ICON (ICX) Records Massive Gains after Its Tech Partner Enters Government Program

Francisco Memoria
  • ICON's price recently surged after its technological partner was selected to participate in a government program.
  • The ICON Foundation is also set to buyback $5 million worth of ICX tokens.

ICON, often called the Ethereum of South Korea, has recently surged thanks to its technology partner, ICONLOOP, as it was selected to participate in a South Korean government program.

According to a blog post, ICONLOOP was selected to participate in the country’s “Cultivating Innovative Youth Talents 2018,” which is reportedly supervised by the Korea Ministry of Science and ICT (MIST) and the Korea Institute for information & communications Technology Promoting (IITP).

The project’s goal is to “strengthen the national competitiveness in technologies and solving [the] youth unemployment problem through the cultivation of 5,400 youth talents.” ICONLOOP itself is set to be working with 53 members and provide guidance to students from the Baekseok University.

Reacting the news, ICX’s price jumped well over 20% to a recent high of over $0.96, before correcting to $0.88 at press time. The cryptocurrency is now up by about 10% in the last 24-hour period, and has notably seen its price rise nearly 80% since its $0.49 low on August 14.


Behind the crypto’s growth are other factors. Earlier this month the ICON team revealed it was planning to buy back $5 million worth of their own ICX tokens as part of their initiatives for this year, showing confidence in the project.

ICON has also reportedly partnered with South Korea’s largest insurance conglomerate, Kyobo, to develop blockchain-based applications for it. The company signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Kyobo which will reportedly “lead to collaboration on more projects to increase efficiencies in the insurance industry.”

Referring to the $5 million ICX buyback, ICON Foundation Council Member Min Kim stated:

[The] ICX repurchase program is a great way to give back to our community as well as reinforce confidence in our own project. In these times of uncertainty, we want to make it clear that our interests are fully aligned with our community for the long term.

Min Kim

Notably, as CryptoGlobe covered, other altcoins have been surging. Nano, previously known as RaiBlocks, saw its price surge 24% yesterday, after the Nano Foundation announced the former Vice President of Foreign Exchange at Citibank Andy Woolmer joined the project.

VeChain (VEC) is also up 10% in the last 24-hour period as it’s currently trading at $0.016, according to CryptoCompare data. The cryptocurrency’s price surged after reports revealed a Dutch homeowner will only sell his home for VET.

These price rises come at a time in which China’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies continues, as search giant Baidu recently started censoring cryptocurrency-related discussions on its forums.

Ripple CEO: 'You Don’t Want to Use BTC at Starbucks'

On Thursday (January 23), Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple, told the Wallet Street Journal (WSJ) that Bitcoin is not a good means of payment because BTC transactions take too long.

The Ripple CEO's comments were made during his talk with Phillipa Leighton-Jones (Editorial Director for Innovation) at a Ripple-sponsored event (organized by the WSJ) called "Ripple Panel: Changing the Finance Industry From Within" held alongside this year's World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Although we don't yet have a full transcript of this interview, we do know about two of the things he talked about thanks to tweets by Asheesh Birla, SVP of Product at Ripple, who was at this event.

First, it seems that although the Ripple CEO likes Bitcoin as a store of value, he does not see (at least, as of now) as a viable means of payment. The example he gave was paying for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. He believes that BTC transactions take so long to confirm that by the time you have finished paying for your coffee, "it'll be cold." 

Second, within the next 12 months, he sees several companies in the crypto space holding initial public offerings (IPOs) and he wants Ripple to be "on the leading side" since this is "a natural evolution" for Ripple, which raised $200 million via a Series C funding round (which valued the company at $10 billion) last month. 

On Wednesday (January 22), Ripple published the "Q4 2019 XRP Markets Report", which is a quarterly report that allows Ripple to "voluntarily provide transparency and regular updates on the company’s views on the state of the XRP market, including quarterly programmatic and institutional sales updates, relevant XRP-related announcements such as Xpring and RippleNet partnerships and commentary on previous quarter market developments." 

In Q4 2019, Ripple's total XRP sales were down just over 80% compared to the preceding quarter ($13.08 million vs. $66.24 million). Ripple "continued the pause of programmatic sales" (to crypto exchanges), and focused exclusively on over-the-counter (OTC) sales to "a few strategic partners, who are building XRP utility and liquidity in strategic regions including EMEA and Asia."

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