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ICON- Project that belongs in the leagues of Ethereum and NEO

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ICON project has been surprisingly under the radar for some time now.  This became evident when Bloomberg reporter asks Pantera’s CEO during an interview “what is ICON?”

While there are 100s of articles explaining what ICON is, QRIP group being a big fan of ICON, it made logical sense for us to write a comprehensive review on ICON.

What makes ICON different?

ICON is the blockchain platform developed by theloop. Unlike other blockchain platforms, ICON does not want to compete or replace any existing blockchain technology.  Rather, ICON aims to build a network of blockchains with ICON platform acting as connecting link.

There are no conditions or rules imposed on other blockchains to use ICON’s native currency, ICX.  Projects are free to use whatever medium of cryptocurrency they want to use.  ICON wants to be the facilitator of an unbroken and widely spread out blockchain ecosystem that not only connects various blockchain technologies but also connects various industries.

To learn about ICON and why it is a big deal in the crypto space, we have to understand various aspects.

i) ICON Team and advisors

ii) Existing partnerships and collaborations

iii) Interoperability Alliance

iv) ICONex wallet

v) ICONest – ICO Platform

vi) DeBlock – An Incubator program that aims to launch (and support) 300 new DApps on ICON network

vii) ICONick

viii) IISS (ICON Incentive Scoring System)

Let us dissect each aspect in detail to understand ICON better.

i) ICON Team

From the get go, ICON team has been talk of the crypto-space.  Until ICON introduced their ICO, crypto-space was used to 3 to 5 member projects.  ICON is different.   They have dedicated teams of blockchain developers, blockchain department for businesses, AI specialists, design, communications and security.

What sets this team apart from any other big team is that they were already working on blockchain for businesses for 2 years before getting into ICO.

NEO ICON team

NEO ICON

Their advisory group is made up of Dan Tapscott and others.  Dan Tapscott is a visionary and author of Blockchain Revolution.  Dan’s son, Alex, is the founder of AION blockchain project which is part of interoperability alliance (we will discuss that later).

The strength of the ICON team, advisory board and their connections have helped them form strategic partnerships and this is key to ensuring the success of ICON and blockchain technology itself.  

ii) Existing partnerships and collaborations

ICON has one of the most impressive line-up of partnerships and collaborations.

  1. Korea Financial Investment Association (KOFIA), a network of 26 financial institutions with theloop as exclusive technology partner
  2. SBI-Ripple Asia, a joint venture between Ripple and SBI Holdings to facilitate cross-border transactions
  3. Woori bank, which plans to facilitate Govt. issued digital currency for Korea
  4. Kyobo Life Insurance to facilitate automatic insurance payouts on the blockchain
  5. HealthCare consortium with major hospitals including University Medical Center, Severance Hospital and Gacheon University Gil Medical Center
  6. U-Coin (University Coin) with Korea University, Sogang University and Sohang University of Science and Technology
  7. Pantera Capital is an investment firm focused exclusively on ventures, tokens, and projects related to blockchain tech, cryptocurrency, and crypto assets.
  8. Kenetic Capital is an Hong Kong-based investor in online and offline blockchain communities since 2014. Fosters growth of innovative blockchain business models
  9. Token as a service (taas) is the last-generation tokenized closed-end fund actively contributing to the development of the blockchain ecosystem
  10. Coinsilium provides seed capital to developers of blockchain technology and fintech businesses. Coinsilium engages in partnerships with industry leaders in the smart contract and token space
  11. CM Crypto Capital (CMCC) is one of the leading blockchain focused investment funds with presence in Hong Kong and Toronto
  12. Mind Fund is a venture capital company that was established to provide hands on support and investment to entrepreneurs and innovators at all stages of their development from Start-up to an Initial Public Offering
  13. Hashed is a network of South Korean blockchain industry professionals; partnership of engineers, investors, attorneys, and business developers
  14. Crypto Bazaar is one of the largest blockchain communties in Russian-speaking countries (top blockchain developers, largest events, industry media network, venture crypto fund investing in ICOs)
  15. MOU between theloop & Cyberdigm and Raonsecure
  16. MME is a professional business advisory firm for Swiss legal and tax issues
  17. MOU with E4Net.net, a company with 20 years experience in banking and card companies space
  18. Partnership with Japan’s first crypto fund B-Cryptos which is backed by B Dash Venture Capital and Japan’s leading crypto exchange Quoine.

If above list seems long, you will notice that it does not cover all from looking at this picture summary (Spec-Rationility creation, check their site for a great overview).

