Beginner’s Guide – ICON (ICX) Cryptocurrency 2020 Review!

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Beginner’s Guide to ICON ICX

ICON’s slogan, “hyperconnect the world,” is incredibly logical, as the project aims to create one of the biggest decentralized networks found anywhere, allowing for hyperconnectivity between countries and people. The ICON network already exists, and the project has it growing even more to improve numerous functions. At the moment, just some of the communities on the ICON network include e-commerce, banks, universities, securities, insurance companies, and hospitals. The decentralized applications provide benefits for both these communities and those that will use the network in the future.

Who Is Behind ICON?

Several organizations are involved with ICON, including the ICON Foundation, a nonprofit in Switzerland. The foundation will support the community in multiple ways and led the ICON Token Sale. Theloop is a company focused on developing blockchain engines with headquarters in Korea. It is in charge of the Smart Contracts and ICON Nexus development. Finally, DAYLI Intelligence provides DAVinCI, which is the artificial intelligence solution that optimizes distribution and the network. The team behind ICON is extensive, including eight advisors; six members of the foundation council; 13 people in the blockchain department; five in the AI department; and an additional five team members for marketing, design, and security.

What Use Cases Does ICON Have?

Blockchain ID is one of the decentralized apps, or DApps, that make up the ICON network, and it provides new levels of security and identification. Members of the financial security community can use it to verify IDs in other communities. Blockchain ID works via Smart Contracts and will save time when verifying your identity to do things like get a student discount or open a bank account.

Another DApp is Payment & Exchange, which can work between communities, letting a company in one community or industry send money to a business in another community. The ICON Wallet is able to exchange, transfer, and settle various currencies in real-time using a decentralized exchange. This provides uses for nearly all industries, most notably banks, insurance, securities, and universities.

What Are Some Advantages of ICON?

ICON is scalable, working to provide solutions for companies of any size. It works without an issue with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other traditional blockchains. At the same time, it also works seamlessly with other third-party blockchain networks linked to the real world. This allows ICON to combine the real world with the crypto-world, opening up possibilities for businesses and connectivity.

The ICON network aims to be highly usable, making it possible to utilize blockchain technology in daily lives. Throughout project development, the team has worked to create real-world applications to be used by real communities and businesses. ICON will also have DAVinCI, the artificial intelligence solution from ICON that major financial institutions already trust.

ICON is also decentralized, following a growing trend ideal for free communities. Thanks to the decentralized nature of the network, communities can interact and connect with others, even if they have different structures of governance. Anyone can join the network with their own DApp that has independent governance.

How Do You Become a Node?

Becoming a node on ICON Republic is as simple as creating your own DApp. Those who become nodes receive rewards based on the ICON activation performance. An artificial intelligence system ensures a fair distribution of rewards, optimizing distribution while ensuring total decentralization.

What to Know About the Token Sale

The token sale for ICON’s ICX tokens closed in September 2020. The target was 150,000 ETH, which was the only cryptocurrency accepted during the sale. The total token supply was 400,230,000 ICX, with an exchange rate of 2,500 ICX for each ETH. Fifty percent of available tokens were allocated for the sale, with a further 16 percent going to the reserve. Fourteen percent went to the foundation; 10 percent to community group and strategy partners; and 10 percent to the team, advisors, and early contributors.

The proceeds from the recent token sale are fairly divided, with 20 percent going each to the tech company and one reserve. Another reserve receives 15 percent, with the same amount going toward business development. Twelve percent is allocated for operation expenses, with 8 percent for marketing expenses and 10 percent for strategy partners. Those who missed the token sale can trade for ICX. With the completion of the MAIN NET Launch, you do not even need exchanges to do so. Check for updates on ICON’s social network channels to see when ICX is available on exchanges and where to find it.

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How to Buy ICON ICX

You are not able to purchase ICX with “Fiat” currency so you will need to first purchase another currency – the easiest to buy are Bitcoin or Ethereum which you can do at Coinbase using a bank transfer or debit / credit card purchase and then swap that for ICX at an exchange such as Binance.

