The latest episode of The RHIZOME Report is live. In this episode, we discuss the abolishment of the ActiveX-based certificate accredidation standard in South Korea, the upcoming BTP 1.0 demo, and ICONex updates.

If you prefer listening to audio, this episode of The RHIZOME Report is also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.


William: Welcome everyone to the 21st episode of The RHIZOME Report. We have a lot of news to cover today as if you’ve been paying attention. There’s been a ton of news within the ICON ecosystem, which we will get into. So today we have myself William McKenzie and Brian of RHIZOME. So Brian, how’s everything been going for you?

Brian: Good!. I’m taking a day off from work today. So I’ve been trying to do some relaxing today and the weather has been pretty nice over the past week as well. Especially today. It’s like 80 degrees. Very, very nice outside. Unfortunately there’s a lot of pollen flying around, so I’ve been coughing all day. So if I cough on this podcast, don’t think that I’m sick with something else it’s been going well. And yeah, like Will said, we have a bunch of stuff to get through today. So Will, do you want to hit us with the first bit of news from ICON this past week?

William: Yes. I think the most recent update we had was the silent update with ICONex. You know, there was no formal announcement made about that. It was brought up by a few people on Twitter, but it hasn’t been updated on iOS yet, but I think it’s only available or Android right now. So yeah, ICONex was recently updated and some of the features that were included in this update was the randomization list of P-Reps. Previously, you know, that was based off of a ranking – it was just straight from the top to the bottom one, too, however many we’re at right now. I think it’s 120 plus I think this is very good. And, you know, as we all know, VELIC is now taking over the implementation of new features and updates within ICONex. So it’s really good to see VELIC kind of listening to the community and implementing these changes. Albeit, you know, I believe the randomization of the P-Rep ranking list has been brought up since, you know, like late 2019. It was always something that was talked about, but no, it never got two, I guess, getting immediate pressing attention, but it’s definitely nice to see that VELIC went ahead and implemented these changes, which, you know, they’ve been brought off for quite a long time.

Brian: Yeah. I think it’s definitely a welcome change and something that many people have spoken about since 2019. I think it’s interesting to think about like how the votes could have changed if this actually in the app back in November, December. I think that’s when I first started to hear about this. Cause like, I think this would affect new people who come in and vote for teams, but for the existing people who have already put in their votes. And quite frankly, I think there’s a lot of people who are probably not going to come back revoked, right? Like I’m not convinced that a lot of those people would even come back and look at the app and change their votes around. So, but I think in general for the future and for the new people who come in and get the app in order to cast their vote, I think it would definitely be good. I think that a lot of people don’t really go in and take a look at all of the teams, you know, they might just choose the top two or three or maybe the top 10 and before, since it was listed by the number of votes, those top 10 teams are always the teams with the most votes. So I think this will help at least people who vote like that it will help them achieve a better distribution of votes.

William: Yeah, and just going off on that, you know, something that I’ve seen within the chats is this whole concerned about those quote unquote lazy voters? I think it certainly was a benefit too, a lot of early teams who decided to run as P-Reps to participate. How should I say it early? I think this randomization will definitely help improve vote distribution because for a lot of those early teams especially ours, no, we’ve been evolved since the very beginning. I’m at a point where there was not a lot of people jumping up and down two start up a node. And where has P rep for the network? I think Brian, you can correct me, but there was maybe 40 notes. So around decentralization.

Brian: Yeah, I think that’s about right.

William: I think this randomization is definitely a move in the right direction to help improve vote distribution. Especially if we look at objectively the top five to six teams have over a hundred million votes. So, it’s clearly a problem, which I don’t think can be disputed.

Brian: Yeah. I think at the end of the day, this feature or this way of listing the teams is targeted at the people who are going to choose the top five teams. So in that respect, I definitely don’t think it’s going to do any damage. So yeah, definitely a good thing.

William: Agreed. So for our next topic recently we learned that ICON moving towards the STS space. Brian, would you like to talk about the ICON Foundation’s, a partnership with LCX?

