BROOF and the road to mass adoption

Welcome to this week’s edition of RHIZOME Wire!

A big step for BROOF

This week, we were greeted to news that POSTECH (an acronym for Pohang University of Science and Technology) — one of South Korea’s top universities — would be issuing diplomas using BROOF, a blockchain-based certificate issuance service that was built by ICONLOOP but runs on the ICON public chain.

Here is RHIZOME team member William McKenzie, explaining why this is important:

ICONLOOP’s blockchain-based certificate issuance service, broof operates directly on the ICON public chain. Thus, any transactions that incur from services using BROOF will benefit the public chain and require ICX. If ICON can convince an educational institution to use broof, it is not far fetched to conclude that more and more will likely follow over due time.

(Brian Li of RHIZOME also wrote a piece on the importance of broof, which I recommend you read.)

So the two key takeaways are:

  • This has an immediate positive impact on ICX, as any certificates issued on BROOF will require transaction fees. More notably, since these certificates will be image-based, the transaction fee will be higher than typical transactions, due to the increase in data.

  • This has a more indirect positive impact, as it provides a proven use case for blockchain generally and ICON specifically.

To be candid, the actual amount of transactions this initiative will generate will be fairly modest. Presumably, certificates or degrees are issued primarily on an annual basis, when each class of students graduates. With only about 3,500 total students, each annual issuance will only lead to a few hundred transactions. From that standpoint, the “impact” on ICX will be minimal.

What’s much more important, however, is the fact that this is an opportunity to show that a) blockchain works, b) ICON works, and c) A and B are true enough to the extent that a major university is willing to utilize these services for one of their most critical document issuances.

Here is Dr. Ben Lee (also known as “Dr. ICON” on Twitter):

In Korea people are very skeptical about public blockchain and the benefits of it. It is a good way for people to get familiar with public blockchain.

At this point in time, many institutions, companies, and individuals see blockchain is an intriguing concept, but aren’t yet sold on its usefulness and reliability. They are all standing outside the party, intrigued by what’s happening inside, but each is looking at one another, wondering who will walk in the door first and confirm that the party is as fun as it looks.

In this context, POSTECH has taken on that role. They’re willing to believe in the technology and, to an extent, put their reputation on the line in the name of adoption. If they can use it successfully and inspire confidence among all the others still on the sideline, that’s the type of initial momentum we need to start a snowball effect of adoption.

While it’s the case that an initiative like this could run on practically any blockchain, the fact is that it’s not running on “any” blockchain — it’s running on ICON. Accordingly, ICON has captured a bit of “first mover” advantage with the ability to put their stamp on one of the first successful implementations of a public blockchain in Korea.

Furthermore, this is a particularly “frictionless” implementation of blockchain. When mass adoption truly happens, it will be unlikely that the end user every really knows whether or not the system they are using runs on blockchain or not. In other words, they won’t have to buy crypto, pay fees in crypto, or have any understanding of blockchain in order to use it. BROOF is an example of just this. While the recipient of a diploma will be able to view it on their phone or computer, it won’t be immediately obvious that they’re “using” blockchain when doing so.

News from ICON World

More momentum for ICONLOOP

From The ICONist:

Korea’s integrated financial regulation body has concluded its first business agreement with a financial firm using a blockchain-based contract platform.

ICONLOOP announced Tuesday that a recent anti-spam agreement concluded between the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) and Korea Internet and Security Agency on one side and 15 banks on the other used Chain SIgn, a blockchain-powered contract signing solution co-developed by ICONLOOP and contract management platform Cyberdigm.

Here is more on ChainSign:

“Chain Sign is a contract signing platform built by ICONLoop and Cyberdigm, a specialized contract management platform. It is used to reduce the costs of current contract processes, eliminate the lack of trust in notaries, and increase the security behind contract processing. Chain Sign will create legally binding contracts integrated with smart contract technology. It will be used primarily for frequently-repeated contracts such as rent or utility bills, which will be automated through smart contracts and stored on an immutable ledger.”

Overall, this recent agreement is just another instance of ICONLOOP expanding its partnership base, particularly in the financial industry. As always, while the eventual benefits to ICON itself remain unclear, every additional partnership ICONLOOP adds builds a better case for utilizing the ICON public chain.

Most recent RHIZOME Report

The RHIZOME Report — our team’s podcast — is out with a new episode. In this episode, Brian Li and William McKenzie discuss tokenizing gold on loopchain, ICX public chain usage, P-Rep meetings, and more. Be sure to give it a watch / listen!

Government engagement

In case you had a belief that ICON’s relationships with government leaders had waned (and I’m not sure why you’d believe that!), the Mayor of Seoul stopped by San Francisco and met with Min Kim a few days ago:

On behalf of SF Seoul Sister City Committee (, thank you Seoul Mayor @wonsoonpark and his @seoulmania staff for visiting SF after CES. It’s inspiring to have such forward-thinking, risk-embracing leader who relentlessly pushes innovation for the people.

Glad to see the relationship continue to develop!

Continued growth for ICONbet

This past week had some good news for ICONbet, currently the leading DApp on the ICON network as measured by transaction volume:

Additionally, the platform is looking to expand further by potentially adding a lottery to the platform (if the proposal is approved by TAP stakeholders). This would be in addition to their already-live roulette and dice games, as well as Blackjack, which is scheduled to launch sometime this month.

Finally, Corey Costa of the ICONVIET P-Rep team wrote an article touting the strengths of ICONbet.

Oracle imminent

During the most recent roadmap update, ICON indicated they “are inching closer towards a partnership with a leading oracle solution and we hope to provide more details on this very soon.”

Recently, in the ICON official Telegram channel, Scott Smiley elaborated on why this was important:

An oracle is an important piece of creating more usable / meaningful blockchain apps. Oracles bring real world data to smart contracts.

For example, let's say we bet on who will win the superbowl. I pick the Team A and you pick Team B. How will the blockchain contract know who actually wins? How will it connect to ESPN / other sports networks to know the results of the match? This is where oracles come into play. Oracles can report this data to the blockchain to settle the bet

It was also announced that there will be announcement within the next couple of weeks providing more details on the partnership.

Grants approved!

The first round of ICON Foundation grants has been approved:

Congratulations to those who will be receiving a grant, and we are all excited to see what you build!

Encouraging stats

Dr. Ben Lee provided a few encouraging stats regarding the status and growth of the ICON network:

Blockchain Industry News

Blockchain is the top skill in-demand in 2020, Report Linkedin (Crypto Purview)

Blockchain has become the number one in-demand skill. In the latest report by Linkedin, blockchain which companies weren’t even looking at a year ago, now in 2020 tops the list of most in-demand hard skills.

