This is what adoption looks like

Welcome to this week’s edition of the RHIZOME Wire!

The Moment of Adoption

This was a banner week for the ICON Project. Not only did the ICX token see a longed-for price increase, but a slew of good news also came out this week.

And this just wasn’t some partnership that may or may not pay off sometime down the road.

The news we received this year was concrete evidence that adoption of the ICON network was truly here. Now, this isn’t the “mass adoption” that we someday hope to see, but it was the initial trickles of what may one day be significant use of the ICON public network.

First, ICON unveiled a bit more information about what types of DID products that were in development. Two of them — broof and my-ID — were already well on our radar. But two others “VisitMe” and “Conference Room” were new uses for ICONLOOP’s authentication platform. What’s important is that all four utilize ICX.

Here’s what I wrote on Tuesday about these platforms:

These four forms of DID – my-ID, broof, VisitMe, and Meeting Room – all have use cases applicable to our daily lives. Whether it’s scanning your driver’s license at a bank to open an account, receiving your diploma via broof, scanning into your office building, or making a reservation at a restaurant, all of these activities could happen in any given day. In a country with a population of 50 million – which is what South Korea has – you can start to see how adoption of these services could lead to explosive adoption, growth, and use of the ICON network and ICX token. 

On Thursday, we received two more nuggets of good news.

First, we learned that South Korea’s Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) will officially be issuing diplomas to graduating students via the ICON public blockchain. 

Here’s what I wrote about that development, and why it’s truly the first mark of real-life blockchain adoption:

Ever since the beginnings of the past bull market – and well throughout the bear market – one of the primary critiques of blockchain technology was the lack of adoption. Sure, Bitcoin could be used as currency and some interesting projects are being built on Ethereum, but there were few examples of mainstream institutions utilizing blockchain in a purposeful and practical manner.

Well, in this case, one of Korea’s top universities issuing one of its most important documents on the blockchain is essentially the definition of “adoption.”

Of course, there have been other uses of ICON’s public network that could be classified as “adoption.” For instance, POSTECH also issued certificates to graduates of its blockchain CEO course.

However, by utilizing ICON for a document of such importance helps build trust in the ICON network. Other institutions may be observing and thinking “well, if one of the top universities in Korea trusts this blockchain, we can too.”

It’s this sort of observation, proof of concept, and publicity that starts the ball rolling to the last and most critical step: mass adoption.

Shortly thereafter, we received news that signed an MoU with Saramin HR to build a Blockchain-based HR recruitment ecosystem:

Today, our technology and ecosystem expansion partner, ICONLOOP, signed an MoU with Saramin HR, which operates the job placement platform and search engine Saramin (www.saramin.co.kr), to collaborate in building a blockchain-based digital ID and authentication ecosystem. Saramin HR is Korea’s leading job placement platform, similar to Indeed.com.

The purpose of the MoU is to increase Saramin’s customer experience and value through ICONLOOP’s blockchain certificate issuance and management service ‘broof’ and its digital identity platform ‘MyID.’ Furthermore, it will contribute and collaborate in building a more robust and vibrant blockchain-based digital ID and verification ecosystem in Korea.

Brian Li of RHIZOME speculated just a couple of weeks ago that this could be a potential use of blockchain in conjunction with ‘broof’:

Since ICON is a public blockchain that can be queried with APIs, it would be possible to build out automated filters to check for certificate validity. A system like this can be tied into blockchain-based identify protocols like my-ID to create a fully automated “proof of credential” system for HR departments, government background checks, educational institutions, and more. This is much faster and more reliable than the traditional method of calling someone on the phone to verify credentials because it effectively takes social engineering, administrative mistakes, and other human-induced factors out of the equation.

While this week of news was certainly exciting, it will be even more exciting to see how all this comes together over the coming months and years. With so many pieces in motion, it’s not unreasonable to say we may be on the road to mass adoption.


News from ICON World

Interchain POC for private to public chain interoperability = Completed

ICON Foundation:

We continued to improve network stability, started development on our contribution proposal system to help accelerate the growth in the ecosystem, and are developing security features to enhance our network. This month, we also completed our interchain proof of concept (POC) for private to public chain interoperability. We hope to share a demo of this to the community very soon.


Korea Startup Forum hosted an event on DID at ICON HQ

Henry Lee, Head Strategy at ICONLOOP shares photos of an event hosted at ICON’s office in Seoul, South Korea. The event was focused on digital identification (DID) and topics of discussion were pertaining to how blockchain can solve issues plaguing DID and credential authentication. 


