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ICON- Bridging the Blockchain

April 27, 2018

On the surface, with ICX, the ICON foundation appears to be promising the payment coin of the future. In truth, this is not all that the foundation wants to accomplish with this project. The Icon network at large that facilitates ICX payments has been touted in the crypto-space as a possible solution for connecting nearly all existing blockchain-based networks. 

 

Its self-stated mission is to be this connection as well as to be the network that truly starts the snowball effect of decentralization becoming the new norm. Essentially, after an analysis of the ICON white paper, it appears that this involves being the technological glue for basically any blockchain project. 

 

This is a lofty endeavor, to say the least. Dan Morehead of Pantera capital, the self-styled first U.S. Bitcoin investment firm, seemed to say that his company is betting on ICON and Bitcoin to lead the way for the blockchain industry as well as the world. 

 

What’s the technical basis for such support? The ICON network is based around a complicated set of technologies that it claims make it possible for any blockchain network to connect with any other blockchain network, via ICON at the center.

 

It all begins with two technologies called Nexus and Portal. According to one source, the ICON network is structured with the Nexus technology at its center and the portals around it, connecting the network’s communities to the Nexus. 

These communities would be other blockchain projects or cryptocurrencies that joined the network to get connected and share data.

 

According to the ICON foundation as well as other secondary sources, the Nexus is simply a blockchain that run more than one channel at once or facilitate more than one type of data transfer, at once. 

 

Overall, this also means that the ICON network can run its own consensus network to maintain network security while allowing the networks that join ICON to do the same. 

 

Every portal is effectively a node which the Icon foundation calls a C-rep on the network. C-reps are effectively ICON’s equivalent of Masternodes, except that a few key, significant difference exists between them. The first and most important difference is that C-reps are elected by the communities that join the ICON network and act as their representatives in all voting as well as in helping to maintain ICON’s security. 

 

Their reward for doing this establishes the relative equivalence between C-reps and Masternodes. In helping to maintain the ICON network’s security, the C-reps receive a percentage of the block reward. Apparently all rules related to C-reps are voted on and created by the community, so in theory, there is no centralization involved involved in this process. 

 

The only argument that might be made for the existence of a relative level of centralization is that the functioning of the ICON network controls the network security of all of its communities, to an extent. Even so, since all communities retain their original consensus algorithms and everything related to their security when they choose to be a part of ICON, it could be argued that the network is and will be, decentralized.

 

All in all, if everything works in the way that ICON wants it to in the future, especially related to network security, then it could be one of the blockchains that brings crypto to the currently unaware parts of the world. 

 

 

By: BGN Editorial Staff

 

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