ICON (ICX): A Deep Dive Into Its Enterprise Use Cases
ICON continues to roll out real-world blockchain systems that help resolve issues in disease management, ID verification, payments, DeFi, NFTs, and more.
By Min Kim, Founder, ICON Project
Updated December 3, 2021 • 6 min read
Since the launch of the ICON project, enterprise blockchain adoption in South Korea has been a top priority. Some of the largest organizations in the country, including the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Danal (KOSDAQ: 064260), and the Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) have benefited from using the ICON Network. Zzeung, a decentralized identity (DID) solution, is being used by the Jeju Island Government and Shinhan Bank. Furthermore, consumer use cases for ICON, including DeFi and NFT applications, are on the rise.
ICONLOOP, a leading blockchain technology company in South Korea, has released several enterprise-focused applications using ICON’s public blockchain technology and native coin ICX. The company’s main business is decentralized identity (DID). Its flagship product is Zzeung, an identity authentication and management solution. ICONLOOP was granted an exclusive license by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) to provide DID services to enterprise customers in South Korea. The company also leads the MyID Alliance, Korea’s largest DID consortium, with more than 70 enterprise members including Samsung Electronics, Naver Cloud, and Bithumb exchange.
In early 2018, ICONLOOP joined forces with the Korea Financial Investment Association (KOFIA) to develop ChainID, the world’s first blockchain-based joint authentication service for the financial services industry. ChainID has evolved into the MyID financial identity authentication architecture which is now used in Zzeung. In November of 2019, ICONLOOP announced the launch of the MyID Alliance, with the first use case being to implement MyID as a tool for improving efficiency and transparency of Know Your Customer (KYC) verification processes within the financial services industry.
Zzeung gives users the ability to securely store authentication information on their mobile devices. At this time, Zzeung is used for non-face-to-face biometric verification (facial recognition) when opening an online financial account. Authentication data is saved after its initial use and secured through the ICON Network. From there, users can easily open a new financial account elsewhere in a matter of minutes. In August 2020, Shinhan Bank, South Korea’s second-largest commercial bank with $375 billion in assets, selected Zzeung to launch the country’s first blockchain-based financial KYC authentication service.
Zzeung has broader applications outside of the financial services industry. In August 2020, South Korea’s Jeju Island selected Zzeung for private and secure COVID-19 contact tracing. The ICON project is helping to ensure the health and safety of Jeju Island’s 15 million annual tourists while protecting personal identity and privacy. The ability to quickly and privately prove one’s identity is critical in our daily lives. Healthcare, insurance, banking, voting, passport eligibility, and other use cases rely on the security and accessibility of our identity.
ICON Blockchain’s Digital Certificate
Broof is a digital certificate management solution created by ICONLOOP. It supports digital certificate issuance, storage, and verification. The ICON Network ensures that every digital certificate is unique, and hence, protects from any possibility of falsification.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government was an early user helping to test the Broof prototype. In February 2019, the Seoul Metropolitan Government appointed members of its ‘Blockchain Governance Team’ using the ICON Network. This was the first official record of a Korean government entity interacting with a public blockchain network.
Since the production launch in May 2019, some of the leading educational institutions adopted Broof to issue graduate diplomas and qualification certificates. In February 2020, the Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) issued diplomas to 828 new graduates with Broof. Given the threat of the coronavirus, the university canceled its graduation ceremony and gave students the option to receive their diplomas online. In addition, Korea’s largest online academy Fast Campus recently began using Broof to send out qualification certificates to students who completed its courses.
In September 2020, Korea’s largest online job search platform, Saramin HR, began using Broof to certify applicants’ academic and professional credentials. Job applicants upload and link all their official certificates such as college diplomas and transcripts with Broof. The digital versions of these official certificates are tamper-proof and verified copies can easily be forwarded to companies or other interested parties.
ICON Network’s Digital Pass
VisitMe is a visitor check-in and management service by ICONLOOP. The service is designed to streamline the process of visitor registration, check-in, and tracking. It utilizes the MyID architecture and the ICON Network to ensure each visitor pass is unique and there are no duplicates.
At the end of September 2020, VisitMe surpassed 100,000 users and more than 1,000 businesses implemented the service. These include local cafes, restaurants, hospitals, offices and major hotels such as Hilton & Conrad. During the COVID-19 pandemic, ICONLOOP began offering VisitMe services at no charge to local buildings and businesses across South Korea.
ICON Blockchain Payments via ICX Coin
Danal Fintech, a subsidiary of Korea’s largest mobile payment company Danal Co., is leading the payment adoption efforts for the ICON Network’s native cryptocurrency ICX. On November 11, 2020, Danal Fintech announced that it plans to integrate ICX into Paycoin, its global payments and remittance mobile app. ICX is the first cryptocurrency to be integrated into Paycoin outside of Danal Fintech’s own native PCI tokens. Paycoin will allow its users to pay in ICX at any of Danal’s 60,000 merchant partners including popular fast-food restaurants KFC and Domino’s Pizza.
