Crypto Vigilante Network AMA Recap

Welcome to this week’s edition of RHIZOME Wire!


Last weekend, RHIZOME team members Brian Li and William McKenzie had an AMA with the Crypto Vigilante Network community and gave away 500 ICX to the community. They answered more than a dozen questions during the AMA on the ICON project but, I’d like to provide a recap for those who may have missed it.

Question 1: But to start, can you briefly introduce what ICON is, and what is Rhizome’s role with ICON?

William McKenzie: In RE: to what ICON is, ICON is a DPoS based-blockchain network with a focus on interoperability. With ICON’s BTP (blockchain transmission protocol), independent and isolated blockchains will be able to connect and transact between one another, think “communicate”.

This interoperability layer provided by BTP can open up many potential cross-chain use cases for both public/private that are impossible to have w/o such a mechanism.

Brian Li: ICON is a public blockchain network, so there are block producers. In ICON, block producers and potential block producers are called P-Reps, short for public representatives. The Top 22 P-Reps produce blocks at this time. RHIZOME is a P-Rep and we are currently ranked #6. Our primary focuses are creating high quality content for the community and also providing infrastructure for developers and users of the ICON network.

Question 2: When we look at many projects in crypto, there’s a disconnect between mainstream geared usage and things geared more towards the ordinary crypto holder/enthusiast. What makes ICON different from another smart contract platform like say Ethereum?

William McKenzie: There's definitely a disconnect, for sure. I would say on a technical level, there's a lot of similarities. But, what makes ICON stand out is its very real enterprise and govt. relations with ICONLOOP which are necessary to achieve mainstream adoption.

In fact, just recently we've seen news alongside the highly anticipated MyID launch, where Jeju Island, which is one of the most frequent travel destinations mind you, will require visitors to interact with the ICON public chain.

MyID is also the only digital identity all-around solution that is approved by the FSC as well. So when you look at just a few of these things, you should be able to get the idea.

Brian Li: From a technical perspective, I'd like to mention two things as well.

1. Low fees compared to Ethereum. To some extent, Ethereum is almost unusable at the moment due to the Defi craze. Transactions are simply too expensive.
2. ICON has a fast block time. At the moment, the LFT consensus mechanism achieves finality in 2 seconds. The team is working on further optimization with the LFT2 mechanism which optimizes messaging routines for even lower block time.

Question 3: Lately, there’s been a lot of developments around digital identity with many new players and competitors arising. What makes ICONLOOP’s MyID service standout from all the other digital identity solutions available and competing?

Brian Li: MyID is the only DID product approved by the FSC, which makes it the only DID that can be used for financial-related authentication. In life, we have many ID documents from your local gym ID to a passport. Each ID holds a different amount of “weight” in terms of identity authentication. Since MyID is a top tier DID, it can be used for a wide variety of purposes.

MyID has a huge consortium around it – SK government, the country’s top banks, top companies including Samsung, etc. In the past few weeks, we’ve seen onboarding onto Zzeung, the first app that uses MyID technology to create a DID with Shinhan Bank. This particular integration uses both the ICON public chain and private chains, so I expect to see a ramp up in ICX transactions over the coming months as more institutions onboard onto Zzeung – two other big banks are already on the list.

In 2020, this level of blockchain adoption cannot be seen anywhere else. With Shinhan Bank onboarding onto Zzeung, that's 18M customers with direct access to Zzeung in Shinhan's own banking app. Similarly, Zzeung is also being used for COVID-19 contact tracing on Jeju Island as well - this is a 15M tourists/year destination. Lastly, there are over 70 companies in MyID Consortium, and we already have news about upcoming Zzeung integrations in the coming weeks. All of this is made possible by MyID and ICONLOOP's close relationship with the SK government. It's really the perfect mix of so many factors coming together.

Question 4: A common theme around telegram channels is centered on private and public chain usage. Can you explain the difference between the two and provide examples of public chain usage today?