CME Bitcoin options doubles Bakkt’s volume on its first day (Micky)

The Chicago based CME Group traded 54 options on Bitcoin Futures on its first day today – but both were trounced by an upstart.

Rapper Akon kicks off construction for world's first "crypto city" (Decrypt)

The singer is of Senegalese descent and first revealed plans for Africa’s most futuristic metropolis over 18 months ago. At the time, he said the city will be built on 2,000 acres of land gifted to him by the President of Senegal, Macky Sall. It will trade exclusively in Akon’s digital cash currency, Akoin.

CoinGecko AMA

CoinGecko, one of the leading price and volume aggregation websites, recently held an “Ask Me Anything” on reddit. It’s clear that the platform is trying to neutralize a lot of the misreported information that has circulated regarding volume, price, and other metrics — be sure to give the AMA a read to learn more.

SEC issues IEO investor alert (Micky)

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued an alert warning investors about the dangers of initial exchange offerings (IEOs).

The alert, published Tuesday by the regulator’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, called on investors to exercise caution before investing in an IEO through online trading platforms.

Analyst: 60% Chance Of Bitcoin ETF In 2020 (Forbes)

ETF Trends CEO Tom Lydon appeared on CNBC’s ETF Edge on Monday, and the potential for a Bitcoin ETF approval in 2020 was a key topic of conversation. The prospect of a Bitcoin ETF has been tracked closely by cryptocurrency enthusiasts for a number of years now, mainly due to the potential impact such a product could have on the Bitcoin price.

The importance of DApps

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

Why DApps Matter

While we all recognize that what will truly differentiate ICON from other projects is it’s promise of interoperability, it’s also been increasingly clear that applications built upon the network itself will be important to the ongoing development of the network — especially over the short-term.

To begin explaining why this is the case, I am going to draw initially from an answer that Ricky Dodds provided during an AMA in 2019:

Fast forward to today and the question is has that vision changed and if so why? And if not, what is taking so long to see it through?

First, I would say that the vision hasn’t necessarily changed. But I would say perhaps the scope has tweaked. Originally, the plan was like you said. Onboard all of ICONLOOPs enterprise customers, and connect them to the public Nexus and have freely flowing data across the network, powered by ICX. That’s still the vision, but I think we’re early (Bottom of the 1st, Top of 2nd… early… to use a baseball analogy) and enterprise adoption of public blockchain solutions will take some time and patience.

We want to be building for the vision we see. ICON Republic as a digital representation of a country with governance and economic policy programmed into its core, facilitating the growth and expansion of crypto native and/or new breeds of companies (such as DAOs) while also dedicating resources to the design and implementation of interchain. We believe this path of parallel activity increases the likelihood of the success of the project and frankly speaking, limits the reliance on 3rd parties for short and medium-term success.

Simply put, adoption is disruption. And at the foundation, we don’t want to wait around on others to get off the fence. Although, that’s the home run scenario and one we will continually push :). That said, we want to be more pragmatic and focused on driving utility now and the governance system we’ve designed should allow for this growth.

To expand on this, here are some quotes from Ben Lee of the ICON team, made in the Telegram chat (please note that the “chat” style of this dialogue will make it read a bit awkwardly):

For now, since we don't have enough users and Dapps in our network there is not much to do even if we connect private blockchian with our public blockchain

what we are trying to do is setting many private block chain as possible with their own benefit first and then suggest them to connect with public blockchain because every other private block chain will do

Connection is easy

There is no utility to connect in both company side and user side for now

what we try to do is get more people to use private blockchain without noticing they are using it and then adopt to public block chain when they are get used to use it

so what we are doing is setting loop chain(ICX private chain) here and there and try to make some utility to connect them all in public blockchain.

so connecting ICON to EOS or Tron is cool stuff

but right now, if we connect, people will most likely to use Dapps on EOS with ICX

not EOS people to use ICX

because there is not much things to do in ICX for now

so what we are trying to do is make something significant first in ICX and then connect

so the other platform users are willing to use ICX platform

The simplified explanation of these statements is that, even if an entity has an ability to connect to the public chain, if there isn’t any value added in doing so, they won’t do it. There are few private chains even existing right now (just another reminder of how early blockchain really is), meaning there are few opportunities for possible interconnectivity (because the number of candidates for connectivity is so low). The fact that these handful of private chains are not yet integrated with a public chain means there is essentially no reason for any entity to connect to the public chain (because who would they connect to?).

But just because that’s the case today, doesn’t mean it will be the case forever.

As more and more entities start to use the private chain with success and confidence, I believe they will start onboarding to the public chain (under belief that their counterparts will as well) — but that point is still a ways off. (My-ID is the clearest path to initial public chain adoption, and their efforts don’t really start gaining momentum until 2021, according to their roadmap.)

However, major institutions onboarding for the purposes of interoperability aren’t necessarily a requirement for traction and success of the ICON public chain. In fact, should ICON become “successful” over the long-term, it will be the result (in my opinion) of both major enterprise usage, along with a layer of smaller-scale operations that create large volume in the aggregate.

So just how do we build that layer and generate the initial momentum we need in the short-to-medium-term to generate utility for the public chain?

The importance of contribution proposals

While ICON held elections for P-Reps to determine which teams would operate nodes and receive contribution rewards, the network will be holding a similar process for “contribution proposals” — specific ideas on how to either expand the ecosystem or build applications to run on the ICON network.

These proposals — and their materialized projects — could be the key to generating increased utility over the coming months (and ultimately years) on the ICON public chain. In this instance, my focus is primarily on the application proposals, rather than the ecosystem expansion proposals.

So what do I mean by utility in this context? To describe what I mean, I am going to use a very extreme example: Let’s pretend somebody came along and essentially built an application that was as popular as Facebook, but did it on the ICON public chain (not likely, but we can dream, right?). With so many users, there would be significant demand to integrate — through interoperability — with that application, for a number of reasons and use cases (digital identity verification, perhaps, being one of those use cases!). That is what I mean by utility.

Ultimately, I see the contribution proposal program as a door of sorts — when it’s open, it provides significant opportunity, especially if people are willing to walk through it. But over time, the door can also close if too few quality proposals are put forth, or if those proposals never come to fruition.