J.H. Kim was featured on national news, again

ICONLOOP CEO, J.H. Kim was featured on national news, discussion on broof and ICON’s HQ in Seoul, South Korea was also shown. 

Accordingly, P-Rep team ICON DAO translated the coverage, readable here


LINE’s Link Chain gets FSA approval in Japan

LINE’s Link Chain has been whitelisted - officially approved by the Financial Service Agency in Japan. There’s potential for future ICX usage if LINE’s chain needs to connect to other chains via ICON’s BTP which is slated for commercialization by the first half of 2020. 


P-Rep meetings will begin next week

P-Rep meetings are underway with the first meeting scheduled for February 14th at 3-5PM PST. Discussion on future meetings/structure is underway the icon.community forum. 


Why ICON’s Upcoming Integration with Chainlink is Important

RHIZOME team member, Brian Li discussed why ICON’s upcoming integration with Chainlink is important, noting - “Since interoperability is ICON's main focus, the integration with Chainlink allows all blockchains connected to ICON to access decentralized oracle data from Chainlink nodes – the implications are huge.”


BongAn Ha discusses broof and “VisitMe” 


ICX_Station announced the beta launch of ICON VOTE 

ICX_Station

Looking at these problems prompted us to launch ICON Vote, a communication platform for P-reps and ICX investors. We believe voting is a key feature of governance. ICON Vote enables P-Reps to interact directly with their supporters through on-chain votes accessible only to their voter base. P-Reps utilizing ICON Vote will offer their supporters a greater voice in governance, funding decisions, and other deliverables.


The Future is Decentralized ID

ICON Newsletter Issue #4 has been released. One of the projects listed, “Meeting Room”, has generated 14,456 transactions so far. 


The first ICX Comic has been released! 


Chainlink, ICON, and MakerDAO meetup has been rescheduled

Following the recent announcement of the Chainlink, MakerDAO, and ICON meetup, Min Kim weighed in on twitter to explain why the event has been rescheduled and moved to March 18th, 2020. 


Blockmove has added Korean support to iconwat.ch tracker 

Thanks to the help from RHIZOME, Blockmove has added Korean support to their blockchain explorer - iconwat.ch. 

blockmove@eublockmove
We have just added 🇰🇷Korean🇰🇷 to
iconwat.ch! Many thanks to @bwhli and team @RhizomeICX for their GREAT he4PL4

ICX/USD trading is now available on Binance.US


POSTECH to issue diplomas using broof to all 828 graduates 

Henry Lee, Head Strategy at ICONLOOP shared exciting news that POSTECH will issue diplomas using ICONLOOP’s digital certification service to all 828 graduates of POSTECH in February. I also wrote more about the announcement.


Blockchain Industry News

USA vs. Virgil Griffith: What We Know (and Don’t) in the Bombshell Crypto Sanctions Case - CoinDesk

Griffith pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Thursday, which kicks off the next phase of discovery. Prosecutors told a federal judge some documents have already been produced, with more to come. The full amount of evidence they have to support their case has yet to be made public – including any exculpatory evidence that would show Griffith did not violate sanctions restrictions.


Messaging Giant Line to Launch Link Token Trading in Japan in April - Cointelegraph 

Line already began Link trading on its international BitBox cryptocurrency exchange in mid-October 2018. Due to stricter national cryptocurrency regulations in Japan, LVC had to wait to obtain a license from local financial regulators in September 2019 before launching its BitMax cryptocurrency exchange in the country.


Jack Dorsey Enables Bitcoin Emoji on Twitter Posts - CoinDesk

Dorsey announced Sunday Twitter users could now use the bitcoin symbol as an emoji, appearing automatically after "#bitcoin" or "#btc.


Ethereum Incubator ConsenSys Slashes Headcount 14% in Latest Strategic Shift - CoinDesk

In the coming months, ConsenSys will finalize the transition from its venture production model and spin out a number of its internally funded projects into the ConsenSys Investments portfolio,” the company said in a statement.


SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce Proposes 3-Year Safe Harbor Period for Crypto Token Sales | CoinDesk 

The two-year official at the Securities and Exchange Commission – nicknamed “CryptoMom” by the blockchain community – has formally proposed a safe harbor for token projects. It would give them some breathing room to develop their networks and communities before having to worry about the regulatory regime.