Cosmos. What strikes you first when you hear this name? There is something about Cosmos that promises the project will see more such price rallies in 2022. And that is the fact that Cosmos is an interoperability solution. That means it will be one of the projects that will break the current silos in the blockchain space to build a more connected world.
But, COSMOS is about to face major competition from ICON which is a few days away from the launch of its ICON Bridge, a chain agnostic bridge. What does ICON Bridge mean for ICON users and ICX holders? Which chains will become interoperable with ICON 2.0? How high could ICX go? You got the questions, we got the answers. Let’s dive deep into ICON!
What is ICON?
The story of Icon starts in 2017 in South Korea and is the last. The project conducted its ICO in Sept 2017 and raised $42 million. Moreover, ICON soon gained popularity and in January 2018, 2 months after launch, ICX, the native token of ICON, reached an ATH of 13.16 dollars.
Then, in the 2018 bear market hit ICON hard, ICX lost momentum and retraced to 10 cents in January 2020. But, 2021 has been a period of unprecedented growth for the ICON ecosystem. ICON’s Defi and NFT projects attracted hundreds of millions in staked value. All these developments have resulted in a tearing growth of $ICX which is up 700% since then.
Moreover, for those who are not familiar with ICON Network, it is a layer one interoperability blockchain and uses a Delegated Proof-of-Stake consensus protocol. The blockchain engine that powers the ICON Network is capable of handling 1300 transactions per second. What has been happening around ICON right is pretty exciting.
ICON 2.0 & Bridge
With the arrival of ICON 2.0 in November 2021, the average speed of transactions was close to 9000 transactions per second (TPS). To put this into perspective, Ethereum can process just 13 TPS and VISA manages 1700 TPS.
Also, the platform works on the principle of Horizontal scaling. That means each deployed dApp can achieve this speed.
🌐🏗️ Development Update (Feb 2022)
🔹 ICON 2.0, ICONex and BTP
Read the full announcement containing all February development updates here 👇https://t.co/CgljYPGG94
— ICON Foundation 🌐 (@helloiconworld) March 3, 2022
On the other hand, in a couple of weeks from now, the platform is launching ICON Bridge, an early iteration of the much anticipated BTP, Blockchain Transmission protocol. Like BTP, the bridge is chain-agnostic and able to interconnect any blockchain that supports smart contracts. It will function comparably to many other popular cross-chain bridges throughout the industry.
Also, the bridge will offer a glimpse of what to expect once BTP is live: integrations between Moonriver Network, Binance Smart Chain, and NEAR. The implementation of the originally proposed auction system for BTP will aggregate cross-chain transaction fees into the FAS (Fee Aggregation SCORE).
A key feature to note is that the bridge will not require other chains to hard fork to implement the bridge, thereby providing a fairly straightforward integration path. We anticipate this will lead to increased adoption from various chains, connections that will ultimately transfer to BTP.
Major Regulatory Advantage & Identity Use Case
If you are wondering why ICX rallied over 50% on March 9th, the reason can be found here in this article. But before we tell you the reason, take a look at this. The platform allows private parties to have their private blockchain. This feature is attracting corporates and companies.
In addition, they have been working along with the South Korean government and other big corporations. And now the big reveal. Yoon Suk-Yeol won the South Korean presidential elections on March 9 and this is important for ICON because it has strong Korean ties and Yoon Suk-Yeol is pro-crypto. For example, the “My ID” initiative in South Korea is remarkably successful.
Big South Korean bank Shinhan Bank puts public and private chains to work with Zzeung, MyID 👏🙃#ShinhanBank #ICON #Blockchain @mincircle6 https://t.co/pGTeiXSCg1
— The Iconist 🌐 (@TheIconistNews) February 21, 2022
As a result, it is the first kind of Decentralized Identifier (DID) platform in Korea. MyID allows users to manage their identities on their mobile phones. This avoids the need for relying on third parties for ID verification. It is currently supported by 68 organizations like commercial banks, security firms, etc.
ICON is one of the Largest Decentralized Networks in the World.
This platform is also a network of blockchain communities. A community can be a group of individuals, other blockchains, or a group of institutions. Icon calls the network a ‘republic’ like a democratic republic!.
Moreover, its communities form a major part of the ecosystem. They have a set of rules and can elect entities to represent them in the ICON Republic. These entities are community reps and the governance body is public reps. Public reps are selected based on voting and the voting powers come from the amount of ICX staked. Nowadays, there are a total of 100 p-reps and only the top 22 validates each activity on the network.
In addition, the remaining p-reps stay as backups. If any p-reps are inactive they will pay a fine. A part of their staked ICX is burned as a sort of punishment. This is a unique feature that ensures transparency and accountability in the network.