NEO ICON Blockchain platform

Apart from above, ICON has also entered into MOU with AD4th and Nonghyup Bank.  Most importantly ICON entered into a strategic partnership with Kyber Network “to closely work together to help employ scalable protocol of KyberNetwork’s token exchange services and interconnect with other blockchains participating in the ICON network.”

Ironically, two collaborations (E4net and B-Cryptos) were announced during the time we were putting this article together.  That is just a testament at the speed at which ICON is spreading its wings.

iii)  Interoperability Alliance

ICON wants to be the blockchain network of blockchains of the world.  It cannot achieve this goal without help.  Forming interoperability alliance with AION and Wanchain, both successful in their own right, was part of giving shape to the long-term goals of ICON project.

AION will form the connecting bridge between blockchains with a focus on Western world while Wanchain will help transfer of digital assets across multiple blockchain platforms.

As there is no restriction or condition to using ICON currency, Wanchain will help transfer digital assets across multiple blockchain platforms that form part of ICON network.

iv) ICONex wallet

“ICONex is ICON’s Wallet supporting ICX and various cryptocurrencies.  ICONex boasts faster transactions, secure payments, and liquid exchange across multiple cryptocurrencies with user-friendly UX and UI.”

ICON has set aside tokens specifically for the use of ICON’s DEx platform.  DEx are going to be vital part of crypto space in future to facilitate trust and security.

v) ICONest – ICO Platform

ICONest is the ICO platform of ICON project which provides platform to launch your own DApp projects.  The platform boasts features like whitelist, refund/unlock and contribution cap.  The first DApp, Blue Whale, is launching on ICONest and allows for users to participate in the ICO using ICON and Ethereum.

Below ICOs are already confirmed:

  • Sentinel Protocol:   Sentinel Protocol can be described as security intelligence platform for blockchain (SIPB), this includes a wide variety of security features, from anti-theft, malformed transaction prevention, unknown threat prevention, transaction traceability etc.
  • Blue Whale: Blue Whale is building a decentralized ecosystem for the sharing economy on the blockchain, tackling several key downsides of traditional sharing economy.
  • SmileGate Stove: SmileGate’s objective is to develop timeless-classic games that can be enjoyed by any generation and to continually expand our business to allow greater audience to experience all that Smilegate has to offer.
  • Tink: is a an application that lets your friends add credence to your social profile.
  • Silk Road: is a platform that supports transparent history  management and purchasing by reforming the semiconductor supply chain and SCM into a blockchain-based decentralized system.
  • UPPSALA: is a Security Intelligence Platform for Blockchain (SIPB) which aims to overcome the disadvantage of decentralization by turning it into an advantage of security.
  • AD4th: is a decentralized advertising platform with real-time P2P reward system.

In addition, Nucleus Vision that facilitates IoT based contactless identification system for retailers and customers has also joined forces with ICON.

As more and more DApps are built on ICON, we will see synergies that will propel the demand for ICON tokens and its technology.

Check their platform view, it is just as simple as it is beautiful.

vi) DeBlock – An Incubator program that aims to launch (and support) 300 new DApps on ICON network

ICON and AD4TH  joined hands to form the DeBlock.  Deblock’s mission is to discover and nurture entrepreneurs and great talent. Deblock supports various projects to develop new breeds of decentralized applications running on ICON. Deblock’s entrepreneurs will get full support from ICON Foundation to co-build global-scale projects.

vii) ICONick

ICONick is a convenient ‘wallet ID’ used in the ICON network.  Use your own unique nickname to replace the long and complicated default wallet address to conveniently transfer or exchange ICX.

Article Begins

You may be surprised to see that the article actually begins after so much scrolling.  Yes, it reflects just how big ICON is (and will be in future).  It took us this long just to describe what ICON has accomplished so far since it’s ICO that happened only 7 months back.

Do not just skim through that paragraph.  Read it again.

  • ICONs team is amazing.
  • ICONs partnerships are outstanding.
  • ICONs interoperability alliance speaks of long term vision.
  • ICONs ICO platform is going to change the landscape, initially in South Korea and then elsewhere in the days to come.
  • ICONs DeBlock initiative is going to create a wave of innovations and crazy ideas taking shape in real world which will help boost a new wave of jobs in the blockchain industry and wide range acceptance of ICON platform.

