ICON Spotlight

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Introducing ICON Spotlight

I’ve noticed over the weeks, months, and years that ICON’s social channels will regularly have people pop in who either bought ICON long ago and have since not paid attention, or those who are just starting to research ICON. In both cases, they are often looking for an update on what ICON has going on.

In one category, we have the various enterprise partnerships that ICONLOOP and the Foundation have established and are starting to implement. However, in another emerging category are the numerous DApps and projects that have already launched or are currently in development. Those, too, are important steps on the road to mass adoption.

In order to help people better understand the nuances of these projects and why they could have a significant impact on the ICON ecosystem, I am launching ICON Spotlight, which will be a collection of lengthy articles diving deep into numerous projects being built on the ICON network.

As part of this effort, I’ve also put together what I have called the “ICON Master Roadmap”, which is simply a list of all upcoming launches, either of entire DApps, or important milestones on DApps.

This roadmap will be updated regularly, so be sure to use it as a reference moving forward for all the good stuff that’s coming down the pipeline. Here’s how it looks right now:

In addition, the first article of ICON Spotlight is a deep dive into what is arguably ICON’s most successful DApp thus far, ICONbet. Even if you’re aware of what ICONbet is, I encourage you to read this piece, as it will likely teach you things you hadn’t known before. Here’s an excerpt describing exactly what makes ICONbet so unique:

First — and perhaps most importantly — is the fact that ICONbet never holds user funds. All players participate by interacting with the blockchain and playing directly from their ICON wallet. At no point is a user required to make a deposit into a wallet held by ICONbet, which means your funds can’t be frozen or confiscated for any reason. In an industry full of storiesoffrustratedplayers who couldn’t withdraw their funds for weeks or months — or had their funds frozen entirely — this is a critical distinction. This is not unique to online casinos either. While brick-and-mortar casinos use chips for several reasons, one may be the most important from their perspective — so they can refuse a payout or even seize chips from a player if they determine there is a valid reason to do so.

Meanwhile, the ICONbet platform’s source code for both the platform and each individual game is entirely public on the blockchain. This is certainly not the case for non-blockchain casinos, and usually not the case even for casinos built on the blockchain. This means that ICONbet players can be 100% confident that the odds are what the casino (via the source code) says they are, and that the games operate in a fair manner.

Similarly, this also means that all transactions and bet history can be viewed on the blockchain, adding in additional transparency. For instance, Dan Brehmer of iBriz.ai was able to conduct an extremely thorough statistical analysis of ICONbet based on the open nature of the smart contract and transaction history.

As an added bonus, the open source code nature of ICONbet also means that players don’t even need to visit the ICONbet website to gamble. Instead, they can simply build a bot that interacts with the smart contract, with the bot being written to perform bets in a manner that the user thinks provides the greatest strategic advantage. In fact, the game DAOLevels, which has already launched on ICONbet, specifically makes it easier for users to implement their own script to play the game. This type of direct interaction with the casino’s smart contract is unique to ICONbet.

There is also the fact that ICONbet serves as a platform for other developers to build games on top of, and receive a portion of the profits generated by their game. In other blockchain casinos, games are sometimes built on separate platforms and simply “leased” by the casino in a profit-sharing arrangement, or the code is bought and sold. While this may make minimal difference to the user on the surface, it does lead to less transparency and raises concerns about the integrity of the host casino, as they’re not fully in control of all of their games. ICONbet is in control of theirs, as all games are built and hosted directly on the platform.

Finally is the fact that those who play the casino can become part owners, via the TAP token. Not only does the TAP token entitle holders to a portion of the revenue from the casino, but it also serves as a governance token, giving holders a direct say in the future direction of the casino. While many other blockchain casinos provide the former, few — if any — provide the latter.

The end result of all these factors is a casino that is more transparent with a complete technical inability to take advantage of users — either by cheating them in the way games are run, or in the fact that it can withhold funds. Furthermore, by making users the owners, the incentives lean toward maximizing the user experience both now and moving forward.

All these combined make ICONbet unique among traditional online casinos. But this is also the case compared to other blockchain casinos as well. While casinos built on other blockchains will claim to offer the benefits of blockchain, what usually ends up happening is they are “blockchain based” in the sense that you can play with cryptocurrency instead of fiat; but that’s where the distinction ends. ICONbet promises to deliver blockchain gambling with all the benefits of blockchain technology, not just some.

I hope you’ll give the entire article a read and be sure to keep an eye out for future articles on other ICON projects!

News from ICON World

Scott Smiley shares thoughts on vote stagnancy

Gangham testnet is now open

ICYMI: Corey Costa had a podcast on Gohkshtein Unfilitered

The Revolutionary Nature and Bright Future of ICONbet

ICON Master Roadmap

Blockchain Industry News

Leaked Docs Reveal How Binance Dealt With US Regulations: Report - CoinDesk

  • When asked for comment, a Binance spokesperson directed CoinDesk to tweets by exchange CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao. He called Forbes' reporting bunk and asserted that Binance follows all local laws, including those in the U.S. "Anyone can produce a 'strategy document,' but it does not mean Binance follows them," said Zhao, adding that the slide deck was produced by a third party, not his company.

JPMorgan Tells Investors Bitcoin is Next Big Thing—A Decade Too Late? - Decrypt

“Cryptocurrencies derive value not only because they serve as stores of wealth but also due to their utility as means of payment,” the bank reportedly said. “The more economic agents accept cryptocurrencies as a means of payment in the future, the higher their utility and value.”

Wrapped Bitcoin is now Ethereum's 6th Largest Token - Cointelegraph

WBTC is the most popular version of Bitcoin tokenized for use on the Ethereum network. According to the official website, there currently is a record total of 116,885 WBTC, backed by an equal number of BTC held by custodians. The market cap of WBTC now tops $1.58 billion.