Brian: Sure. So recently the Foundation announced a partnership with LCX, which the press release actually didn’t have that much information. So right now I don’t think we can really discuss in depth about it, but the LCX is the Liechtenstein, crypto assets exchange. So it is a financial technology company based in Lichtenstein and their initial product is called the LCX Terminal. So I think that’s similar to what Bloomberg is doing, but they’re making a product that’s more for the crypto space. And in addition to that, they’re also trying to start LCX Assets and LCX Exchange, which is a technology startup that is planning a compliant, the security token platform in order to issue things like STOs. And if you want to learn more about STO is actually me and Will did an episode on our second podcast just last week, we’ll include the link in the description, but we went in depth on STO. So we basically discussed it for almost an hour or so. We don’t want to repeat that on this podcast. So if you’re interested and finding out more about exactly what STOs and why they’re important. I think that podcast should give you a pretty good understanding of perhaps what could be in store. So in regards to what ICON is doing with LCX, it says they’re going to work closely to develop a new standard to tokenize various things and how to interconnect blockchains who participate in the ICON network. I think in the past we saw talk about, I think it was the IRC-16 token, which was supposed to be an STO token. So perhaps that is, that is related to what ICON is planning to do with LCX. Like I said before, it’s very difficult to, to make any educated guesses at the moment, just because all we have right now is a short post that basically says they’re going to work together, but we’re just not sure exactly what that work is going to entail yet. Yeah, actually I believe Min put out a tweet too, give some more information on that.

William: Min tweeted the LCX announcement. He said the, the security token was premature a year ago. We scrapped a project during planning stage as costs and economics just didn’t make sense. I believe many STO related companies for projects failed because economics were miscalculated. It may still be too early, but we’re exploring once again.

Brian: I don’t think so. I think you covered it pretty clearly. I don’t think it’s too early anymore because there’s at least a few blockchains out there that have explore this space with relative success, I would say. So I think this is a good time for ICON to get involved in the STO space. So the next topic that we would like to move on to is BTP, which is basically like what we all invested in ICON for, you know, this is the technology that is going to connect chains and we are going to see a demo of that technology next week. So BTP 1.0 is ready for the world to see. Did you want to give a brief outlook on that Will?

William: Yeah, sure. So like you just said by myself included probably many others invested in ICON at the focal, a forefront of there being this idea of interchain and the ability for existing stranded blockchains, which have no means to communicate to another, to be able to allow to have this bridge, to communicate cross-chain. So it’s really nice to see that this is coming next week and it’s something that I think it’s probably the most important milestone that ICON has hit within their roadmap. I think interchain is something that is definitely needed and it will help ensure the longterm adoption of the ICON network. And Brian can get into more specifics. But what we’re seeing here is there’s going to be a proof of concept demo of the actual underlying tech next week. What we’re seeing here is it’s going to be private too public BTP integration. So yeah, if you just think about that for a second, the first thing that come to mind is loopchain. So we all know that loopchain is ICON’s proprietary blockchain engine, which essentially fuels ICX. So that’s going to now be able to bridge over to the public chain. So it’s definitely very interesting.

Brian: Yeah. And I’m really happy to see that they didn’t start with public to public because I really think at the moment, I don’t see any demand for something like that. At least not as explicitly as private to public, which they’ve announced that some of their existing clients have requested that. So it’s definitely good that they started there. I think because once this goes live I think there’ll be able to implement it in the real world for real businesses. So that’s definitely very exciting and I’m sure we’ll have a lot more to say after we see what the demo is about next week. So I think next week’s episode is going to be pretty cool.

William: Yeah, absolutely. You know, since there’s not a whole lot of details around it yet, we’re, we’re definitely going to have to wait until we see that demo. For sure. Our next topic is probably one of the biggest topics that we would see well that we have seen probably in quite some time. And I’m sure everyone, if you’ve been involved with the community, you saw Markus’ tweet, it was pertaining to the abolishment of the existing ID standard and South Korea. Brian, would you like to start this one off?

Brian: Sure. So recently the Korean government basically abolished the existing accreditation standard in South Korea. Since we live here in the West, it’s kind of difficult to gauge exactly what that means, but funnily enough, almost two years ago to the day I actually wrote post about this exact a thing. I would definitely recommend everyone to go read that post. You know, there’s, there are some parts now that are not valid anymore. For example that post didn’t mention Chain ID, which I think has now nonexistant anymore. It’s been roped in to the, MyID app, which is going to, to come out sometime in the next few weeks or next few months. But I think most of the other parts of this post that I wrote is still pretty valid and it gives a really good insight into exactly why this kind of thing a is needed within the country without going into like extreme detail. The old, the standard was based on a technology called ActiveX. And if you haven’t heard of ActiveX, I don’t really blame you because it was basically an Internet Explorer based what the heck is Internet Explorer. Right. I have not used that maybe since 1998.