Perhaps, ICONs greatest strength doesn’t lie in its strengths at all.  It is in its humble approach to the market.  They could declare that they are the greatest blockchain companies with real world business blockchains currently running (which is true) and try to capture the market that way.  But the path they have chosen is the one that not only enables ICON for wide acceptance but it also helps other blockchain projects and thus enabling the adoption of blockchain technology in the mainstream.

Price action

Crypto space is at its infancy.  People still fall for ‘promise’ rather than ‘execution’.  For example, right at this time there are projects that promise 700,000 to million or more transactions per second (TPS).  TPS is the current buzz word in crypto space.

What good is TPS going to do if you have zero business connections? Zero adoption?  Zero long-term vision?  And a below average team to execute on the project?

If you google alternatives to ‘word processor’ you will find many options, some better than MS Word but we all know what businesses use.  It is a similar story with blockchain platforms.  You might have million TPS and lightning speed, but if there is no business adoption of the said technology, you will eventually be wiped out.

Reason for this is simple, running a business is very hard.  Creating hype on the other hand is very easy, in the short-term.

Because people in crypto space are still learning the difference between a high that comes from short-term hype to long-term success, ICON has been lagging in price action compared to its more hyped purported competition.

As the title of this article suggests, ICON will be in the leagues of Ethereum and NEO.  It took Ethereum good number of years before it broke the ceiling.   NEO was a similar story.

When more and more partnerships ensue, ICOs start launching on ICON platform, more exchange additions (Bittrex/Quoine, etc.) take place, DeBlock projects start taking shape and more blockchains join the alliance of interoperability and when South Korea realizes the potential of its own home grown mammoth, these events, in no particular order, are going to act as catalyst in pushing ICON into top 10 space of market cap.

We are confident that before the end of this year, ICON will break its own all-time highs and set new records.

Future of ICON

If ICON forges ahead like the way they have been so far, there is no stopping their success.  We will be watching ICON closely, and you should too if you are interested in a quality project that has potential to be around in the next decade.

Update 1: May 10th: MOU with aSSIST, this furthers the nexus of ICON in the Universities (education industry) space

Update 2: May 11th: “MOU with Samsung Electronics to incorporate CHAIN ID in Samsung’s ‘Samsung Pass’ service.”

Whitepaper: https://icon.foundation/resources/whitepaper/ICON-Whitepaper-EN-Draft.pdf

Buy upto price: Available at QRIP.  Access FB group to view.

The HODL period:  Available at QRIP.  Access FB group to view.

Anticipated gains: Available at QRIP. Access FB group to view.

CryptoTapas is an initiative of creators of QRIP group.  QRIP group is FREE to join.

Do your own research before investing. Crypto space is very volatile, don’t invest more than what you can afford to lose.  Opinion, not an advice.

Stay in touch with us at: | |

Sources:

NOTE: We have borrowed some of the descriptions of projects from official sources. All sources are included below.

https://icon.foundation/contents/team/partners?lang=en

https://medium.com/helloiconworld/icon-partners-with-kybernetwork-a135e91af327

https://medium.com/helloiconworld/icon-annual-summit-the-genesis-a-quick-summary-448d3e5d7016

http://spec-rationality.com/icon/

http://dapps.icon.support/

http://www.deblock.co.kr/

https://icon.foundation/contents/icon/iconick?lang=en

 

CryptoSpace

This is What Non-Bitcoiners Think About Bitcoin

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Bitcoin believers

There are two types of people in this world: Bitcoiners and non-bitcoiners.

Many non-bitcoiners stay that way because they have come to associate Bitcoin with certain elements of the society. 

Here is a short list of things non-bitcoiners associate Bitcoin with and whether these allegations have any validity.

Money laundering

moneyBitcoin is criticised to be used for many illegal activities including money laundering. 

Can Bitcoin be used for money laundering?  Sure.

So can gold or cash or you name it.  

Anything of value can be used for money laundering, however, only one of them can be actually tracked forever.

To many people’s surprise, Bitcoin is the only asset among many that is the worst medium to use for money laundering.

Terrorist funding

Haters say that bitcoin is used by terrorist groups to avoid being tracked. 

Fools be those who think Bitcoin is completely anonymous.  

In fact, physical cash is much more anonymous than any medium of exchange out there.

Drugs

Bitcoin was (is) used to buy and sell drugs. 

Bitcoin did not create a single drug and it did not create commerce for drugs either. The drugs commerce has been in existence before bitcoin.  What bitcoin did was create this false illusion that it is anonymous money.

To the dismay of many those who thought they were being smart have etched their dealings on the blockchain for anyone with the right tools to find out.