Register at Coinbase

For first time buyers of crypto currency, we recommend that you use Coinbase to make your first purchase – its easy to use, fully regulated by the US government so you know it is one of the safest and most reputable places to purchase cryptocurrency from. Coinbase offers the ability to purchase Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum with a credit or debit card or by sending a bank transfer. The fees are higher for cards but you will receive your currency instantly.

You will have to carry out some identity verification when signing up as they have to adhere to strict financial guidelines. Make sure you use our link to signup you will be credited with $10 in free bitcoin when you make your first purchase of $100.

To get started, click the “Sign up” button where you will be taken to a registration form where you will need to enter your name, email and choose a password.

Purchase Ethereum

For this guide, we will be purchasing Ethereum to swap for our target cryptocurrency. The reason for this is that it has far cheaper fees than bitcoin for sending and the transaction also happens a lot faster. So in Coinbase, visit the “Buy / Sell” tab at the top, select “Ethereum”, choose your payment method and enter the amount you wish to purchase – you can either enter a US Dollar amount or a number of Ether.

You will then be asked to confirm your transaction, if paying with a card you might have to complete a verification with your card provider. Once that’s complete, your Ethererum will be added to your account.

Purchase ICX at Binance

You can now send your Ether over to Binance to make your purchase of ICX, take a look at our review of Binance here to see how to signup and purchase on their exchange.

What Has ICON Already Achieved?

In Q3 of 2020, ICON had the first meetup of developers and created the open source for the loop chain. It also partnered with a major bank. In Q4, it completed the ICO and listed ICX, the token. The U-coin pilot service opened at three universities, the blockchain-based auto-claim pilot service for insurance companies opened, and the blockchain ID service opened for financial investment consortium. In Q4, the MAIN NET Launch occurred, as did the Decentralized Exchange Launch. In addition, the wallet released for the web, Android, and iOS.

What Does the Roadmap Look Like?

The next developer meetup will take place in Q1 of 2020. This is also when ICON will expand its partnership with various blockchain networks. It will also expand the DEX reserve pool to include assets in the majority of the most common cryptocurrencies. In Q3, there will be another developer meeting. This is also when the second service launch for the financial investment consortium will occur and the U-coin will expand to 10 universities. In terms of technical developments, Q1 of 2020 will see the V2 version of the network, as well as the launch of the AI advisor and the opening of both the public channel and the representation channel.


Although there are already several decentralized networks, the expansion of ICON should allow for a unique addition to the crypto-world due to its size. Its scalability and accessibility make it a convenient choice for many who favor decentralization. We expect ICON to prove useful to more than just the communities it already serves, growing in terms of applications as it expands.

What Is ICON (ICX)? A Guide to the Global Decentralized Network

ICON (ICX) is a massive platform that will allow various blockchains to interact with each other via smart contracts. The project wants to “Hyperconnect the World” by “building one of the largest decentralized networks in the world.”

Using its loopchain platform, ICON (ICX) connects an ecosystem of blockchain communities through the ICON Republic. Communities are linked to the Republic at large through community representatives (C-Reps) that connect to Nexus, the loopchain-based blockchain that underpins the ICON Republic.

Yes. ICON (ICX) is a legitimate project with a solid team and group of advisors behind it.

What Is ICON?

According to its website, project ICON wants to “Hyperconnect the World” by “building one of the largest decentralized networks in the world.”

To do this, the team is building a massive platform that allows various blockchains to interact with each other via smart contracts. Existing within what developers brand the ICON Republic, communities connect with each other using the projects loopchain technology. The end game is to provide a platform where players from financial, security, insurance, healthcare, educational, and commerce industries and beyond can coexist and transact on a single network.

This project is aiming to be one of the largest decentralized networks in the world.

ICON has been in development for two years to date. It was founded by Dayli Financial Group, a Korean Fintech company valued at $4 billion that also owns the popular Korean exchange Coinone.

Let’s get into the thick of it, shall we?

