Icon’s long-term goal is to create a decentralized internet of networks that are all driven by cryptocurrencies.
Icon explains its mission in this way, stating that it intends to create a “digital nation” in which various economic players will be able to issue and govern their own forms of value, operating according to rule systems that they will choose.
The structure of economies that already exist provided the impetus for the design of this system. In these economies, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and public institutions all leverage a common means of value (a national currency), but they all continue to function as separate but interoperable economic actors.
To put it another way, the concept behind the Icon software is that individual computer applications can use it as a foundation upon which to build their own currencies and economies. The computers (nodes) that are running the program have the ability to choose which economies in the Icon ecosystem to support based on their own priorities.
The Icon Republic is the operational hub of the Icon blockchain, and it is responsible for regulating the method through which new ICX coin is generated in each block.
Following a white paper published in 2017 with a yellow paper published in 2019 that went deeper in detailing its technology, the Icon team has given several modifications of the idea, despite the fact that its scope is quite ambitious.
As of the year 2020, the Icon team maintains their practice of publishing periodically updated roadmaps on Medium.
How does ICX really work?
Which nodes are able to add new blocks to the Icon blockchain is determined by a designated proof-of-stake consensus process, which is used by the Icon blockchain.
The reasoning behind this, which is utilized by other major cryptocurrencies such as Tron and EOS, is that if the network does not determine blocks through competition (such as mining), then consensus can be reached on the network more quickly.
In particular, Icon’s blockchain ensures collaboration between the software’s five primary components.
These are the following:
Icon Republic is the name given to the governing structure of the network as well as the decision committee for the operations of the blockchain. The nodes that make up Icon Republic come from many Icon communities.
Icon Communities – Icon communities are able to function according to their own rules and consensus methods thanks to the network of nodes that are contained under a single governance system.
Community Representatives, or C-Reps, are members of each community who have been elected by their peers and given the authority to communicate with Icon Republic. C-Reps earn ICX for their contributions to the team.
Community Nodes, also known as C-Nodes, serve as the infrastructure for each community. They are accountable for the governance of a community’s blockchain as well as its maintenance.
Citizen Nodes are not entitled to vote, but they do have the ability to do business not only within a community, but also with other communities and the Icon Republic.
How the Loopchain System Operate
The algorithm known as Loopchain is what gives the Icon blockchain its power and is responsible for integrating messaging amongst all of the nodes that comprise the Icon Republic.
Loopchain makes use of a piece of software referred to as the Loop Fault Tolerance (LFT) algorithm to achieve this goal.
Loopchain works in a manner that is analogous towards other delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) algorithms in that it assigns nodes the responsibility of combining transactions into blocks, adding those blocks to the blockchain, and distributing those blocks to other network nodes. In turn, it is the responsibility of the validation nodes to confirm the formation of the block, verify that the block hash is accurate, and validate the block data.
Icon is an alternative to typical DPoS blockchains in that it streamlines the process of reaching a consensus by cutting down on the number of stages that are required.
To be more particular, LFT makes use of a method known as Spinning, which streamlines the process that determines who can build blocks and the validator nodes that confirm them.