From partnerships to funding

Welcome to this week’s edition of RHIZOME Wire!

From Partnerships to Investment Funding

Anyone who was around during the ICO (and overall crypto) boom of 2017 knows how big of a deal alleged “partnerships” were at the time. Coins that announced a partnership — basically, any partnership — would instantly see their prices skyrocket, based on the idea that these partnerships were a sign that blockchain was no longer speculative but, in fact, ready for mass adoption.

Of course, those who have stuck around since then know that is no longer the case. Many of those partnerships were marketing gimmicks (my favorite being a partnership with “Amazon” which was essentially just signing up to use their AWS cloud services) put forth by projects that are no longer around. Or perhaps the partnership is still around, but the partnership has vanished without a trace.

In 2017, a “partnership” was viewed as a stamp of credibility — but primarily because it was the only stamp around at the time.

Which leads us to today, and an announcement this week that ICONLOOP had raised a not-insignificant amount of funding from major companies looking to participate in DID technology being implemented by the myID Alliance.

Here is Markus Jun with a helpful Twitter thread on these deals:

In the thread, the key statement that sticks out to me is: “This investment was led by 7 of some of the largest investment companies in Korea. 2 of these were strategic investments.”

To a certain extent, this would be as if you had been building a startup company, and had received investments from seven large, recognized investment firms from Silicon Valley. Under this scenario, you would be very happy. Your investors would be very happy. Everyone who was part of your organization would be very happy. It’s a big deal.

In addition, it’s one of the most impactful “credibility stamps” around. While investments of this nature obviously don’t guarantee that a company will succeed, it’s nonetheless a strong signal that transitions a business from “speculative” to “successful”.

While not a perfect metaphor, this is similarly what just happened to ICONLOOP. Here is another key tweet from Markus:

This is similar to the type of partnership announcement we heard back in 2017. Except this time, the partnering firm is putting their money where their mouth is, and financially tying their own success to that of ICONLOOP.

Just as legitimate projects have evolved during the crypto (market) winter from ideas with grand promises into functional working products, so too have the players in the space. We’ve gone from partnerships that were only vague words on a paper to investment in real (and significant) dollars.

While ICONLOOP isn’t the same as ICON, it’s role and importance in the ICON Republic means this recent round of announcements can only be good news.

News from ICON World

ICON’s NFT token standard has been released

ICONLOOP was a finalist in the 2020 Enterprise Blockchain Awards

ICON Foundation releases its 26th newsletter

Active wallet count has reached over 400K!

Certik audits ICON smart contract code

Blockchain Industry News

Coinbase Exploring Stock Market Listing, Reuters Reports - CoinDesk

  • Sources speaking to Reuters said Coinbase had already begun the process for a listing; it isn't clear on which exchange venue this would take place. 

  • Rather than an initial public offering, it's said the firm would prefer to go down the route of a direct listing on an exchange.

Arca Uses Ethereum In First SEC-Registered Fund For Digital Shares - Forbes

Investment manager Arca has announced the Arca U.S. Treasury Fund, the first-ever product regulated under the Investment Company Act of 1940 to offer digital securities.

TikTok crypto-pump schemes nowhere to be found on China's Douyin - Decrypt

Netizens that commented on this post were also shocked that a simple viral video could add value to a currency that was essentially built as a joke according to its founder. Some commented that pumping up altcoins would build cynicism in the whole system, as the natural market pricing of altcoins is based on their perceived value.

Key Short-Term Scalability Feature Still Needs Research, Says Vitalik Buterin - Cointelegraph

Research into stateless clients for Ethereum is seen as instrumental for the long-term health of the network, but despite all the progress, some fundamental limitations prevent them from being applied in practice for now.