In this edition of ICON Weekly, we’ll discuss Binance joining ICON as a P-Rep and Paycoin’s ICX integration. What a week it’s been! Last week, ICX broke the crucial $1.00 price point after a prolonged bear market. One week later as of this writing, ICX is trading above $2.00. Will this parabolic movement continue? I’m not sure, but I hope so.

Binance Joins ICON as a P-Rep

Earlier this month, a mysterious entity under the name “binance node” joined the ICON ecosystem as a P-Rep. Initially, we were all skeptical as to whether “binance node” was actually, well, Binance’s node. A few things about the registration were a bit off – lowercase node name, invalid JSON path, etc.

All the speculation was put to rest on February 15 when Binance officially announced the launch of ICX staking. Since then, Binance has catapulted to the #2 position with over 30 million ICX in delegations. Personally, I have mixed feelings on Binance joining ICON as a P-Rep. Overall, I think having a big name like Binance onboard is a net positive. With that said, I have my worries when it comes to decentralization.

It’s important to note that while Binance supports ICX as a listed asset on its exchange, it also actively develops projects like Binance Smart Chain that directly compete with ICON and other smart contract platforms. Human history has shown time and time again that power can and will be abused in pursuit of one’s interests. I have to wonder whether Binance will use its immense voting power to influence ICON in a way that benefits itself, but harms ICON. I’d feel a lot better about Binance as a P-Rep if they implemented one of the following strategies.

  • Allow Binance users to select P-Reps to delegate to.
  • Split votes across teams outside the Top 22, similar to how ICONFi does it. At this time, Binance’s 30 million ICX wallet only votes for Binance.

I don’t think Binance will decentralize votes, but I can keep on hoping. What do you think about Binance as a P-Rep? Is it healthy for ICON, or do you think it’s a detriment to the ecosystem? Let me know what you think on Twitter.

ICX Support on Paycoin

Another recent development for ICON was the integration of ICX into Paycoin, a payment service developed by South Korean payment giant Danal Fintech. With Paycoin, customers (over 750,000 Paycoin users at this time) will be able to pay for goods and services with BTC, ETH, and ICX at over 60,000 merchants in South Korea.

While I’m personally not super sold on using unpegged cryptos for everyday purchases, I think seeing ICX alongside BTC and ETH is extremely bullish for ICON. BTC and ETH are the market leaders in terms of market cap and public recognition. Thus, Paycoin’s ICX integration really says a lot about how enterprises view ICX as a viable value transfer asset.

The Paycoin app.

The Paycoin app. (Source: Paycoin)

With Paycoin’s ICX integration, they should now theoretically have the ability to add IRC-based stablecoins relatively easily. Again, I really do think stablecoins are much better for everyday purchases. With stablecoins, there is no risk of forgoing potential upside from an investment standpoint. In other words, I don’t see a world where a majority of Paycoin’s users will spend BTC, ETH, and ICX. All three of these cryptos are firmly in a price discovery phase, which means most people will choose to hold rather than spend.

It would be a different story if Paycoin were to support stablecoins. Imagine if Paycoin adds a KRW-pegged stablecoin in the future. I can see something like that taking off, especially when considering Paycoin rewards users of its app with its “Pay Token” via its customer payback pool.

The important thing to keep in mind here is that ICX is the only usable asset for everyday purchases. Compared to ICX, BTC and ETH are both slow and expensive to transfer. On Bitcoin, you’re looking at a 10 minute minimum block time, and we’re all familiar with the cost of transactions on Ethereum. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why ICX is a much better asset for Paycoin’s intended use case – transactions are cheap and they settle in seconds.

What are your thoughts on ICX support in Paycoin? Do you think mainstream spending of volatile cryptos will catch on, or do you think it would be better if Paycoin also supported stablecoins? Let me know what you think on Twitter.