The Builder of a Decentralized World Put its First Block in Chain
January 24th, 2018 (18:25 UTC) marks the day and time that the Genesis Block* of the ICON Mainnet**, or its main network for crypto transactions, was generated, the team announced on Medium.
The ICON project is building one of the largest decentralized networks in the world, aiming to bring blockchain technology into our everyday lives by creating a decentralized world of free communities, using their platform to communicate.
The significance of this, while not groundbreaking, is threefold: it proves that the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) of the project was not a scam, that its development is on track, and that it actually works. The current ICX token you may be holding is a temporary token created on the Ethereum blockchain, something that most ICOs do until they raise the funds for their own blockchain development, and will be converted to a token for the ICON blockchain after the mainnet launch.
This is why ICX being listed on exchanges such as Binance and Huobi did not mean much for them until yesterday in terms of their legitimacy. Another crypto exchange OkCoin was also reported as having listed ICX among the supported coins only two days ago. Its presence on these exchanges only means that the tokens can be traded, but the underlying technology is still being developed.
As far as the token swap is concerned, Reddit user u/acatspit uploaded a screenshot of the email from the foundation that says many ICX tokens will remain an ERC-20 (Ethereum-based) token for the next few months, to make the conversion to a native ICX as painless as possible for their users. This was also confirmed in ICON’s Medium announcement in the FAQ part. The details of the procedure are to be made known after the release of ICONex - the native ICX wallet, soon to be launched on the official Chrome Web Store.
Things are looking up for ICON while the date of their summit approaches: on January 31 the ICON team will host their first Annual Summit titled “The Genesis” at the Lotte World Tower, announced at the end of December 2017 on Medium. The timing of the mainnet release is also no coincidence: they believe that setting the date only a week before the summit would bring “exceptional results”. They are expected to announce partnerships and exchange listings during the summit, as well as a lot of news which are not yet factored in the price, which is why the price is expected to skyrocket.
In 2017, during the token sale ICON raised ETH 150,000 (now worth c. USD 159m).
* The Genesis Blockis the first block of a blockchain, almost always hardcoded into the software of the applications that utilize its blockchain. It does not reference a previous block, and for almost all cryptocurrency, it produces an unspendable subsidy.
** A mainnetis an original and main network for crypto transactions, where tokens have real economic value. This is not to be confused with a testnet, which is a global testing environment in which developers can obtain and spend tokens that have no real-world value on a network that is very similar to the mainnet. ICON’s RC (Release Candidate) testnet has been up and running since December 27. A Release Candidate is a software developing term used for a beta version with potential to be a final product, ready to release unless significant bugs emerge.