How ICON Works

Using its loopchain platform, ICON connects an ecosystem of blockchain communities through the ICON Republic. As the name suggests, the Republic functions as the governing head for a federation of otherwise independent blockchain bodies. You can picture the ICON Republic like the United States with each ICON community representing a state.

Communities are linked to the Republic at large through community representatives (C-Reps) that connect to Nexus, the loopchain-based blockchain that underpins the ICON Republic. C-Reps act as Portals for communities to interact with Nexus and, by extension, other communities through the ICON Republic. Blockchains that use ICON can exchange currencies using the platform’s decentralized exchange (DEX).

An illustrated example from the white paper showing how communities connect within the network via their C-Reps

ICON Communities

Simply put, an ICON Community is an individual blockchain or protocol with its own governing system. Community Nodes (C-Nodes) comprise the infrastructure of each community. C-Nodes are responsible for governing and maintaining their respective community’s blockchain. Each community operates according to its own rules and own consensus algorithm, meaning the project itself has no control over how its community members conduct their programs outside of the ICON Republic.

Citizen Nodes are gateways for the average individual to connect to ICON’s network. You can use these nodes to create transactions and utilize DAPPs. But, they have no governing power in either their native blockchain’s community nor the ICON Republic at large.

C-Reps function as elected officials for their respective communities. Each community chooses their own representative, and each C-Rep is responsible for governing matters, such as transaction verification and otherwise, within the ICON Republic. Like delegates in a DPoS system (see Ark), C-Reps receive compensation for their work in the form of ICX, the native currency.

A snip from the white paper showing the various connections in the network

ICON Republic

Supported by loopchain, the ICON Republic is the hub that accommodates the individual communities that coexist on the platform.

While separate communities can follow their own consensus mechanisms, the ICON Republic runs on the Loop Fault Tolerance (LFT) consensus algorithm. LFT functions much like DPoS, wherein C-Reps act as delegates for their respective communities in ICON’s larger government. As representatives, C-Rep nodes are responsible for voting on ICON Republic’s currency issuance and reward policy, resolving transaction discrepancies on the DEX, and maintaining network integrity. Again, the ICON Republic functions solely as a communications channel for ICON communities, and the group of C-Reps that comprise it have no control over individual blockchain communities.


ICON sports its very own decentralized exchange. This DEX sets currency reserves for each blockchain community so that the communities can exchange value in real time through the ICON Republic. In this way, the DEX complements C-Rep portals by establishing another gateway for Communities to connect to the Republic.

Instead of the focus being on governance, as it is with C-Reps, the DEX’s focus is on value and currency transfer. The exchange enables transactions and trading across blockchain’s connected to the ICON Republic. And the DEX’s reserve sets exchange rates for these transactions using an A.I. analysis model. Additionally, the native ICX coin is used as an intermediary currency for this exchange.

UPDATE: As at November 2020, the DEX has not yet gone live. There is currently no available information on when this may happen. Similarly, there is no indication that it isn’t still planned for release at some future date.

Additional Features

  • A.I. and IISS: ICON implements artificial intelligence to manage reserve values and exchange rates, but it also uses A.I. to calculate the network’s Incentives Scoring System (IISS). Based on the DAVinCI financial solution A.I., IISS is responsible for determining a node’s ICX reward for its contributions to the network. According to the white paper, IISS calculates rewards based on the following factors: “the node’s 1) frozen ICX, 2) C-Rep status, 3) ICX exchange volume, 4) ICX exchange volume of the whole community if it has one, 5) ICX volume traded through DEX if it has one and so on.” If and when the DEX goes live, community members can trade currencies that the DEX reserve accommodates without having to use public exchanges like Bittrex, Binance, or Bitfinex.
  • DAPPs: As with Ethereum, anyone can use ICON to build decentralized applications (DAPPs) through its Nexus Public Channel. These applications are then listed in ICON’s DAPP store, and anyone with a Citizen Node can download and use these applications.