Dark web

darkwebYes, the dark web has made Bitcoin popular.

Silk Road, illegal weapons, transferring money without going through banks or other legal entities, all of these have colored Bitcoin as Dark Web money.

However, once people understood the myriad of applications that bitcoin and blockchain can help with, the dark web allegations have faded.

We would scorn anyone suggesting that the internet should be banned because there is illegal stuff going on (dark web lives on the internet too).

However, these very people would call for a ban on Bitcoin without understanding that Bitcoin is the next phase of the internet’s evolution.

Gambling

Gambling cryptocurrencyGamblers love to squander their wealth. And those who dabble with Bitcoin with their life savings are no better than gamblers.

This has some truth because there are no guarantees that Bitcoin will succeed (although one could argue that it has already succeeded in bringing blockchain to the consciousness of mainstream).

As such, those putting money in bitcoin understand that they could lose their investment.

While many invest in bitcoin in the hopes of getting rich, there are few who invest in it to own a piece of technology and be part of the history in the making. 

In that sense, Bitcoin is way different than gambling.

Is Bitcoin the panacea?

While Bitcoin is far better than the existing fiat system, we do not think Bitcoin as the panacea.

We believe that Bitcoin will build bridges and connect the world which was deprived of access to financial inclusion and in doing so it will become part of the world financial ecosystem.

It will not replace the fiat system, rather, it will make it more accessible.

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. We appreciate you.

Stay safe and healthy!

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies 2020

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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CryptoSpace

Factors adding gasoline to the Bitcoin shortage fire

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Bitcoin shortage

Bitcoin’s creation and its subsequent proliferation may have all been planned for a long time, this is the outcry of many conspiracy theorists.  

These conspiracy theorists also believe that whistle blowers are mere plants to help prepare the world for what’s coming.

One of their theories is that the end of physical fiat was planned a long time ago, however, the transition of physical fiat to digital fiat needed a catalyst to drive the conversation.

Either by meticulous design or by sheer coincidence – Bitcoin came to life in 2009.

We personally think that Bitcoin was designed by liberals who believed a ‘fair world’ was possible.

The invincibility of this groundbreaking technology meant that the forces that were working on doing away with physical fiat had a runway built for them.

So, the rhetoric has now changed from ‘Bitcoin is for anti-social elements’ to ‘Bitcoin is the currency for the visionaries’.

Why is that backdrop of conspiracies and layout necessary?

Because, irrespective of the underlying reasons the rhetoric has changed and it has changed for good.  This means, as the physical fiat follows the path of extinction, Bitcoin – the king of digital currency, will see a lot of demand.

We were warned a long time back that there will not be enough bitcoin in the world for everyone to buy.

Some studies say that owning .28 Bitcoin will guarantee you a seat in the top 1% bitcoin holders in the world while others say you need 5 bitcoins to claim the top 1% in the Bitcoin rich list.

Point is, even if you have all the fiat in the world, there is a limit on how much bitcoin you can buy.

When people who want to buy bitcoin are ready to pay any price while those who own the fractions of it are unwilling to sell it – the prices have only one way to go: UP.

 

The strategic moves into Bitcoin from MicroStrategy, Square, GrayScale, Fidelity and a host of billionaires who actually know something about money and finance is a tell-tell sign for the rest of the world.

Whether you want to get into Bitcoin to own a piece of technology itself, or to hedge against the inflation, or simply to use it as ‘digital gold’ that you can take with you, any and all of these reasons are good enough to look into Bitcoin.

If you had told us last year that a public limited company will convert its cash reserves into Bitcoin we would have laughed at you, but that is precisely what has happened.

As a result of converting fiat reserves to Bitcoin, the stock price of MicroStrategy saw an immediate boost which was as big as the reserve itself.

Do you think other public companies will stay on the sidelines for long?

When a legend like Paul Tudor Jones says ‘Bitcoin is the fast horse’ to bet on against inflation and he himself invests 2% of his portfolio, how long will it take for other fund managers to take note?

Add to this the demand from retail investors in the form of millennials, who are also set to inherit some $60 Trillion dollars from the baby boomer generation in the coming decade.

Conclusion

We personally think the goldilocks moment for Bitcoin has arrived.  It has the perfect combination of ‘scarce supply’ and ‘growing demand’.  It also has the added elements of adoption and ‘nascentness’ working in its favor.

These factors alone make Bitcoin one of the best investment assets of the century, in our opinion. 