In terms of opportunity, the fact that the ICON network provides funding for those who wish to build applications is a unique feature, and one that could differentiate ICON as a platform from the many others out there. There are likely a number of ideas for applications that are sitting dormant because those who thought of them have no idea how to capture the resources necessary to build them. Well, fortunately, ICON is doing just that — offering those resources.

From that standpoint alone, there is little reason to believe that ICON won’t have the ability to recruit enough talent and ideas to start building some truly practical applications with genuine use cases.

The risk, however, is if an inadequate number of proposals (either in terms of quantity or quality) materialize. In other words, if word isn’t adequately spread regarding the opportunity presented by contribution proposals, the entire program will be essentially wasted. Even with a monetary incentive, there is still so much noise, and so many other tempting projects to build upon, that ICON standing out among them all may not happen. If this is the case, not only will we lose out on a number of the potentially game-changing applications and tools that we’ll need for success, but it may also create a negative image of ICON if the network can’t recruit quality projects even when offering compensation for doing so.

To be clear, I do not think this is likely. Beyond the compensation, there are plenty of other reasons people will be enticed to build on ICON. Yet, the risk is sufficient enough where I believe one of the most important things the community and P-Reps can do over the coming weeks and months is promote the contribution proposal system as far and wide as possible.

Ever since the start of the bear market, there has been essentially endless discussion about the need for “marketing” in order to motivate crypto enthusiasts and retail investors to purchase ICON based on speculative value. I generally have not believed that this type of marketing is all that productive.

However, promoting the contribution proposal system is the type of marketing that can build long-term value and utility for the ICON network. It’s my hope that the community as a whole can shift our energy toward doing just that.


News from ICON World

broof 1.0 Launched

ICON announced that it has officially launched broof, it’s blockchain-based certification process. While the ICON community was aware of broof for some time now, the platform had still been in a development/testing phase. With the release of the 1.0 version, it appears broof is ready for greater adoption.

my-ID Alliance continues to grow

This week, we learned that the my-ID Alliance has added three new partners: “Popular online recruiting platform Saramin, online shopping company GS Shop and data analysis company LIME Solution,” according to The Iconist.

According to the my-ID Alliance roadmap, they hope to have 100 partners by the end of 2020. Based on their gradual growth thus far, that number certainly seems in reach.

Meanwhile, Ben Lee weighed in:

Interestingly, Lee pointed out that all global partners explicitly plan to use the public chain. While the list of global partners only includes Yoti at the moment, but it will be interesting to watch this list in particular grow in time.

Staking just got easier

ReliantNode, an ICON P-Rep candidate, has launched “Covert-Stake-Vote” on MyIconWallet:

For many, the multi-step process to claim i_Score, stake, and then vote can come off as a bit cumbersome. Accordingly, ReliantNode has built a system to streamline the process.

Another example of the community building helpful tools for ICONists!

New Video

Mineable, an ICON P-Rep and Youtuber has released his most recent video featuring ICON:

For those who haven’t heard of the project — or perhaps haven’t followed it closely — this can be a very helpful introduction!

Is Korea relaxing its crypto laws?

Interesting reports emerged this past week indicating that certain elements of the Korean government were indicating a desire to liberalize some of Korea’s cryptocurrency laws, especially in regard to trading:

In a new report, the Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (PCFIR) proposed the government could move to bring cryptocurrencies into the mainstream of finance through a number of measures, including derivatives.

With cryptocurrency trading surging worldwide, "it is no longer possible to stop crypto-asset trade," said the PCFIR, as per a report by Business Korea on Monday.

The committee said the government could follow the lead of U.S. regulators and sanction products such as futures contracts tied to bitcoin. Institutions would also be allowed to offer other cryptocurrency services such as trading.

While the impact this will have on ICX itself is difficult to determine, it’s nonetheless positive that Korea is moving in a more accommodating direction regarding cryptocurrency.

Blockchain Industry News

Three Cryptocurrency Regulation Themes For 2020 – And The Flawed Premises Behind Them (Forbes)

The blockchain and crypto community is ringing in the new year to a level of legislative and regulatory attention that would have been hard to predict a year ago. On one level, this is unsurprising when many predicted that crypto was dead a year ago following an 85% decline in the price of bitcoin from its 2017 peak. With Christmas 2018 headlines such as “Rhymes with Bitcoin: Has Crypto Hit the Fan?”, the revealed wisdom was that crypto was either dead, or destined to be a minor financial footnote. What a difference a year makes.

New York’s lawmakers are pushing for its own cryptocurrency (Decrypt)

Lawmakers in the city of New York are proposing a new form of hyper-localized digital cash that would run on a peer-to-peer payments platform called an “Inclusive Value Ledger.”

The proposition comes from New York State Assembly member Ron Kim, Senator Julia Salazar, and Cornell law professor Robert Hockett, who, in true crypto form, published a whitepaper to elaborate on the idea in November 2019.

Bithumb to invest over $8M in local ‘regulation-free’ zone for blockchain development (The Block)

South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is set to invest 10 billion won (~$8.6 million) in Busan city’s “regulation-free” zone for blockchain development.

The country’s Ministry of SMEs and Startups announced the news on Thursday, saying that Bithumb will invest via its subsidiary GCX Alliance.

What will happen to cryptocurrency in the 2020s (Brian Armstrong, via Medium)

In short, I think over the next decade we’ll see a blockchain, that is both more scalable and includes privacy features, reach about 1B users by the end of the decade (up from about 50M at the start of the decade). Adoption will happen both in emerging markets, where the financial systems are most broken, and from a crop of new crypto first startups producing products people want. By the end of the decade, most tech startups will have a crypto component, just like most tech startups use the internet and machine learning today. Governments and institutions will move into the cryptocurrency space in a big way as well.

Total Ethereum Locked in Decentralized Finance Hits New All-Time High of 3 Million ETH (CryptoGlobe)

The total amount of Ethereum locked in the decentralized finance (DeFi) has recently hit a new all-time high above the 3 million ETH mark, meaning around $432 million are locked in DeFi apps.

Data from the decentralized finance tracking platform DeFi Pulse shows the amount of ether locked in these apps has been surging, going from 2.68 million ETH in December 2019, to over 3 million ETH at press time.

Don’t buy Bitcoin

2020 Predictions

Welcome to this week’s edition of RHIZOME Wire!

2020 Predictions

As a way to look forward into the New Year, I thought it might be interesting to provide some predictions about what I believe may happen in 2020 in the ICON ecosystem. Keep in mind, these are just some thoughts I have, not guarantees or promises.