Trading History

The ICO ended in October 2020 and exchanges began listing it at the tail-end of the same month. It’s now been around for over a year and consistently ranks among the top 50 coins on Coin Market Cap.

ICX coin value spiked in January 2020 when the mainnet went live, hitting its all-time high value of more than $12. Since the crypto market’s cooled off, it has generally followed a similar pattern to other cryptocurrencies. However, the value of ICX hit another spike in May, around the same time that news broke of an ICON partnership with Line Plus, Japan’s most popular messaging app.

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Since then, ICON has seemingly flatlined, trading under $0.50 for the two months leading up to November 2020. The company ended its token swap in October, where you could exchange their initial ERC20 ICX tokens for the ones issued on the mainnet.

Most recently, there was a sudden 18 percent increase of ICX tokens in circulation, leading to an outcry from the community about pumping. ICON addressed the issue by stating that the tokens were released as part of a planned vesting schedule.

Where to Buy ICX

How the wallet works

Binance dominates ICON’s trading market, accounting for just over 60% of its 24/hr volume. It’s also possible to buy ICON on OKEx and Huobi.

Where to Store ICX

Since the 2020 token swap, it is no longer possible to store your ICX in an ERC20 wallet. The ICON team has now launched its own web, software, and Android wallet. Ledger wallets like the Ledger Nano S also support ICX.

ICON Team and Roadmap

ICON’s team comes replete with individuals from across the business, A.I., engineering, blockchain, and marketing industries. Its advisors include Don Tapscott, a Canadian business executive who has built his career on fostering technological innovation and adoption, and Jason Best, a Forbes top 10 crowdfunding organizer.

The company’s most recent hire is Ricky Dodds as Head of Institutional Markets and Contributor Relations. He joins with experience in the investment banking and equity research markets.

The project team has not published any formal roadmap since the summer of 2020, drawing criticism from members of the Reddit community. particularly given that some felt the token swap process was slow following the January mainnet launch. The team most recently issued a blog post addressing the fact that they needed to be more communicative. However, a formal roadmap is still unavailable.


There are several other projects focused on finding a solution for blockchain interoperability, although ICON is currently ahead of them all in terms of ranking. Its closest competitors are currently AION and Wanchain with ARK not far behind.

Two similar projects that have yet to launch their mainnets are Polkadot and Cosmos. It’s still unclear whether either of these projects will prove to be a serious competitor.

Final Thoughts

If this project can function as well in the real world as it does on paper, this network may very well be the skeleton key that unlocks blockchain interoperability and connects these services to existing industries. The project’s whitepaper hashes out how ICON would fit into established industries, including healthcare, education, business, insurance, capital markets, and so on.

Individuals and entities could not only use ICON for data transfers and monetary transactions, but they could also use blockchain I.D. on the platform for identity verification and enhanced security measures.

That said, progress during this year has either been slow, or it has been limited to a lot of back-end updates to the mainnet that haven’t delivered any immediately obvious impacts to the overall case for adoption. While the project remains one of the more interesting in the space, and the value is holding up compared to other alts, whether it will achieve all its initial goals remains to be seen.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated by Sarah Rothrie on November 15 2020 to reflect the recent changes in the project.

What is ICON (ICX)? A beginner’s guide

An in-depth look at the cryptocurrency project that plans to “hyperconnect the world”.

Last updated: 11 July 2020


ICON is building one of the world’s largest decentralized networks for dapps and smart contracts, which will allow different blockchains to interact with one another via smart contracts. It’s a massive and ambitious project that aims to unify blockchains from all manner of industries, entities and individuals into one single network.

So, how does it all work and what can we expect from ICON in the future? Let’s take a closer look.

What is ICON?

ICON’s goal is to “hyperconnect the world” by allowing communication and interoperability between blockchains. The overall goal of the project is best explained in its whitepaper:

“The ICON Project aims to build a decentralized network that allows independent blockchains with different governances to transact with one another without intermediaries. Anyone can create a new blockchain project and join the network. A new blockchain project is free to connect with existing projects and create new unique worlds, or blockchain multiverse.”