Brian Li: In the context of real-world adoption, I think having both public and private chains is needed. For example, in the case of Zzeung, it would be dangerous to have every usage of it tracked on a public chain. If that were the case, it could be possible to build a map of someone's life just by querying the public chain API. I also think a private chain is not a simple database - this is a narrative that I often see in crypto. A private chain is just a permissioned, so you need permission to read the data. Entities who are part of the private chain network can still take advantage of blockchain's properties.

There are several examples of public chain usage on ICON. ICONBet is a very popular dApp on the ICON network, so that highlights community-developed products that are seeing active use. On the enterprise side, broof and VisitMe are two products that use public chain and ICX. Broof is a certificate issuance service. Recently, major universities in SK issued diplomas to students on broof. VisitMe is a building entry timestamping tool that is being piloted by major companies in South Korea.

Question 5: In crypto we’re always out for ways to earn more tokens/coins. ICON is a DPoS based-blockchain network which offers staking. Can you explain how that process works and how I can start staking my ICX today?

William McKenzie: Since ICON is a DPoS based network, as Brian touched on earlier, we have P-Reps who serve as validators for the network. There’s a fixed number of validators, 22 top ones maximum.

In terms of how to start staking, we have a good tutorial on how to start in both video and written format.

Current reward rate is ~13%.

Question 6: COVID-19 has swept across the world and caused monumental changes in our daily lives. I believe that ICON has recently deployed Zzeung, a contact tracing app that uses ICON’s technology. What are the implications of this for combatting COVID-19? Also please explain how a users privacy is protected.

Brian Li: Initially, I thought Zzeung was strictly a COVID-19 related app. That's not the case, and I plan to write about that in an upcoming post. It's actually a more general/flexible identity app. I see it more as the consumer-targeted implementation of MyID technology.

With regard to COVID, Zzeung helps both the user and government entities. For users, they know that scanning a QR code will help keep them safe when they visit Jeju. For government, the standardized tracking protocol that they don't have to spend time/resources verifying the authenticity of can be leveraged to build automated APIs and services to deliver efficient contact tracing.

User privacy is protected by the use of public/private chain. I encourage people read the post below for more info. In short, initial identity is verified on public chain. After that, tracking across the island is done on a private chain which only associates a location with a fingerprint or PIN code.

Question 7: How does ICON wish to carry out it's monetary policy, do they intend to have all ICX transactions viewable like Ethereum with no privacy features?

Brian Li: I can't speak for the ICON team. It's possible there are some internal developments on the privacy (I think it's been mentioned before). There is no official privacy implementation on the roadmap though. As with many things in life, blockchain development is a compromise. ICON has a set number of devs, and right now the focus is on integrating ICON and private loopchains into South Korea society. There is a lot of success in this respect so far, so it makes sense to pursue this route at the moment. So to answer the question, no privacy features on the roadmap at the moment, but it could happen someday in the future.

Question 8: How does the ICON Foundation intend to decide on max circulation of ICX if there will be one, and how do they intend to manage that?

William McKenzie: So, there is no max supply for ICX, this can be managed though when the chain becomes deflationary.

This depends on the overall utilization of the network, in the case where transaction fees provide sufficient funding for the reward fund, new minting of ICX will not occur.

The point to reach this would be somewhere in the millions of daily txn’s, and txn fees were actually just raised recently.

Question 9: With their loop fault tolerance how do they plan on stopping forks in ICX if 51% or higher of voting power is collected or say - if ICX suddenly needs to be scaled or have a major coding bug? This will need to be approved by the majority but let’s say hypothetically it's an unpopular decision so voting power is under the needed amount?

Brian Li: For governance votes, ICON requires 2/3 of Main P-Reps to vote, and also 2/3 of delegated stake. I suppose in theory (with enough capital) it would be possible to overtake the network – an issue that affects many blockchains. However, the hacker would have to weigh the opportunity cost of such an attack. In the case of ICON, the Foundation holds significant reserves (which it intends to dilute over time). In the early days of decentralization which we still are in now, it's important for Top 22 to be dedicated to ICON's growth and security. If we start seeing malicious P-Reps, it's possible for P-Reps to vote for a ban. If that's not enough, I think ICON Foundation can deploy capital to take control of the network.