People often overestimate what will happen in the next two years and underestimate what will happen in ten. - Bill Gates

This is a quote that is fairly widely known by now, but I believe it encapsulates my perspective on the ICON Project specifically and blockchain generally. I have noticed that, in general, blockchain followers and crypto holders tend to expect significant progress in single year periods. However, comparable progress in other industries has taken far longer to play out, and so my expected timeline for crypto is the same. Meanwhile, on a longer term time frame, I think ICON still has a great opportunity to make a significant impact both on the blockchain community and even the world.

Overall, when it comes to ICON, I expect 2020 to feel a lot similar to 2019. I believe it will be a continued process of gradual building, development, and laying the technological foundation necessary for the project to succeed. This is not to say there won’t be exciting news sprinkled here and there regarding partnerships, business development, or other more exciting news. But, in general, there will be no “earth shaking” developments that generate massive price pumps. (I think this will also be the experience of most crypto projects in the space as well.)

But that’s OK, because 2020 will likely be the most productive year the ICON ecosystem as a whole will have for the following reasons:

  • With the implementation of the EEP (ecosystem expansion project) and DBP (DApp Booster Program) campaigns, we will see a significant uptick in the amount of DApps, projects, and tools being built on the network. While I don’t think many of these will generate huge spikes in transactions in 2020, they will be laying significant foundations underneath the project that could pay off big time in 2021 and beyond. Keep in mind, the DBP and EEP programs can provide funding for up to 100 projects each — even if only a handful succeed, that’s still a great outcome for the network and ICX token holders.

  • From a technical standpoint, the primary focus of 2019 was the process of network decentralization. Although there were a few minor bumps in the road, this process was a success, and the network continues to grow stronger through updates the development team continues to build and push onto the network. This was a critical achievement required for long-term success of the network, but on it’s own, it didn’t do much in terms of price. In 2020, the key technical priority will be the buildout and implementation of the Blockchain Transfer Protocol (BTP) - the engine that will power ICON’s interoperability feature. Much like decentralization, the completion of BTP will not, on it’s own, generate price action. However, it’s a required step in the long-term process of ensuring ICON is able to deliver on its promise.

  • As more tools and resources are made available to developers — and if adequate effort to recruit them is put forth — we will see a continued increase in individuals interested in building on the ICON network. This “interest” will be enhanced by the financial incentives made available through the DBP and EEP programs, but the infrastructure required to ensure developers have the tools they need will be integral. Initiatives such as ICON CORE are an example of efforts that can be made to recruit more development. Overall, ICON is already a strong platform for developers to build on — but continued improvement through building, and efforts to recruit, will be important in 2020.

While stressing the fact that development will continue to play the largest role in ICON’s progress in 2020, that does not necessarily mean we won’t start to see a larger role (and transaction volume) for the public chain. Here are a number of activities that I see contributing to increased public chain usage in 2020:

  • The launch of Seoul’s blockchain efforts, which we have been informed will include use of the public chain. While I do not believe this will cause a major transaction spike immediately off the bat, I do think it will be impactful, and will gradually grow over time, assuming the initial use case(s) is successful.

  • The launch of DApps currently in development (or those to be built under DBP), as well as increased usage of existing DApps. For instance, ICONBet — currently the leading DApp in terms of transaction volume — plans to add additional games to expand their audience and user base. Other DApps or applications using the ICX token, such as Somesing or Stayge, will also continue to grow their user base, increasing ICX transactions.

  • Additional projects that promised to use the ICX public chain will also begin to flourish. Examples of this category include ARTnGUIDE and broof, as well as others that will likely be announced this year.

In aggregate, I believe all of these factors — as well as others that we can’t foresee — will lead to the first 1 million transaction day on the ICON public chain.

Finally, I believe the following other miscellaneous activities will happen:

  • Continued growth and expansion of the my-ID Alliance, along with greater clarity regarding possible interoperability use cases that would utilize the ICON public chain. This is partly outlined in the Alliance roadmap, so it’s less of a “prediction” and more of a “reminder.”

  • An enshrouding of what, exactly, Unchain (the joint venture between ICON and LINE) is working on, and whether or not it’s as meaningful as the community initially anticipated.

  • As China continues to ramp up their blockchain adoption and integration, South Korea will feel pressure to do the same from a competitive standpoint, accelerating their own internal adoption. This is already starting to play out to a certain extent (as we’ve seen with Korea’s liberalization on crypto laws), but I believe the trend will accelerate. From a macro standpoint, this will be bullish for ICON. As Min Kim recently pointed out, regulatory hurdles are often more significant than technical challenges. Accordingly, an improvement in the overall regulatory environment will be a significant boost.

There are a number of other explicitly planned activities in the works as well — simply take a look at ICON’s roadmap to see — that I won’t list here because, well, they’ve already been announced as in the works.

There are, of course, a number of developments that may occur that I haven’t listed here.

I will say one final thing on 2020. If you are the type of person who gauges a project’s quality based on it’s short-term price, you will likely be disappointed. If you are the type of person who gauges a project’s quality based on progress, ongoing development, and growth of the ecosystem, I think 2020 may be the most encouraging year thus far.

News from ICON World

Hashnet ‘4th Industrial Revolution 2020’ Blockchain Festival

P-Rep candidate ICON DAO was present at the Hashnet ‘4th Industrial Revolution 2020’ Blockchain Festival, where ICONLOOP Director of Public Affairs Josh Choi made a presentation on the future of ICONLOOP.

Not only did ICON DAO provide an overview of Josh’s presentation, but they had an opportunity to speak with Josh afterward to gain some additional insight into the relationship between ICONLOOP and ICON.

Here is a quote that particularly stood out from me from the interview with Josh:

A lot of countries around the world are scared to use blockchain and don’t understand it. So we start with private chain, then with that success if the cities want to continue exploring public chain then we can speak and link with ICON.

I would say you could insert the word “companies” for “countries” and have an accurate statement as well.

This is ultimately the value of having ICONLOOP — most entities of significance aren’t going to be willing to plunge head first into blockchain. By utilizing a private chain first, it’s a bit like walking before running.

While many in the community get frustrated by the fact that partnerships happen with ICONLOOP — rather than ICON — it’s ultimately a necessary step before moving to ICON. As a simplified example, ICONLOOP serves as sort of a testing ground for an entity to adopt blockchain, before moving onto ICON. Will all of those who use ICONLOOP go to ICON? No. But expecting partnerships to happen directly with ICON is a bit like expecting a teenager to go directly from middle school to college.