The team behind the project says the end result will allow the decentralization and interconnection of communities, allowing them to overcome political, social, economic and geographical boundaries.

Skip ahead

Where to buy ICON

How it works: The Technology behind ICON

ICON revolves around loopchain, a blockchain based on a smart contract system which can be customized to include different rulesets, consensus mechanisms and other features. Connection between different blockchains in the ICON ecosystem is based on a handful of key systems and structures:

  • Communities. A community is a network made up of different nodes within the same governance system. For example, bitcoin and Ethereum can both be considered communities, as can banks, governments, healthcare providers, e-commerce platforms and many more. Each community has its own rules and consensus mechanisms.
  • C-Nodes. These Community Nodes are nodes that have the right to create transactions but cannot vote on the verification of transactions and the governance within the ICON Republic. In short, their job is to govern and maintain their community’s own blockchain.
  • C-Reps. C-Rep is short for Community Representative and has the right to authenticate transactions in the ICON network and vote on governance issues. C-Reps are selected by each community and receive incentives for maintaining the ICON Republic.
  • ICON Republic. This refers to the entire ICON network, the governance of which is voted on by C-Reps and is therefore decentralized. The Republic acts as a communication channel between communities but doesn’t interfere in the governance of those communities.
  • Citizen Nodes. Citizen Nodes allow individuals to connect with the ICON network to create transactions and use dapps built on loopchain. However, they don’t have the right to vote on the governance of the ICON Republic.

The blockchain network that constitutes the ICON Republic is called Nexus. A Nexus is a collection of communities that connect to one another throup C-Reps. This one Nexus can then be linked to others, allowing not only interconnectivity but also network scalability.

Connections within the ICON network

There are four different ways to connect within the ICON Network:

  • Connection between nodes within a single community. Communities can organize themselves into different blockchains, customize them to suit their needs and use different consensus algorithms.
  • Connection between nodes within ICON Republic. ICON Republic uses a Loop Fault Tolerance consensus algorithm that allows the processing of real-time transactions.
  • Connection between community and ICON Republic. A community and ICON Republic are connected in real-time via DEX, ICON’s Decentralized Exchange. This sets currency reserves for each individual community, allowing for the real-time exchange of value between communities through the ICON Republic.
  • Connection between different communities. C-Nodes are also connected in real-time to other C-Nodes in different communities via C-Reps and the ICON Republic.

What is ICX?

ICX is ICON’s native coin. The ICX coin can be used for a variety of purposes, such as payments, launching smart contracts, and creating new tokens on the network, much like Ethereum’s ETH. Among ICX’s more interesting use-cases, is the ability for ICX to transact between different cryptocurrencies, by calculating the exchange rate via Icon’s upcoming Decentralized Exchange (DEX). ICX’s use in cross-blockchain communication sets it apart from similar coins such as ETH and NEO, and underpins ICON’s membership in the interoperability alliance with Wanchain and Aion.

The total supply of ICX is 800,460,000. Half of this maximum supply of tokens was distributed during ICON’s September 2020 ICO, with the remaining tokens split amongst the ICON team, its partners and set aside for future development.

The ICON team

The ICON project was founded in South Korea by DAYLI Financial Group, a fintech company which also owns the Coinone cryptocurrency exchange. It’s also backed by the ICON Foundation, a Switzerland-based not-for-profit organization.

ICON boasts a team of more than 45 people and an ICON Foundation council of six members. Its website also lists several advisors, most notably Don Tapscott, who wrote the book Blockchain Revolution and also opened the Blockchain Research Institute.

Notable partnerships

At the first ICON Annual Summit in late January 2020, the project team announced new agreements with a host of partners, including Bluewhale, Silkroad and Nucleus Vision.