Decentralized Finance on the ICON Blockchain
Decentralized finance (DeFi) is the fastest growing segment of the blockchain industry. ICX is used as a collateral in the ICON Network’s growing DeFi ecosystem. ICX holders can deposit their ICX as collateral to borrow other assets. This much-needed ecosystem brings bonds, the primary driver of global economics, onto the ICON Network.
Balanced Network is a DeFi collaboration between four Public Representatives (P-Reps) in the ICON Network to create tokens pegged to real-world assets such as the U.S. dollar. Open Money Market is another DeFi collaboration between three P-Reps to build a money market where anyone can lend and borrow assets, earn interest, and own a share of the protocol. More DeFi collaborations within the ICON community members are underway.
In December 2020, the ICON Network expanded its DeFi ecosystem with Orbit Bridge integration, allowing Ethereum-based digital assets to be transferred onto the ICON Network. This integration brings more value to the ICON Network by bridging assets between different blockchains and bringing more economic activity to the ICON Network. Traders can now take advantage of arbitrage opportunities, and DeFi projects built on ICON can now enable borrowing and lending of assets across different networks and bridges.
It is worth mentioning that these DeFi products on the ICON Network are heavily focused on the user experience. Even within the cryptocurrency space, a very small percentage of people use DeFi products because they are difficult to understand and even more difficult to use. ICON’s DeFi products prioritize user experience and reduce some confusing aspects of blockchain technology.
ICON Network’s Non-Fungible Tokens
NFTs represent unique ownership of digital or physical assets that are distinguishable and non-fungible. A diverse universe of assets can be represented by NFTs, including physical properties and virtual assets.
In July 2020, the IRC-3 non-fungible token standard was developed for the ICON Network to help implement the widespread adoption of non-fungible assets and digital collectibles. With this standard, the Block42 P-Rep team launched the STIN project where the ICON Network could guarantee the authenticity of 999 bottles of limited edition gin. STIN makes use of an Infineon powered contactless crypto-chip which has a uniquely created public-private keypair stored on it. In the labeling process, this chip was implemented carefully by hand on the bottle in a way that cannot be readily manipulated afterwards. Due to the digital signature of the chip, anybody can verify the limited edition validity of the 999 bottles on the public blockchain. All bottles that will ever be produced are stored securely on the ICON Network.
Project Nebula by the ICON Forge P-Rep team uses the IRC-3 non-fungible token standard for its online game universe with a growing expanse of totally unique digital collectibles, all with their own designs, stories, and resources. The game is yet to be completed with the proposed launch date set for March 2021. However, they launched a pre-sale of its NFT planets in October 2020 and all 99 of its planet NFTs were sold out in four minutes. The very first planet NFT sold for 5009 ICX, an equivalent of $1,750 US dollars.
The IRC-3 non-fungible token standard has worked out well for a few projects, but the problem is that it is not scalable as each asset needs a standalone contract. Therefore, a new IRC-30 non-fungible token standard is in the works by the Staky P-Rep team. Concurrently, the team expects to launch Craft Network in 2021 which will act as a decentralized marketplace for all NFTs.
Additional Uses Cases and Related Technology
A variety of state-of-the-art systems continue to be built on the ICON Network to increase the transparency, efficiency, immutability, and usability of data for multiple industries and services. Examples of these systems include:
E-Government System: ICONLOOP is currently developing a system to allow electronic government-to-citizen integration. This system aims to allow various jurisdictions, from cities to nations to facilitate citizen involvement via information and communication technology (ICT) and business process re-engineering (BPR).
Next Generation Election System: ICONLOOP is working to improve the transparency and efficiency of the Korean electoral system. The company hopes to eventually implement this technology at the municipal, regional, and national levels in Korea.
Chronic Disease Management System: ICONLOOP is currently developing a blockchain and AI-based system for Korea’s Gangwon-do province to help track and manage chronic disease incidents. This region was chosen because it has the nation’s highest rates of smoking, drinking, and obesity.
IRC-16 Security Token Standard: The IRC-16 tokenization standard was developed to facilitate enterprise-level trading, token issuance, and security token development on ICON’s blockchain platform. A new security token project utilizing this standard is targeted to launch in 2021.
Decentralized Oracles: In July 2020, Band Protocol successfully integrated with the ICON Network to provide secure decentralized oracles for leading decentralized applications (dApps). The main use case for the oracle solution is to help verify the ICX asset’s current median price by aggregating data from numerous sources (including Binance, Kraken, Huobi, CoinMarketCap, and Bithumb). This data is intended to serve as a security parameter to verify the validity of the ICX asset’s current and ongoing price data.
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Founder, ICON Project
Min Kim is the founder of the ICON Project, a leading public blockchain project. Previously, he was the Chief Strategy Officer of DAYLI Financial Group, Korea’s largest fintech holding company, and the Chief Operating Officer at Tapas Media, a U.S. digital content distribution platform backed by Daumkakao and SK Planet. Min started his career at Deutsche Bank's technology investment banking division in San Francisco. He received his B.S. in Business Administration from Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley.
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