We have been investing in Bitcoin using dollar cost averaging.  We don’t go selling our home or taking on insane loans to invest in bitcoin, rather, we invest $100 here and $100 there.

Before you invest your money into bitcoin or cryptocurrencies, spend some time understanding what Bitcoin is and why it is important in taking the world from the centuries old fiat system to a brand new global currency system.

In our personal view, Bitcoin will become one of the best assets to hold by the next halving.

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. We appreciate you.

Stay safe and healthy!

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies 2020

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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CryptoSpace

Why this bull run has no precedence? ONE key metric to rule them all

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bull run 2020

Everyone is singing the praises for the bulls’ arrival in the crypto space.

Some say that 2020 will mark the biggest bull run in cryptos’, albeit short, history.  

We are already in October so we doubt any fireworks will take place now since there is a lot of uncertainty about the US elections.

Add the uncertainty around the stimulus bills, unemployment trends, soon to be lifted forbearances and the list goes on.

2020 still has another 2.5 months to go but most of these uncertainties will take a while to show their true impact.

For instance, what will a Biden presidency mean for the economy and cryptos?  

How many people will be forced to sell their homes once the forbearance’s are lifted?

What happens if the next stimulus bill does not pass through?

When will the vaccine become available?

These are some of the unique situations that we have no precedence for. Do not let anyone convince you that we know what’s going to unfold, because no one does.

Yes, everyone has theories, like the ones we are presenting here, but that is all they are: theories.

The BIGGEST metric that crypto community is not considering

We are no economists nor can we run any fancy charts to impress a point on you.  

We are just good observers and have common sense to deduce a few things based on data.  

For instance, between 2007 and 2010 consumer spending dropped by an overall .2% and we know what that meant for the economy.

Personal consumption expenditure

In 2020, people have literally cut down on their spending.  Some of it is forced due to the restrictions imposed by external forces and most of it is self imposed.

I am sure the spending on marijuana, liquor and food have gone up but what about other spending?

2020 also saw a spike in the savings balances.  

Economy is not stimulated by people hoarding their money. People need to exchange value for the economy to thrive.

What happens to the spending behaviors when the true stats around evictions, lost jobs (that are not coming back) and small businesses that are shutting down permanently are out?

Our guess is that people are going to be weary of spending money in the short to medium term. If we were forced to pick a timeline – we would say about 12-16 months (assuming we get a vaccine in Q1 2021).

When is the next bull run? 

Based on what we have seen in 2007 through 2010 and observing the consumer spending habits in recent times, we think that Bitcoin (and cryptos) will not find their true peak until next halving.

We know this is not what you came to hear.  

If the bull run in your mind is hitting the 2017 highs then we do not think you have to wait until the next bull run.

If the bull run means a $100,000 bitcoin then we stand by our opinion on when that is going to be.

A case for bull run

In spite of what is going on in the street, following factors are acting as strong bull market signals for the crypto space. 

Hype: Crypto space (specifically Bitcoin) has been gathering a lot of steam in terms of brand awareness and mass penetration.  This is great for the long game.

Adoption: More than ever, private and public enterprises are becoming serious about bitcoin and underlying blockchain technology.  What is good for bitcoin is good for blockchain and vice-versa.  MicroStrategy investment, Paul Tudor Jones getting involved with bitcoin are some examples.

Tech explosion: Crypto space is home to some of the brilliant minds in the tech space. Add Big Techs interest in the crypto space and you have a perfect recipe for monumental shifts in crypto perception. Tech giants like Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Facebook are all getting involved with blockchain and cryptocurrencies in some shape or form.

Retail demand: More and more retail investors are looking for alternative investments and they are waiting on the sidelines to get involved with Bitcoin.  As soon as companies like Fidelity or other brands offer crypto investment through retirement plans – there would be a massive influx into this space.

DeFi: DeFi in its current state might be infested with shittty projects but as a concept and technological shift to turn the current banking system upside down – it holds great potential. Any demand to DeFi brings more demand to bitcoin, ethereum and blockchain in general.

Conclusion

The debate around when is the next bull run will hinge on how the market recovers from this pandemic. How soon will we get the vaccine and how many of the lost small businesses and jobs are we going to resurrect?

From a macro perspective, Bitcoin and few select cryptocurrencies will continue their upward trajectory so if you looked back to 2020 five years from now, you might think bitcoin was on sale.  

Question is: how many people have that kind of patience?

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. We appreciate you.

Stay safe and healthy!

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies 2020

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

 

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