However, the biggest news was its partnership with global online gaming firm Smilegate, the company behind the world’s most-played online first-person shooter (FPS), CrossFire. With over 8 million concurrent users and 650 million registered players, CrossFire is kind of a big deal. As announced in a blog post, the two companies: “plan to create a new gaming ecosystem that guarantees the rights of creators and eliminates the boundaries of users and creators”. The platform will be called STOVE, and aims to reward all participants of the gaming ecosystem, from streamers, to watchers, to developers and more.

ICON has secured a number of other important partnerships that could potentially drive future growth, including:

  • Line. ICON’s May 2020 announcement of its partnership with Line, a messaging app with a large user base across Asia, made plenty of headlines. The partnership will see an offshoot called Unchain develop dapps on ICON and further expand the ICON ecosystem.
  • Kyber Network. In January 2020, ICON and Kyber Network announced that they had formed a strategic partnership to use a scalable protocol of Kyber Network’s token exchange service to bridge the divide between separate blockchains.
  • Raonsecure. Announced in February 2020, this partnership is focused on implementing compliant biometric security and user ID on ICON’s blockchain.

Blockchain Interoperability Alliance

ICON is one of several cryptocurrency projects focused on ensuring interconnectivity between blockchains. Acknowledging this fact, it joined Aion and Wanchain in a collective known as the Blockchain Interoperability Alliance. The alliance has the shared goal of: “promoting interconnectivity between the isolated blockchain networks”. Aion aims to become the common protocol used across blockchains, while Wanchain is focused on uniting isolated digital assets through the use of cross-blockchain smart contracts.

Wallets that support ICX

ICX tokens were originally issued as ERC20 tokens on the Ethereum network. However, following the launch of ICON’s mainnet in early 2020, ICON is preparing to complete a token swap that will see these ERC20 ICX tokens exchanged for ICX mainnet coins. Users will be able to swap tokens for coins through ICONex, ICON’s official wallet service, or using a cryptocurrency exchange.

However, at time of writing in May 2020, no date has been confirmed for when the token swap will begin, so existing tokens can be stored in any ERC20-compatible wallet. Examples of wallets you may like to consider include the MyEtherWallet web interface or the Ledger Nano S and TREZOR hardware wallets.

What’s next for ICON: The ICON roadmap

ICON’s 2020 roadmap outlines the key objectives it will be focusing on across five key industries:

  • Securities. ICON launched its enterprise blockchain service, Chain ID, and a shared security system to protect against identity theft in Q4 2020. The technology will be implemented in the clearing and settlements sector throughout 2020.
  • Insurance. ICON plans to launch its automated insurance claiming service using loopchain to the general public.
  • Banking. ICON network’s bank community is currently developing a pre-paid digital payment system, and ICON plans to expand its banking partnerships in 2020.
  • Education. ICON started rolling out its custom-built mobile app/vending machine solution, the “U-coin” system, in 2020. The plan is to introduce a network of Smart Vending Machines that can be used for day-to-day payments and transfers at South Korean universities.
  • Healthcare. ICON’s Precision Healthcare Information System (P-HIS) aims to boost data integrity and bolster inter-hospital data exchanges among leading institutions in South Korean healthcare. The stable launch of the platform is scheduled for the middle of 2020.

What to watch out for

ICON isn’t the only project focused on interconnectivity between blockchains, so competition is a factor that will need to be taken into account. However, ICON’s alliance with Wanchain and Aion, two other big players in the sphere, is good news and could help alleviate those concerns to a degree.

The other main factor to be aware of is that it’s still early days in ICON’s quest to hyperconnect the world. While it has some strong partnerships in South Korea, it’s still too early to tell just how many communities will come together under the banner of the ICON Republic. If it fails to achieve widespread adoption as a blockchain connectivity platform, the value of ICX will suffer.

Bottom line

ICON is a complex project with an ambitious goal, and whether or not it can deliver on its potential remains uncertain. However, it does have several factors in its favour. Interconnectivity between blockchains is a logical and necessary step if blockchain technology is to ever transform the world the way its proponents say it’s meant to, and ICON already has some strong partnerships lined up.

Just make sure to do your own research before deciding whether ICX tokens are worth buying.

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