Gold on the blockchain

Right before the end of the year, Min Kim tweeted the following:

When asked to elaborate on how this would serve as a use case for the public chain, Min replied with the following:

In other words, this would allow an individual to purchase a stake in gold as an asset, through the mechanism of cryptocurrency (specifically, ICX). What’s the advantage to this? Here is the CEO of PAXOS (the company behind PAX Gold):

For traders who might want to buy gold on-the-go and then pick it up in another location, Cascarilla believes Pax Gold could offer a regulated alternative to physical ownership.

“You can own that gold but you don’t have to pay a custody fee, and you can send it around the world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” he said. “This is a groundbreaking product in the history of gold.”

Scott Smiley expanded on how ICON could expand on this use case in a Telegram discussion.

Take this convenience, and incorporate it into ICON’s promise of interoperability, and you have what could be a very interesting development to keep an eye on as time moves forward.

Roadmap Update

With the conclusion of the 4th Quarter of 2019, ICON released their updated roadmap. Here was the most exciting section of the update:

Looking ahead, there are many things in the pipeline to be excited for in 2020. First and foremost is the expected launch and release of commercialized BTP v1.0. We also expect to complete IISS by adding in the contribution proposal system. This includes the DApp Booster Program and Ecosystem Expansion Projects.

Additionally, we are exploring the implementation of a side chain for smart contract execution on Core 2.0 to improve scalability, enhance BTP functionality and provide a sandbox environment. Furthermore, we are inching closer towards a partnership with a leading oracle solution and we hope to provide more details on this very soon.

The continued development of BTP, and the launch of the contribution proposal system, are both significant milestones that will add tremendous value to the ICON network — and it appears both are getting closer and closer to becoming a reality.

RHIZOME & Corey Costa

Brian Li, team lead of RHIZOME, sat down with Corey Costa on the most recent episode of The ICX Show, entitled “A Necessary Dialogue.”

Corey Crypto- ICON Ambassador/ICONVIET P-Rep@coreycosta123
The ICX Show: A Necessary Dialogue via @YouTube Here is it! My podcast with @bwhli of @RhizomeICX where we discuss governance structures, the necessity of P-Rep and Foundation collaboration, the necessity of P-Rep involvement and much more! #icx #iconThe ICX Show: A Necessary DialogueToday, I had an extremely wholesome conversation with Brian Li of Rhizome. Brian Li and I highlighted our concerns within the ICON Ecosystem that must be

Here is Corey’s description of what the episode entailed:

Brian Li and I highlighted our concerns within the ICON Ecosystem that must be addressed going into 2020. As P-Reps, it is our duty to highlight the grievances of the community and work collectively to ensure that the ICON Ecosystem expands and prospers through mutual cooperation and universal communication: between P-Rep and Foundation, to work on a united and global frontier. Brian Li and I discussed the necessity of P-Rep involvement within expanding the ecosystem, not through just running a node. We discuss the necessity of a defined vision between P-Rep and the Foundation, specifically highlighting the idea of possibly having a monthly dialogue between P-Reps where we can all collaborate and communicate to solve issues and work together under the ICON Banner. We discussed the importance of governance and the necessity of setting clear definitions on laws and regulations within the ecosystem that all P-Reps abide by. We spoke about the marketing proposal by community member "Mikey", highlighting the necessity of a clear vision between P-Rep and Foundation. Lastly, we highlight our views on the newly proposed IISS Enhancements for the ICON Ecosystem.

What’s to come in 2020?

The ICONist put together a brief overview of what was accomplished in 2019 with an eye toward what’s in the pipeline for 2020. For a bigger picture perspective of the project, be sure to give it a read!

Blockchain Industry News

Bitcoin, Ethereum are most profitable investments of the decade (Decrypt)

Cryptocurrencies outperformed traditional stocks over the last ten years but Netflix, Amazon and Domino's were not that far off.

Say Goodbye to Banking as We Know It (Bloomberg)

Little is known about the digital yuan except that it’s been in the works for five years and Beijing is nearly ready to roll. The consensus is that the token will be a private blockchain, a peer-to-peer network for sharing information and validating transactions, with the People’s Bank of China in control of who gets to participate. To begin with, the currency will be supplied via the banking system and replace some part of physical cash. That won’t be hard, given the ubiquitous presence of Chinese QR code-based digital wallets such as Alipay and WeChat Pay.

Cryptoqueen: How this woman scammed the world, then vanished (BBC)

Ruja Ignatova called herself the Cryptoqueen. She told people she had invented a cryptocurrency to rival Bitcoin, and persuaded them to invest billions. Then, two years ago, she disappeared. Jamie Bartlett spent months investigating how she did it for the Missing Cryptoqueen podcast, and trying to figure out where she's hiding.

20,000 tickets for UEFA 2020 to be sold on blockchain (Decrypt)

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is partnering with Ethereum mobile wallet provider AlphaWallet to tokenize 20,000 VIP tickets for the 2020 UEFA Euro Tournament. This is the second time AlphaWallet has worked in a large soccer competition. Last year, it partnered with Chinese sports organization Shankai for the FIFA World Cup.

Secretary-General Says United Nations Must Embrace Blockchain (Forbes)

United Nations secretary-general António Guterres says the intergovernmental giant needs to embrace blockchain. In a statement provided to Forbes by the secretary-general’s office, Guterres touted the technology first made popular by bitcoin as a crucial component of the organization that generates $50 billion in revenue annually.

Data, Data, Data!

Coinmetrics, a cryptoasset market and network data provider, released a 2019 retrospective covering the economics and usage of various blockchain protocols.

2019 saw a rise in prices, decreases in volatility, and general increases in usage for the majority of major crypto assets. All of these are positive signals heading into 2020. We look forward to continuing to cover crypto in 2020, and providing more insights and analysis throughout the new year.

The marketcap fallacy

Welcome to this week’s edition of RHIZOME Wire!

The marketcap fallacy

Ever since the beginning of the bear market and the slide in price of ICX, many in the community have placed a laser-like focus on the projects ranking when it comes to market cap. Specifically, they look at the popular website, CoinMarketCap, and see how ICON stands relative to other projects.

Typically, when it is pointed out that not just ICON has suffered during this bear market, a frequent response is something along the lines of “But look at our ranking on CoinMarketCap! We’ve continued to fall!” as though the CoinMarketCap rankings were an underlying valuation of the strength of a product, rather than a simple multiplication formula comprised of price x circulating supply. Here is an example of such sentiment, as pulled from Twitter over just the past couple of days:

Similar sentiment has also spread across reddit, Telegram, and other platforms.