William: I haven’t used that in at least half a decade.

Brian: Yeah. But it was basically like the plugin platform for it, Internet Explorer. So the way that South Korea had implemented these accreditations was through a plugin that was tied only to Internet Explorer, which now when we think about it, that’s, that sounds extremely old and archaic. And why would you do that? Right. But at the time, Internet Explorer was actually the most popular browsers. So back then, it totally made sense, but over time as things like Chrome came out and now we have Brave, like it’s shifted a lot since then. And I don’t think Internet Explorer even exists anymore. I think they’ve transitioned it over to Microsoft Edge. Back then, if you wanted to do a transaction online you actually had to authenticate yourself through this thing in Internet Explorer. So in 2014, the government actually announced that this kind of thing would not be required for purchases under 280 bucks. So people were getting mad that each time they wanted to buy something, they had to find a computer with Internet Explorer Even in 2014, I think that would have been quite difficult. And especially what if you used a Mac, right? You would have to go somewhere like go to the library or something and find a computer that had Internet Explorer. That just seems like a really stupid way to conduct life. That was like kind of the first step to getting rid of these accreditations that were based on ActiveX. So moving on, I think last October or so we were told that theloop and their technology was being used by 25 banks and other companies in the Korea Financial Investment Blockchain consortium later on Samsung was also kind of somewhere in the game. It’s still sort of unclear to me exactly what the Samsung did. I don’t think we’ve ever gotten really clear information on that, but since then, you know, it’s really evolved. And even back in 2018, it was really clear that ICONLOOP was going to be involved in making a change into how this whole accreditation thing works. And it just really made sense to me because, and again like this was two years ago, so it gives you some insight into how long these things take, because I recall being back in May 2018 and I was writing about this and even I thought this was going to be like a thing real soon, but we waited and we waited and now we are almost two years to the day and the government has finally abolished this standard that relies on Internet Explorer. I think that’s really exciting. It gives some perspective and to exactly how long things take when the government is involved, but at the same time, it’s important for the government to be in these things. Because in order to achieve mainstream adoption for something like identity, I definitely think the government has to be there in some way, shape or form.

William: Yeah, absolutely. And just kind of going off what you said there if we look at the Naver article that was shared, one of the quotes within the article was “instead as expected that other digital signature means such as blockchain, it will be activated by introducing an evaluation and recognition system or electronic signature authentication in consideration of international standards”. Actually, ICONOGRAPHER her part of our team. He wrote a really good newsletter, which we actually published today. We’re recording this on a Friday and he really went in depth on just kind of the history and backbone leading up to the recent legislation that we saw. I think it’s important to kind of look at how, you know, CHAIN ID has evolved, you know, while it’s, it hasn’t really been confirmed. That’s the evolution of a single, a single product. I think it’s fairly reasonable to conclude. So like Brian brought up, Samsung was actually involved with chain ID. They implemented Samsung Pass, but then all of their smartphones using ICON digital identity technology.

Brian: Yeah. I just feel like I never saw that used anywhere though. You know, there was all this talk about like the Samsung Pass, but I don’t think I ever saw any the usage of it.

William: There was definitely a lot of hype around that. Yeah, for sure. If you look at how many people have a Samsung smartphone, like it’s, quite a substantial amount.

Brian: Yeah. I’d say at least 10.

William: I have an iPhone personally.

Brian: Me too. The only phone that I’ve had besides the iPhone was a flip phone for one year, and then I moved on to iPhone.

William: Yeah, speaking of flip phones, I think my first flip phone was actually a Motorola RAZR.

Brian: Oh, me too.

William: Interesting. Yeah. But yeah, no obviously people have Samsung smartphones because Samsung brings in upwards of 200 billion in revenue and one of their largest selling products are smartphones specifically the Galaxy, but we’ll include a little graphic here that ICON released in their newsletter. It’s kind of interesting to look at how this has evolved. Firstly, we had CHAIN ID and that’s kind of evolved into DPASS. And you know, now obviously we have MyID which contrary to other existing solutions out there actually has regulatory approval. So when you’re looking, wanting to implement a new platform, especially after these laws were abolished in Congress with already regulatory approval, it kind of makes it out to look like MyID is, you know, most ready to be implemented. And you have the backing of 62 very well established companies, such as like we said previously Samsung Electronics, many large banks, several key players in the financial industry. It definitely kind of paints a very bullish case or ICON.

