ICON has been working tirelessly for a long time now and is a known name in the crypto and blockchain sector. The kind of work that has been done and has been going on ICON is poised to become one of South Korea's major blockchain ecosystems. Although ICONs major developments include some of the verticals like:
- MyID (Digital ID ecosystem)
- Broof (Blockchain Certificates)
- VisitMe (Smart Visitor check-in)
- LFT2 (Consensus Algorithm)
- BTP (Private to Public interaction/interoperability)
- CPF & IISS 3.0 (Governance)
In this article, I’ll be focussing more on MyID and will be covering most of the details briefly.
ICON Project is building one of the largest decentralized networks in the world and MyID will be the first kind of Decentralized Identifier (DID) platform in Korea. It is built on ICONLoops blockchain Technology that helps build a trustworthy digital environment by allowing the users to safely manage their ID authentication information in their mobile phone instead of relying on multiple third parties while facilitating the verification process in a secure and fast way through the blockchain technology.
MyID Alliance is a collaborative ecosystem that currently has 68 organizations and corporations in various industries such as commercial banks, security firms, e-commerce companies, and manufacturing companies.
ICON’s MyID launch is round the corner and as per the latest tweet, it's going to be released very soon. Multiple big names and companies have already joined the alliance. As per their milestone, MyID service is on its way to secure 100 alliance members in 2020 and targeting 1 million users in 2021.
Personally I’m looking forward to the launch and I do believe this will change the entire financial and governing structure of South Korea.
MyID, designated as an Innovative Financial Service, is a digital identity authentication service built on blockchain technology. It allows for information related to Identification to be saved on the user’s mobile phone so that users can reuse said information to open further accounts or access other services that require identification. This drastically simplifies the cumbersome processes such as taking pictures of one’s ID over and over again and will allow consumers to sign up for various financial products in an easier manner.
ICONLOOP also announced recently that MyID solution was included in Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC)’s “Innovative Financial Services and Regulations Sandbox,” exempting the project from restrictions on licensing and sales activities.
This was no mean feat as out of the 105 projects that had applied to the FSC as of July 4, only 37 were approved. And of those, only five — including MyID — were blockchain projects.
If the technology proves reliable during the sandbox period, it would undergo additional tests for up to two more years for possible inclusion in an actual written law or regulation.
Jonghyup Kim, CEO of ICONLOOP, stated, “The designation of MyID as an Innovative Financial Service will be a monumental turning point in the growth of Korea’s blockchain industry.” He also said, “Although it has been somewhat difficult to find a meaningful use of blockchain technology in everyday life so far, this will be an opportunity to prove and verify the usefulness of blockchain technology. I hope that this marks not only the expansion of blockchain technology but also the creation of an overall digital identity ecosphere.”
Let’s dive a bit deeper. Let’s say you book a hotel room through a company registered on MyID Alliance. On your check-in day, you arrive, and instead of waiting and providing documents for verification purposes, you simply scan your My-ID in one of the check-in portals. My-ID then interacts with the hotel’s internal blockchain system (via the ICON public chain) to verify the reservation in an instant. Once verified, the portal gives you your room number and any other helpful information.
Another use-case could be in opening a Bank account, or multiple bank accounts of different Banks, usually, it takes a lot of time and photo-copies of your National ID card, Passport, Driving License, Tax-related documents, and other various documents. With My-ID you can save all this information once and use it multiple times to open accounts on multiple banks. As your data is in the blockchain so it cannot be tampered with, this opens up a wide array of use-cases through various digital services be it e-commerce, finance, or retail.
Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP)
Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP) is an interoperability protocol that allows distinct stand-alone blockchains to interact and communicate with each other, including those with completely different consensus models and algorithms thus allowing for interoperability between public and private blockchains as well.
Other potential uses include the verifying of data, such as a decentralized identity, through cross-chain communication, and the automation of services on one blockchain being triggered from and for the benefit of another.
BTP makes it possible to exchange sensitive data between ICONs applications, enterprise partners, governments, and institutions efficiently and securely; this will directly accelerate growth, expansion, and adoption of the ICON ecosystem like we have never seen before. With BTP, a token transfer can now take place between different blockchains directly through smart contracts without the use of a centralized exchange platform, and all services, requests, verification that transacts on the ICON network via BTP will require ICX token to communicate. This in turn will certainly drive the demand for the ICX token.
The utility of the ICX token isn't confined to BTP, in fact, ICX is the native token for the ICON blockchain network. So you have to pay ICX for transactions for running smart contract codes on the ICON network. So ICX is like a protocol token. To put it simply, as long as there are any on-chain transactions happening on the ICON network, you have to pay ICX as a gas fee. Hence, the value of ICX token is dependent on the robustness of the ICON network. The higher the transaction volume and velocity in the network, the higher the demand for ICX.
I think this kind of interchain communication is something that is needed and it will help ensure the longterm adoption of the ICON network. What interests me here is the private to public BTP integration and I think it’s probably the most important milestone that ICON has hit within its roadmap.
Fintech Innovation Fund
Through the Fintech Innovation Fund, (a fund of K-Growth, one of Korea’s largest fund-of-funds, supported by the Korean Government), it invested 6.5 billion South Korean WON (~over USD 5 million) directly into six companies. According to the Investment bank (IB) industry, the fund invested 6.5 billion WON directly into Puzzle Data, IconLoop, Rabbit Finance, Eisen Global, Music Cow, and Pound through the Fintech Innovation Fund. It is an investment execution among direct investments of 50 billion Korean WON.
Jonghyup Kim, CEO of ICONLOOP, stated, “I believe this investment shows that ICONLOOP’s blockchain technology and its marketability have been proven and the company would take the responsibility to boost the vitality of the overall market as a leading blockchain company in Korea.” He added, “ICONLOOP will continue relentless efforts to provide blockchain technologies and platform that can be implemented into the entire industry and help the general public embrace blockchain technologies, contributing to building a more convenient and trustworthy society.”
Abolition of ActiveX
South Korea may have the world’s fastest internet speed and stable 4G LTE network connection on subway lines, but its people have been suffering from the chronic inconvenience of living with an outdated online banking and e-commerce system.
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-In, during his presidential election back in March 2017, pledged to abolish the main cause of this suffering — ActiveX. Developed by Microsoft in 1996, ActiveX plug-ins are security software that only runs on Internet Explorer. Due to security flaws, it has long been phased out overseas, with even its creator removing ActiveX from its current browser Edge. In 1999, the government passed a law requiring all online shoppers to install ActiveX plug-ins, as well as state-issued “digital certificates” — also considered a nuisance in Korea — as proof of ID.
This decades-old system has endured to this day, largely because the government, major banks, and credit card companies have continually built their services based on the ActiveX software. The move has effectively tied Korea with Internet Explorer, a browser that has fallen out of fashion to the extent that it is not available on many operating systems.
For years, Koreans have complained that ActiveX and the additional cybersecurity programs that must be installed to compensate for security flaws make online banking, shopping, and accessing government services on the web a cumbersome process.
On 20th May 2020, Korea’s Accredited Certification, (based on ActiveX), which was used by every Korean citizen for ID authentication in all online interactions was abolished.
ICON’s MyID is the only DID consortium to be approved by Korea’s FSC (SEC equivalent)!
With this, I conclude that South Korea’s adoption of Blockchain Technology and ICON playing a major part in it will completely revolutionize the entire economic infrastructure, thus boosting its economy!
Hope you all liked it :)