I’d like to spend a bit of time explaining why using marketcap to value a project, or to value a project relative to others, isn’t an accurate way to gauge the quality of a project.

The origins of CoinMarketCap

Let’s take a look at a blog post from CoinMarketCap explaining its origins:

After a few months of ruminating about how to best measure these cryptocurrencies, he had come across the financial section of a news site describing the market capitalization of equities. It struck him that such a metric would be useful and familiar for those already comfortable with some of these financial terms, and decided this was how he could best present the relative sizes of altcoins.

In other words, without an immediate and apparent way to value cryptocurrency projects, the founder of CoinMarketCap decided to borrow a metric from traditional finance in order to ascertain the value of projects. From that point on, this notion became the default mechanism for valuing cryptocurrency projects. However, there are a few problems with this approach:

  • Market cap as used in traditional finance is calculated using stock price multiplied by the number of issued shares. A stock price is tied to a company’s earnings, prospects for future earnings growth, dividends (if applicable), and other documentable and tangible factors. Cryptocurrency has none of these things. It’s price is based almost entirely on speculative value—it is essentially based upon what the market believes it to be worth. In traditional markets, demand also plays a role in price, but it’s typically rooted in the financial factors described above.

  • The number of shares in existence is typically a static number. Sure, it can vary from time to time—especially when it comes to stock splits—but it tends to remain stagnant. In other words, price fluctuations are what lead to changes in market cap, not fluctuations in shares. Meanwhile, in crypto, the supply of tokens fluctuates significantly. As I write this, the circulating supply of tokens such as Tezos, Dogecoin, and ICON (just as a small sampling) have all slightly increased. That means, assuming their price remains constant (as it has), their market cap has gone up.

  • A market cap in traditional finance is used to evaluate the size of companies. Companies with factories, employees, products, cash flows, patents, and other tangible factors. Cryptocurrency projects, on the other hand, are far less tangible. They are also incredibly diverse. Bitcoin’s purpose and value proposition is far different than Ethereum. VeChain's supply-chain use case is far different than ICON’s promise of interoperability. Using market cap to value all of these projects is the equivalent of valuing a currency and the internet in the same manner.

Does this mean market cap is useless in cryptocurrency? Not necessarily. It can help to give context to why XRP isn’t really as “cheap” as it may seem compared to Bitcoin, since it looks beyond simply price. However, I think it must be taken with a grain of salt, considering the factors listed above.

Context is important

Maybe you’re not convinced by my argument above. That’s fine. Let’s assume you believe marketcap is still a good way of evaluating a project.

But even if that’s the case, should it really be the only way?

Instead of simply looking at one number - CMC Ranking - as a way to evaluate a project, it makes more sense to look at the complete picture. Perhaps ask yourself the following questions.

For those projects that have surpassed ICX on the rankings: ask yourself, what are they doing better that makes them “better” than ICX? Do we really believe that Bitcoin Diamond and NEM — two tokens that were identified as “dead” by CoinDesk — are better long-term investments than ICON?

Does it matter that several stable coins have been added over the last couple of years at a higher market cap than ICON?

If ICON’s price was $0.17 at the time of this writing — putting them around #50 in the CMC rankings (rather than around #70) — would your foundational confidence and belief in the project be significantly different?

If other projects have surpassed ICON in the last two years in ranking, does that make ICON a bad long-term investment?

If the market takes off and every token, including ICX, grows by 100x, would it still bother you that ICON is #70? Would it bother you if it grew only 99x and fell to #80?

There are 4,950 tokens listed on CoinMarketCap. Isn’t it more relevant that ICX is remains firmly among the Top 1.5%, rather than being upset its no longer among the Top 1%?

This is just a small example of why looking solely at the relative ranking on CMC isn’t all that helpful or informative.

Does it suck that ICX is no longer $12? Yes. Did other projects either see a smaller price decline, or a larger subsequent price increase? Yes. Do those facts alone mean ICON is an inferior project? No.

Stop looking at price. Stop looking at rankings. Pay attention to fundamentals.

News from ICON World

More media focus on my-ID

In a story about the gradual adoption of DID, The Block Post (in a translated article), discussed how YOTI, one of the participants in the my-ID Alliance, currently implements their digital ID:

In the UK, when buying age-restricted items such as cigarettes or lotteries at convenience stores, a service that allows people to verify their age using blockchain mobile identity card YOTI is popular. Through this, the user can confirm his / her age without revealing personal information such as name and address that were previously exposed when presenting an identification card such as a driver's license to a convenience store.

You can also prove your identity with Yoti when you sign real estate or trade goods online. This allows you to verify your identity in seconds without the need for a photo ID or document, which speeds up service delivery and reduces the cost of processing a service.

In addition, users can easily log in through Yotti without having to sign up on different homepages each time, or enter a password to reduce the burden of remembering the subscription information.

Some additional context:

Another step toward adoption!

Metanyx has released “ICONPay for WooCommerce,” which will provide merchants operating WooCommerce (a Wordpress Plugin) the ability to allow payment in ICX:

ICONPay for WooCommerce allows users to pay and merchants to accept ICX CryptoCurrency on their online store. Over 3 million onlines are powered by WooCommerce and growing everyday. Receive payments from anyone in the world quickly and easily.

ICONPay performs real time transactions without an intermediate gateway. The speed of the ICON blockchain makes it possible to use ICX for real time commerce unlike first and second generation blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum which have confirmation times ranging from a couple minutes to hours depending on network usage.

Mobile Staking now available for Android

At least, the long wait is over as Android users can now stake from the mobile ICONex app:

MetrICX now available on iOS!

RHIZOME’s app, MetrICX, is now available for iOS users:

ZenSports Upgraded!

ZenSports, the peer-to-peer sports betting app, has been upgraded. As you may know, ZenSports’ internal token, SPORTS, runs on the ICON public chain. Here is the motivation for the upgrade:

We want our customers to feel emotionally connected to the teams and players that they’re following, betting on, and managing. We want our customers to feel excited when they get a notification that someone has accepted their bet or that bet results have been submitted. We want our customers to want to promote our product to their friends, colleagues, and families. Our new design accomplishes these product goals.

Transactions, transactions, transactions

This week, we saw a spike in ICX transactions:

While we’re still along ways off from the millions of transactions per day we hope to see someday, it’s nonetheless nice to see gradual progress. (I still remember the excitement when we first reached 30,000 transactions not too long ago!)