The platform also follows a trans-device approach when providing services. This is evident from their current wallet system: Icon iOS Wallet, Android, and web. Also, ICON has several dapps existing in the ecosystem. Some notable Defi dapps are:
- Balanced: Is like the decentralized bank of Icon Network. With $ICX, holders can take loans, provide liquidity and swap the assets on the Balanced platform. Through Balanced operating on ICON completely, it has a governance token, BALN. Also, Balanced offers automated staking rewards along with Liquidation rewards. It has a modest 190 million dollars as TVL.
- OMM Finance: This is a Defi protocol with similar functionalities to Balanced. It also offers lending and borrowing services. However, the lending APY is limited to 29% for IconUSD Coin, which is a popular stablecoin protocol.
- Orbit Bridge: Orbit allows users to bridge their coins to the Orbit chain. Coins include Ethereum, BNB, XRP, stable coins, etc.
- Bridge Pay: This is also part of the icon network. But it is not at all involved with bridging cryptocurrencies. Bridge offers faster onboarding and allows users to buy crypto with USD. But deposits and withdrawals require KYC. Bridge pay can integrate easily with the existing financial system. If you are the kind of person worried about losing your wallet key phrase, then Bridge pay is for you.
Icon’s Upcoming Mainnet, ICON 2.0
ICON 2.0 is a significant upgrade for its ecosystem. We all know that the mainnet is a significant event for a project. But often after the mainnet, a typical ‘sell the news event takes place.
📣 Attention node operators: the deadline to upgrade current Loopchain nodes for the mainnet upgrade is October 26th. Please refer to this post for further instructions: https://t.co/BiAb8jZKBc#ICONProject $ICX
— ICON Foundation 🌐 (@helloiconworld) October 15, 2021
Consider the example of THETA. Theta announced its mainnet in January 2021. The token rallied from 2.1 dollars to an ATH of 14.1 dollars. After the mainnet on June 30th, Theta lost half of its value.
This is where ICON can stand out. The project was developing its ecosystem while ensuring decentralization. And it is planning to bring in some new tech to its loyal community. Therefore, technologies like Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP) and SCORE are just amazing. And it just gets better with an EVM sidechain and a faster blockchain engine.
BTP is the cross-chain interoperability solution of ICON. And it is not a surprise that the most exciting feature of ICON 2.0 is BTP. Essentially it helps users to move digital assets across other chains. But the chain should itself support BTP. At present BSC, Polkadot, Kusama, Harmony, and NEAR are developing BTP.
When interoperability is arguably the next best thing that could happen to blockchains, we can see that ICON is on the right way. And it is also leading the way. BTP is a game-changer for Defi dapps on Icon like Balanced, Omm, etc. At present Balanced supports Icon assets only, limiting the potential of the platform.
We will take a look at three comparisons between ICON and Polkadot, Cosmos and Solana Wormhole:
- ICON vs Polkadot: Polkadot is interoperable in the form of parachains. Parachains can communicate with each other. And a parachain can interact with chains outside Polkadot also. So Polkadot is a framework to host interoperable solutions and ICON is the solution itself. Therefore, the platform can connect to any smart contract-enabled blockchain without the need for a framework.
- ICON vs Cosmos: ICON is a smart contract-enabled blockchain, while Cosmos is a network of interoperable blockchains. Though the platform is similar to cosmos in this aspect, the interoperability of ICON is inherent. Further, Cosmos helps developers to launch blockchains. These blockchains connect to other cosmos blockchains. This feature is Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol or IBC.
- ICON vs Solana Wormhole: Wormhole is the cross-chain bridge of Solana. Though ICON and Solana are trying to achieve interoperability, there is a notable difference. Solana is a trust-based network. So Solana assumes the majority of its validators are right all the time. But BTP is not at all trust-based. Validators do not have to verify transactions and this makes ICON truly trustless and decentralized. It also gives an upper hand for ICON over Solana.
Moreover, we can go on and compare the platform to Chainlink or Quant Network. Chainlink also has an in-built interoperability solution but is not competing with ICON directly, as their niches are different. While Quant uses intermediaries to enable interoperability and ICON scores again. Furthermore, ICON can evolve legacy interoperability too.
ICX Price Prediction
Here is the ICX technical analysis by Anurag, our TA experts:
Bullish Scenario: If ICX manages to break above the resistance level at $1.06 then it would be bullish. If it gains some momentum and buying pressure builds up then we might test the next resistance level at $1.19 and $1.39. Breaking above the $1.39 price level with significant buying volume will lead to a good chance of crossing above $1.70.
Bearish Scenario: If the $0.66 support level is not maintained, the price will fall to $0.59, $0.45, and even lower sooner or later.
All in all, the platform is a strong project building upon a strong foundation. What is all the more important is that it is in one of the hottest sectors of crypto for 2022 and that is interoperability. Without all the war-like crises impacting the markets, we could see it well in 2022.
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