Yeah. They didn’t mention MyID specifically in whatever documents that they put out. But I think it’s very hard to imagine a world where it wouldn’t be that cause like you said, MyID just has so many partners that already has onboarded the countries like top banks. So those banks are going to be in charge of issuing these things. And there’s another DID alliance that I think was formed by SK Telecom, which is one of the big commuications companies, I guess, within the country. But as we’ve seen before, those options are not okayed by the FSC. Really right now, the only option that really comes to mind when it comes to implementing this kind of accreditation is ICONLOOP. And if it ends up not being ICONLOOP, I would be very, very, very surprised because even recently, you know, Min and Scott, they’ve all been tweeting about this and we even saw an interview with J.H. Kim and he was talking about this too. I’m pretty sure he knows what’s going to happen if he gave an interview and they don’t end up on ICONLOOP’s technology, that’s some real trolling right there and I would be very surprised. I would be extremely surprised and upset if that happened.

William: Yeah. And I believe ICONDAO actually did our translation of that interview. All signs are pointing towards ICON at this stage. When we’re speaking of adoption, you know, a lot of people don’t realize just how large this MyID Alliance is says actually KOFIA the Korea Financial Investment Association is a MyID Alliance ecosystem partner, and that alone, their members pretty much span the entirety of the Korean financial industry. So, I mean, that just further adds to it.

Brian: I’m calling it, I’m calling it. It’s my ID. Maybe it’s not I’ll give a thousand tokens to someone, but if it is, then I get to say that I called it.

William: Then you get a thousand tokens?

Brian: If someone wants to give me a thousand tokens, I’ll include my address in the show notes.

William: Okay. All right. So I guess that pretty much wraps up what we wanted to discuss there. Brian, did you want to touch on anything else before we wrap it up?

Brian: Closing thoughts in general? I think over the next few months, we’re going to see a lot of news come out about ICON. And I just want to say, like, it’s been so great to be involved since the beginning you know, I didn’t really become a P-Rep until at least we definitely were not one of one of the first I think.

William: No, I, I believe we started let around April or something June, something like that. Yeah. I want to say June.

Brian: Yeah. So it’s been really inspiring since then to see all of, all of the work has, you know, built the project into what, what we see now and to see so many people who have stuck around since when was the ICO, I always get mixed up. Was it 2017, 2018?

William: It was 2017, I believe around September.

Brian: Okay. Yeah. So like we’ve had, we have so many people here who have been here since, since that time. And like we’ve gone through a market where we basically lost like 95% of the value. And, you know, we have people who are still here who are active and they’re still very engaged. So I think that’s really great. Over the next few months, at least I hope this project will be in the spotlight of more of the mainstream crypto news in addition to hopefully the mainstream news as well.

William: Just going off of what Brian said there, I think there’s definitely a lot of things too, be on the up and up and excited about such as obviously BTP and MyID especially in light of the recent legislation.

Brian: Yeah, I think next week when we see what exactly the BTP does, you know, because up until now, it’s only been something that has been written on a paper, you know, it’s not been something that can actually be deployed and used in the real life. After next week, we’ll get to, we’ll get to see exactly how and what it can be used for. And I think that’s really exciting because it’s no longer an idea.

William: Yeah. And honestly, just going off of that, you know, we’ve, I’ve seen several ICOs back towards 2017, maybe early 2018. And it’s like, we see all these comments on Twitter and people are saying, why, why is this not out? Why is that not out? When we look at ICON, they’re fulfilling everything that they promised to do as initially outlined in the white paper. We’ve seen, you know, this crypto winter has kind of taken a toll on a lot of projects and we’ve seen some of the more scammy or projects like Substratum. So yeah, I mean, that just goes to show right there that this is not some scam project. They’re fulfilling everything that was outlined in the white paper. And it’s going to be really interesting to see after we get to view that demo and how the technology is going to work.

Brian: Yeah. I think there’s not been a lot of white papers that have actually turned into real things, you know?

William: Absolutely.

Brian: ICON is on the verge of doing that. But besides that, I mean, you have Bitcoin, you have Ethereum, I would have the thousands or possibly tens of thousands of coins out there who have launched white papers. I would say less than 1% have actually achieved even half of what they promised. So now we are on the verge of being able to bridge chains. So that’s very exciting. I’ll be waiting next week to see exactly what the team comes out with.

William: I’ll be waiting too.

Brian: Cool. So with that said, let’s go ahead and wrap up this episode be sure to subscribe and we’ll catch you on the next edition of The RHIZOME Report.