Blockchain Industry News

Teen crook hacked into 75 phones and stole $1M in cryptocurrency: authorities (NY Post)

An alleged teen crook stole the identities of 75 people and swiped $1 million in cryptocurrency — all from the comfort of his Brooklyn apartment, authorities said.

Yousef Selassie, 19, used a sophisticated SIM-swapping scheme to take over the phones of people in 20 different states between Jan. 20 and May 19, 2019, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Trader loses $26 million in one week as Bitcoin slumps to $6,500 (Coinrivet)

One trader has lost $26 million on Bitfinex this week during Bitcoin’s descent from $7,200 to $6,500.

According to the exchange’s leaderboard, a trader who goes by the username JOE007 has lost a grand total of $26,136,000 by trying to long Bitcoin while it’s in a downtrend.

The trader’s losses correlate with the steady rise in the amount of Bitcoin being locked in long positions on Bitfinex, with the amount rising to 47,157 BTC from 26,660 BTC on November 22.


According to a recent statement by Vitalik Buterin, he managed to convince the Ethereum Foundation to sell 70,000 ETH at the height of 2017’s parabolic run, resulting in a $100 million liquidity.

Cryptocurrencies Are Still the World’s Best Performing Asset Class This Year (Coindesk)

Despite trading significantly down from their record highs of late December 2017, large-cap cryptocurrencies had a phenomenal year and remain one of the greatest investment success stories of the decade.

Cementing themselves as the world’s leading asset class for yearly performance, cryptocurrencies have risen well above annualized returns of the U.S. equities, commodities and bond markets for 2019.

Fidelity Digital Assets intends to support Ethereum in 2020 (Yahoo! Finance)

If the client demand is there, then Fidelity Digital Assets could support Ethereum in 2020.

In a recent episode of The Scoop, the venture's president Tom Jessop told The Block that the firm has "done a lot of work on Ethereum" when asked if they would soon offer custody for the digital currency. Launched at the beginning of 2019, Fidelity Digital Assets (FDAS) offers cryptocurrency custody and trading tools for institutional investors and traders. Still, the firm has only supported bitcoin — a fact that some say keeps FDAS from truly competing with crypto-native firms like Coinbase and BitGo. 

What’s new in blockchain mining

CoinShares, a blockchain asset management firm, has released their report on the Bitcoin mining industry:

In this fourth edition of our biannual report we investigate the geographic distribution, composition, efficiency, electricity consumption and electricity sources of the Bitcoin mining network.

Oh no Binance what is you doing?

Who's down with BTP?

ICON inches closer to interoperability

Earlier this month, the ICON community was given an update on the progress of the “blockchain transmission protocol” or ‘BTP’ for short. Here is a description from The Iconist:

Last but not least, ICON is continuing efforts with BTP and is preparing its Proof of Concept (POC) of BTP version 0.5, with an expected launch in the coming weeks. More details will be shared once the team releases their design plans for BTP version 1.0. ICON hopes to commercialize this BTP technology (private to public interchain) by the first half of 2020 and is optimistic about the progress made thus far. 

Many were excited by this new announcement, but it’s significance may not have resonated with a large proportion of the community. Accordingly, I’d like to spend a bit of time on why its development is important (in fact, it may just be the most important development in the ICON project at this moment).

So what exactly is BTP? Here is a brief description from the ICON github page:

Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP) is a standard set of rules that allow users and smart contracts on a blockchain to communicate with other blockchains.

This, in a nutshell, is the critical component driving ICON’s promise of “interoperability” -- allowing blockchains to communicate with other blockchains. While it’s easy to describe, it’s not an easy feat to accomplish from a technical standpoint. 

We likely all know how complex a blockchain platform is just on it’s own. A ledger dispersed across thousands, if not millions, of different computers and servers in a manner that prohibits security breaches or other tampering. Transactions are literally happening at every second, and they all must be reliably entered and tracked across the entirety of the ledger.

With bitcoin in existence for 10 years, we may take this technology for granted by this point, but it still remains an amazing technological accomplishment. 

The promise of ICON’s BTP is to create a communication bridge of sorts between two blockchains. In other words, a user on Blockchain A has a command that must not only be reliably imprinted upon Blockchain A’s ledger (with it’s grand distribution and high transaction volume), but must also be reliably imprinted on Blockchain B’s ledger (with all of that blockchain’s complexities as well). 

If you’re of the mind that this doesn’t seem that hard, here is a diagram from the ICON whitepaper attempting to show how BTP works:

Here is the written description:

BTP consists of NotaryRequest(Tx) which confirms whether the transaction from the transmission blockchain is confirmed in Nexus and Notary(Tx) which transfers the transaction confirmed by Nexus to the receiving blockchain. Transactions initiated in the transmission blockchain are identified on the Nexus through the Light Client of the corresponding blockchain and registered in the Notary Channel. Transactions registered in the Notary Channel are delivered to the receiving blockchain, and the receiving blockchain verifies the signature of the delivered Notary block to verify the consensus in Nexus, and thereby processes the transaction.

So, this is definitely complex stuff. There are a handful of people who have expressed frustration that we’re only just now getting close to having a functional BTP product. But building such a complex process, and building it correctly, isn’t something that can be done overnight.

We are, however, getting closer. 

BTP’s ‘Roadmap’

It has been stated that the path of BTP implementation is as follows:

  • First, allow BTP from one private blockchain to another private blockchain. 

  • Second, allow BTP from one private blockchain to a public blockchain. 

  • Finally, allow BTP from one public blockchain to another public blockchain.

So where are we now? As referenced above, ICON is currently working on BTP version 0.5 and its proof of concept.

Just what is that proof of concept? As expected with most “proof of concepts”, the basic goal is answering the question “Does this thing work?” Accordingly, the goal with BTP 0.5 is to answer that question. Thus, the objective is not overly complicated. Here’s the final sentence to the introduction to BTP 0.5 on the github:

This PoC is intended to explain how to transfer a token between blockchains and provides python projects to run as an example.

And here is a more elaborate description:

For example, assume that Sender on “Blockchain A” wants to transfer a token to Receiver on “Blockchain B”. In that case, a pair of token scores should be deployed, one for each blockchain. The Sender sends a transaction to the token score on “blockchain A”, including an identifier for the destination blockchain, address of the Receiver and amount to be sent. Then, the token score on “blockchain A” records the transaction data as a BTP message on “Blockchain A”. Servers called Relayers always looks for BTP messages. When the Relayer finds a BTP message, it forwards the message to blockchain that corresponds to BTP message information. Finally, the token score on “blockchain B” will receive the contents of the BTP message then mint proper amount of tokens to be sent to user B.