So far, we've seen a lot of dedication from P-Reps. We are always on-call and respond to network events quickly. I am confident that we can retain high quality Top 22 validators as the network grows.

Question 10: ICX holders are at risk of market volatility, does ICON plan on having its own stable coin or - does it plan on adding ICX token variations (IRC16s) of other well known stable coins ?

William McKenzie: ICX_Station along with a few other teams are working on just this with Balanced. Here’s their website.

In terms of the IRC-16 token standard for security tokens, this is something recent that ICON has started exploring again. There’s been a lot of momentum in the STO space, particularly around Tezos and Ethereum, so I expect we’ll see more developments around this in the near future for ICON.

Here’s some of the specs for the standard in case anyone is curious.

Brian Li: I should also mention that there was work on a stablecoin in the past. The team identified a banking partner, but the partner was acquired so the project was closed. I believe stablecoin on ICON is still on the radar as soon as a new banking partner is established.

Question 11: What is the current level of usage of DApp’s on the ICON network? What incentives would I have to create a DApp on the ICON network?

William McKenzie: So, in terms of current DApps there’s about 6 major DApps on ICON that generate a good amount of transactions so far. Stayge, ICONbet and ZenSports are some examples.

There’s also a hackathon that is underway that has garnered quite a good amount of participation so far, with up to $20k in prizes and an opportunity for up to a $50k grant from the ICON foundation

In regards to the incentives of building a DApp on ICON, ICON has something called fee-sharing and virtual step. Essentially, the DApp operators can pay for the txn’s with the virtual steps that accrue from the staking process.

Question 12: ICON sees themselves as more of an institutional/enterprise centered project. How does the ICON Foundation strive to maintain enterprise audience or do they plan to be open to all levels of businesses?

Brian Li: ICON has a significant first mover advantage in SK. As we've seen in blockchain, first-mover advantage is very important. With the MyID consortium, every large business (bank, insurance, logistics, etc) is aware of ICON to some degree. Over the past year, we've seen the MyID Consortium grow from nothing to over 70 of the country's top companies. So with regard to maintaining enterprise connections, I think it's just going to be a matter of doing more of what they're already doing... and perhaps expanding to other countries/continents. ICON is open to all levels of business. The public chain is permissionless so anyone is free to use it.

For answers to all the other questions that were asked, feel free to check out ICON Weekly #5.

News from ICON World

ICON Foundation releases their August 2020 monthly grant recap

ICON Weekly #5 – Shinhan Bank Integrates MyID, Magic SDK Support on ICON, and RHIZOME-CryptoVigilante AMA

ICONLOOP and MyID get major mainstream news coverage in SK

MyID Alliance partners have grown with 5 new additions

RHIZOME’s citizen node endpoint has crossed 16M total requests in the past month

POSTECH issued 293 diplomas using broof on August 29th

JH Kim is featured in an interview with Decenter

Reliant Node launches “Marvelous”

FutureICX gets their grant approved by the ICON Foundation for a V2

Blockchain Industry News

Bitcoin is now the 6th largest world currency - Decrypt

Bitcoin currently has 18.48 million units in circulation, each worth $11,722 at today's value. This places Bitcoin's M0 cap at $216.5 billion, making it around half the size of the Indian rupee and just over one-tenth the size of the US dollar. At its current market cap, Bitcoin has a money supply worth more than 170 different fiat currencies.

Ethereum Transaction Fees Set a Record Once Again as DeFi Becomes Even Pricier - CoinDesk

  • As of Tuesday, average and median transaction fees have skyrocketed to record highs of $10.33 and $5.68, respectively.

Ethereum Classic Hit by Third 51% Attack in a Month - CoinDesk

  • The attack reorganized over 7,000 blocks, or two days' worth of mining, according to a tweet shared by Bitfly. The first two attacks reorganized 3,693 and 4,000 blocks respectively.

Pornhub adds bitcoin and litecoin to its payment options - The Block

While Pornhub has been accepting crypto since 2018, the payment option has not seen significant growth, Price told The Block in March. But notably, around 10% of its adult performers were paid in crypto at the time. It means while Pornhub models prefer crypto payouts, the website's users are not so keen to pay in crypto.