RHIZOME's latest ICON development

Welcome to this week’s edition of RHIZOME Wire!

A Real-Time Notification System for ICON

This week, RHIZOME announced that we had released an important update to our app MetrICX:

Recently, we pushed out a big update to the notification system for MetrICX. Previously, I-Score and deposit notifications could take up to 5 minutes to trigger. With the new system, the notification lag has been reduced to just 1-2 seconds. This drastic increase in performance was made possible thanks to a new notification system developed by RHIZOME team member Andrew Burns.

By itself, a quicker notification system is certainly a nice feature — the longer it takes for a notification to actually arrive, the less valuable the notification feature becomes. With implementation of near-instant notifications, MetrICX users will certainly have a more enjoyable experience.

However, this quicker notification time isn’t the only feature RHIZOME has developed — in fact, it’s essentially just a side effect of the new project Andrew is working on. Here’s how he describes the way the new system works:

Before we were using a very rudimentary type of approach for MetrICX, by simply polling the ICON API for changes in the balance and I-Score of a registered user every few minutes. But we quickly realised that this was not scalable, if we doubled our user base then the lag between the deposit and the push notification would also double, who wants to wait 10 minutes to realise they have received a deposit. Instead of checking constantly for balance changes, it now simply subscribes to a “Deposit” event, and sends the push-notification immediately if the block contains a transaction activity from a registered address.

So what might this mean moving forward?

We want to make it easy for anyone to subscribe to an event using a smart contract (SCORE). By providing a callback url we are then able to send a notification to that endpoint everytime the registered event happens on the chain. Once we have this built, we will look at building this into an administration portal to help manage and create new subscriptions. As always, this is an on going process and we will pivot as needed.

In other words, Andrew is working on implementing a platform that allows developers (or their users) to set up a notification system for essentially any event that happens on chain. In the case of MetrICX, the app is “subscribed” in a manner that flags any moment a deposit is made into a users wallet and then notifies them. Of course, there are many directions this can go.

As a step further, an ICONist could set up an integration with an app such as “IFTTT”, creating a feature that would have, say, Alexa announce to the user anytime a deposit has been made into a wallet (or maybe you could have your computer play the sound of a cash register).

This implementation would be more for amusement than for anything, but there are certainly more serious ways to implement this new system.

For instance, these notifications could integrate with a payment tracking system utilized by a business - when the right type of notification came in — say, an ICX deposit of a certain amount — the business could automatically mark an outstanding invoice as “paid” if they were being compensated in ICX.

Perhaps for tax calculation purposes, and individual wanted to create a spreadsheet that would input any received deposits into a given wallet and, with the right type of script, stamp the deposit with the USD value of ICX at that given moment, thus creating an easily-reportable archive of all income into their wallet.

But we can take it even another step further by integrating this new feature with SCORE contracts. The new notification system doesn't simply just monitor ICX and IRC2 transfers — it also allows for notification on any EventData that is used by any SCORE.

Let’s break down what that means. Below is a screenshot of an event on the ICONBET contract. It’s describing what bet was placed, the amount, and the address (among other data points). If you wanted, you could integrate this new feature to generate a notification of any of these data points included in the event.

That means, if you wanted to, you could create a notification for anytime a bet of more than 1,000 ICX was placed; or, more specifically, anytime an individual hit 21 in BlackJack.

Or, we can take a more advanced version of our invoice example above.

Let's say you have event in a SCORE contract called GenerateInvoice. In this scenario, you’ve set it up so the contract gets called after a payment has been made. The notification could send to your invoice callback URL with value, what product was bought, address and any other message the business owner might want.

And remember, all of this happens virtually instantly.

There are countless other use cases of how this could be implemented, and I’m excited to see what ideas people come up with once it’s made fully available.

Ultimately, what this update will do is provide easier mechanisms for the world to have a direct (and automated) interaction with the ICON blockchain; while nowhere as grand or ambitious as the interoperability the ICON project itself seeks, it’s nonetheless a nice way to further integrate the ICON blockchain into our every day lives.

Stay tuned for more updates about the platform in the coming weeks.


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