An interview with Balanced

Welcome to this week’s edition of RHIZOME Wire!

Interview with Balanced

Recently, Scott Smiley, one of the individuals working to build the Balanced project, agreed to an interview with RHIZOME about the project. If you haven’t yet heard of Balanced, be sure to check out the website, and also give my prior writing on the project a read!

Can you provide some insight into what sparked the idea for this project, the process of getting it off-the-ground, and how the participants became involved?

Answer: This idea was sparked when I was at Devcon in Japan. I looked around at the Ethereum DeFi ecosystem and realized its importance. DeFi is not something that one blockchain will dominate or specialize in, I realized that DeFi is something that would benefit any public blockchain.

To get this off the ground, I first did some brainstorming with internal team members about how to design an ICON defi platform. I did meaningful research into MakerDAO and Synthetix. From there, I spoke to a couple P-Rep teams to gauge their interest, specifically looking to get all the skill sets needed to turn this product into a reality. iBriz had the ICON smart contract skills, Mousebelt knows smart contracts and backend development, and PARROT9’s UX design / frontend skills are amazing.

After talking to all the teams and gathering interest, I cranked out a whitepaper and shared it with the team. We’ve been having weekly calls ever since then, with clearly outlined to-do items after each meeting. So far it has been a pleasure working with everybody.

What’s the next phase in your development process, and has the team reached a general timeline for launch?

Answer: The next phase in our development process is putting together a technical roadmap. We are currently outlining all the technical components of Balanced. Our current plan is to have a finished roadmap shared with the community and to start actual development in March.

What do you foresee as the most significant technical obstacles you’ll have to overcome?

Answer: Without getting too deep into the details, there are some technical obstacles when designing the arbitrage process. We are working on thinking through a way to make the transactions less computationally heavy.

From a higher level, the most difficult part of development will be designing and building secure and efficient smart contracts.

Are there any less-than-obvious benefits that Balanced can provide that you’re particularly excited about?

Answer: I’m particularly excited about the longer-term vision of Balanced, where we have many different pegged tokens backed by ICX. The first iteration of Balanced is ICON Dollars (Dollar pegged token backed by ICX), but future enhancements could include everything from other fiat currencies to commodities, stocks, real estate, etc. Anything that has a fairly liquid market that can have accurate pricing data will be theoretically possible to launch on Balanced.

The ICON roadmap currently lists a Stable Coin as one of its future objectives. To the extent you’re aware and can discuss it, do you see Balanced fulfilling this objective, or do you think there may be a scenario where several stable coins exist on the ICON network? 

Answer: I think there should be a scenario with multiple stablecoins on the ICON Network. I’d like to see fiat-backed stablecoins as well.

Fast forward two years from now: what would you hope that the Balanced project looks like and how do you envision its role in the ICON ecosystem?

Answer: I hope to see at least 1.5% of total ICX supply deposited in Balanced and backing various different pegged tokens. I hope to see many different asset classes, such as equities (Amazon stock, apple stock, etc.), commodities (gold, silver, oil, etc.), and fiat (USD, EUR, KRW, etc.) all backed by ICX and traded on a DEX. To me, this really gives ICX meaningful utility in our digital economy as a form of collateral to back the value of other assets.

News from ICON World

Democracy Seoul platform aims to incorporate proposals from the public into city policy

February roadmap update

This week - the ICON Foundation released their February roadmap update. Notable updates include LFT 2.0, side chain, and IISS 3.0.

UBIK Capital has sponsored ICX Comics

Several P-Rep teams have funded sponsorship for ICON at Consensus 2020

Inarguably within the blockchain space - Consensus has been touted as the “big event” one of which nearly all reputable and industry leading projects attend/have attended stretching as far back as the event’s orgins, 2015. This year, thanks to combined efforts of several P-Rep teams, ICON will be a top sponsor for the event.

Accordingly, RHIZOME has released more details surrounding the sponsorship and how the combined efforts of numerous P-Rep teams epitomizes a truly ecosystem-wide initiative.

Blackjack has officially launched!

Brian Li of RHIZOME sits down and chats with Corey Costa in his latest podcast

ICONLOOP is one of four finalists in the Global Enterprise Blockchain Awards

The next community P-Rep meeting will take place this weekend

As a precursor, in case other are not aware - the weekly P-Rep meetings have been moved to a bi-weekly basis.

5 new partners have joined the MyID alliance!

South Korea has passed legislation that recognizes crypto as a legal entity

Blockchain Industry News

IOTA plans to spin its crypto back up next week - Decrypt

An attack on IOTA on February 12 resulted in the theft of several million dollars worth of IOTA tokens. The day after, the IOTA Foundation, which develops the tokens, announced that it had “paused” the Coordinator, the IOTA-run node that validates the network’s transactions. 

CoinDesk’s Statement on Coronavirus and Blockchain Week NYC - CoinDesk

As of today, CoinDesk is moving forward as planned with Consensus 2020 and Blockchain Week NYC, but we will be monitoring the situation on a daily basis between now and May 8. 

The Steem Takeover and the Coming Proof-of-Stake Crisis - Cointelegraph

The Steem blockchain reportedly experienced a troubling episode recently, whereby the blockchain’s entire governance system was disturbed. Tron founder Justin Sun, new owner of the Steemit social network based on the Steem token, appears to have successfully executed a takeover of Steem by leveraging not only tokens directly controlled, but also tokens held on several major exchanges, in order to vote out the previous delegates (Steem uses a delegated proof-of-stake system) and install new ones.

Ethereum’s ProgPoW Debate Is About Much More Than Mining - CoinDesk

ProgPoW could drive a split on Ethereum if it goes forward, potentially similar to what happened after the DAO hack in 2016, which led to the creation of ethereum classic (ETC). But ethereum (and its native currency, ETH) is worth vastly more now than it was then. Much more is at stake.