-19 epidemic has sparked the urgency to complete these projects as they will facilitate greater social distancing between human operators.

TokenSoft Expands Security Token Services to Europe With New Swiss Entity - CoinDesk

Mason Borda, CEO of TokenSoft Inc., told CoinDesk the agreement was a natural fit for the crypto-friendly Swiss. Regulators there have been far more straightforward about security token oversight than watchdogs in the U.S.

“Due to the regulatory clarity in Switzerland and due to the comfort that the regulators have there with blockchain-based assets, the pace of innovation has been a little bit faster in Switzerland and so that's why we do see more activity out in Switzerland,” he said.

Libra Project Appoints First CEO - Stuart Levey -

Cumulatively, these experiences, and more, have provided years of experience dealing with the world of finance in varying capacities.  Whether structuring government regulations, or immersed in banking practices, Levey has found success.  Now, Libra hopes this trend will continue, and that Levey will lead the project to a bright future.

U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler reportedly got a $9 million payout after she left Bakkt - Decrypt

The dispensations are neither illegal nor against any congressional rule, the Times noted, but they fuel questions about how the Senate’s wealthiest member, who boasted of owning a private jet in a recent campaign ad, has handled her finances. 

Highlights from ICON's AMA with

Welcome to this week’s edition of RHIZOME WIRE!

An AMA with Binance.US

This week, ICON team members Min Kim and Ricky Dodds participated in a Telegram AMA (“Ask me anything”) with Binance.US. This AMA is part of an ongoing series of AMAs conducted by tokens that have been listed on Binance.US.

The AMA comprised three parts: a general Q&A with Binance.US moderators to provide a big picture view of ICON, a trivia component with incentives for correct answers, and, finally, a more traditional AMA where community members had an opportunity to ask more specific questions (an opportunity they definitely took advantage of!).

For veterans of the ICON community, the AMA might not have been uniquely insightful, as much of the information presented and many of the topics discussed are familiar territory; however, there was some new information put forward that even long-term ICON followers might find of interest.

Here are some tidbits I found personally interesting:

Ricky Dodds: Currently, 47% of the total circulating supply is staked. This percentage has been hitting new highs almost every week since our network became since we launched in Oct 2019.

Unless you’ve been paying very close attention to trends in staking over time, you likely weren’t aware of this fact. However, this sentence is encouraging for two reasons: first, the 47% of circulating supply being staked is a very healthy number, both in terms of governance and the fact that a chunk of the market is essentially locked up. Second, the direction of the trend has consistently been up.

When staking first began, back in the Fall of 2019, there were some voices that were concerned about the “low” number of tokens that had been staked. However, over time, more and more people have staked — either because they’re new to ICON, or because had been holding ICON and finally got around to staking.

Either way, what matters most is the trend — and it’s only been going up. Eventually, it will likely taper off, but we may not see that happen for a while.

Min Kim: On the technology side, we just recently released our new consensus algorithm called LFT2, which improves blockchain performance without compromising safety and liveness. It reduces the network load, supports faster voting, improves overall throughput and reduces network latency. And in the coming weeks, we expect to release our interoperability technology for private to public interchain which is an extremely important achievement for our goal of bridging legacy and blockchain native institutions. Those high quality enterprises mentioned above (that are using our core engine) will be able to utilize our public blockchain easily once released.

While most ICONists are likely aware of the LFT2 announcement, they may not have been aware of the fact that ICON expects (in the coming weeks) to “release our interoperability technology for private to public interchain which is an extremely important achievement for our goal of bridging legacy and blockchain native institutions.”

While more details will presumably be released at the time of the announcement, this is a significant piece of information — the ability to build the technology allowing private and public chains to interact is no easy feat, and, if done successfully, is another significant milestone for ICON, both from a technical standpoint, but also from a project development standpoint. Interoperability has been ICON’s top priority since Day One — the fact they are able to deliver on that promise is a huge step (and a step that many blockchain projects haven’t been able to fulfill!).

Min Kim: On the business and adoption side, we expect ICONLOOP, our ecosystem partner, to announce many more partners to its MyID Alliance. Including some very exciting additions in May.. MyID is the leading ID consortium in Korea with 57 partners and the only one approved by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) under the regulatory sandbox. (an SEC equivalent in Korea)

The ongoing growth of the MyID Alliance is nothing new (I bet you didn’t even realize the alliance was up to 57 partners by this point!), so the fact there appears to be some additional hyping behind some new additions to be announced this month is extra encouraging. Later on, Ricky also hyped up what could be coming down the pipeline as it relates to MyID (and also shared some encouraging news about Visit.Me):

Ultimately, between the upcoming announcements about the latest developments in the interoperability technology, as well as new additions to myID, the next few weeks could be very exciting for ICON. Stay tuned!

News from ICON World

RHIZOME Report EP 19 has been released!

In the latest episode of the RHIZOME Report, hosts Brian Li and William McKenzie sit down and discuss all the latest news/developments in the ICON ecosystem. This episode in particular comes with an increased production quality - one to continue moving forward in future episodes.

Check it out!

Markus of P-Rep team ICON Hyperconnect shares a sneak peek of an upcoming hackathon

“ICON Hyperhack” is the official ICON hackathon which is being organized by ICON Hyperconnect. Be sure to keep up and stay up to date with all announcements leading up to it’s launch!

Scott Smiley (Benny_Options) shares an important message to the ICON community

MetrICX notifications are now near-instant!

Recently, RHIZOME announced about a 1-2 month initiative in replacing the backend of MetrICX - more information on those changes can be found towards the end of the latest episode of the RHIZOME Report.

Additionally, RHIZOME developer Andrew Burns shared an ELI5 breakdown of the newly developed notification system.

Be sure to update and enjoy near-instant notifications!

ICON appears in Austrian finance news

Something we’re not particularly used to occurred this week - where ICON’s newly developed LFT2 consensus algorithm made it’s way into Austrian finance news.

Min Kim appears on Nugget’s News hosted by Alex Saunders

ICONLOOP’s MyID Alliance reaches 57 members

Suprema, the latest addition to ICONLOOP’s growing MyID Alliance - is focusing on implementing its mobile card technology with DID.

ZenSports launches new product suite for sports industry businesses

Blockchain Industry News

Crypto Fund II - Andreessen Horowitz

We think it’s important to keep investing in the long-term development of the internet to address the needs of the coming decades. That’s why we’re excited to announce a new $515 million fund that will be used to invest in crypto networks and businesses. 

Vertalo Launches Tokenization Sandbox Program For Issuers & Service Providers To Accelerate Adoption Of Digital Asset Issuance and Tokenization - Vertalo

Through this new initiative, participants in the Digital Asset industry can, at no initial cost, implement and learn by tokenizing digital assets in transactions that would otherwise incur expensive software development and consulting fees that routinely cost in excess of $50,000 dollars per single asset tokenization.

Telegram Postpones GRAM Token Issuance and Offers Investors Refunds -

The key takeaway of the letter is that GRAM token investors now have a few options to consider moving forward. The company stated that investors that don’t want to wait out the regulatory storm can file with the firm to receive a refund. Importantly, investors that go this route will receive 72% of their initial investment.

Why Nasdaq is working with R3 to issue digital tokens - Decrypt

With its “long-term, non-exclusive, collaboration agreement” with R3, announced Wednesday, the two companies will help financial institutions issue tokens and build marketplaces for digital assets.

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