Presumably, “Blockchain A” and “Blockchain B” would be two private loopchain-based blockchains. (Remember, “loopchain” is not only the name of the company building private blockchains, but also the name of the propriety blockchain technology being deployed.)

Much like blockchain was a “proof of concept” for blockchain, simply sending a transaction between two different blockchains serves the same purpose. To those who may be underwhelmed by this feat, just remember this is not the end of BTP’s development, but only the beginning.

What today is simply sending a token between blockchains may tomorrow be verifying a digital ID between blockchains (my-ID Alliance).

With all that in mind, the development progress of BTP may be the most important (and exciting) thing for ICONists to keep an eye on over the coming months.

News from ICON World

ICX listed on Binance US!

Ever since Binance ended it’s U.S. access, there had been much speculation over when (or even if) ICX would one day be listed on their new entity, Binance U.S. Fortunately, ICONists didn’t have to wait too long, as it was announced that ICX would be listed on the exchange. ICX, along with ENJ, are the first tokens outside of the Top 10 (based on market cap) to be listed on Binance U.S.

As of this writing, U.S. residents can now trade ICX on Binance U.S.

Is Korea going ‘all-in’ on DID?

Here is an excerpt from a translated story in Paxnet news (a leading Korean news site):

As part of the advancement of the digital financial discipline system, the Financial Services Commission has set up a legal system that can accept biometric information and distributed identification (DID) as a new means of identity verification.

On December 4, the FSC announced 'Fintech Scale-up Promotion Strategy for Accelerating Financial Innovation', and introduced MyPayment (instruction of payment to financial institutions without customer funds) and introduced biometric information and DID for financial innovation. It said it will establish a legal system that can be accepted as a new means of simple payment.

Henry Lee, head of strategy for ICONLOOP, weighed in with a tweet thread:

While it’s hard to tell the immediate direct impact of this news, one thing is clear: the Korean government is aggressively seeking to integrate DID into the country. This only bodes well for my-ID.

Speaking of which…

The growing alliance

The my-ID Alliance has added another partner. From The Iconist:

The MyID Alliance confirmed Tuesday that NHN Payco had joined the initiative as an alliance partner.

A core subsidiary of NHN, the Korean internet giant engaged in a variety of cloud, fintech, entertainment and advertising businesses, NHN Payco offers a wide range of financial services such as mobile payments, money transfers, loyalty points, big data-driven credit ratings, advertising and mobile security solutions.

NHN Payco joins the MyID Alliance as a “growth partner,” i.e., partners that are adopting my-ID’s blockchain ID service into actual services.

ICON Foundation unstakes

Following a great deal of discussion among the ICON community, the ICON Foundation decided to unstake 8m ICX they had currently staked to their P-Rep candidacy.

The gesture was done in order to help reduce the top-heavy centralization that had become a concern among ICONists. RHIZOME team member William McKenzie wrote about this very issue in his recent article, “Vote Disparity in the ICON Ecosystem.”

An additional solution has been proposed to simply just have the ICON Foundation unstake the excess votes and remove them entirely. This solution, in the short-term, would aid the problem of vote disparity, however, it does not address the problem in the mid-long term.

ICON’s action was widely praised by the community, and it’s encouraging to see them take feedback into such consideration. However, it’s likely that this won’t be the end of the conversation and concern regarding centralization of the ICON network.

Somesing gets listed

SSX, the IRC-based token of the Somesing platform, has been listed on an exchange! Click here to see how SSX is currently trading in terms of price and volume.

Resources to grow the ecosystem

Three new initiatives were announced this week to further facilitate growth on the ICON ecosystem:

  • Insight-ICON has announced they will be soliciting ideas from the community for their more than 250 Insight fellows to possibly tackle in the near future.

  • The ICON Foundation has announced their grant program and opened the application process.

  • VELIC has also announced their own grant program

Two new P-Reps

There are two new P-Rep candidates, both of whom have had a strong presence in the ICON community:

The broof is in the pudding

Broof, the digital certificate service built on the ICON public chain, will be issuing certificates to graduates of MIT’s CEO Program.

I had some thoughts on the significance of this news:

What’s the value of TAP?

Those who closely follow the ICON project are likely aware of ICONbet by now. While I hadn’t paid much attention to the platform when it first launched, I decided to do some deeper digging into not only the DApp, but how much holding its token could be worth.

Blockchain News

Ethereum’s Istanbul Hard Fork Is Now Live - Another iteration of Ethereum 1.x, Istanbul is the network’s eighth hard fork overall with the first code changes being approved in June 2019. (Eth 2, the network’s major transition to proof-of-stake (PoS), is expected in 2021.) Being non-contentious, all ethereum clients – which host and independently upgrade the ethereum protocol themselves – have agreed to the new software. (CoinDesk)

Developer Flags Big-Money Loophole for Stealing All the ETH in MakerDAO - Micah Zoltu, an independent software developer who is also one of the co-authors of the original white paper for the decentralized prediction market Augur, published a blog post on Monday describing an attack on MakerDAO that, he argued, could empty all the ETH from the system. (Users lock ETH into the Maker protocol to generate loans of the dollar-pegged DAI stablecoin.) (CoinDesk)

South Korea plans to tax crypto gains - The government is reportedly seeking to levy capital gains tax on cryptocurrencies regardless of the bill's passage. To that end, the government will need to have a precise definition of cryptocurrencies and decide how it will tax crypto gains - in line with stocks or real estate capital gains, per the report. The government will also reportedly have to get trading records from cryptocurrency exchanges in order to levy taxes accordingly. (The Block)

South Korea’s central bank to hire digital currency specialist - Bank of Korea, South Korea’s central bank, is looking for a PhD-level specialist on cryptocurrency to lead its digital innovation research department.

According to local reports, Bank of Korea has said that the individual will focus on researching the viability of a blockchain-based payment system. (Decrypt)

Jack Dorsey wants to decentralize Twitter - Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has revealed he wants to create an open standard for decentralized social media. And the goal will be to have Twitter conform to that standard. (Decrypt)

Deutsche Bank says crypto could replace cash by 2030 as fiat system looks ‘fragile’ - In the “Imagine 2030” research report, Germany-headquartered Deutsche Bank said cryptocurrencies may have been “additions” rather than “substitutes” in the finance world thus far, but the next decade could change that as regulatory hurdles get past. (The Block)


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