The Samsung Connection: Past, Present, and Future of ICON (ICX) and Samsung 3818

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When you hear the name Samsung, the first thing that may come to mind is the latest Galaxy smartphone. But there is much more to the company than that. In fact, the company makes up more than 20% of South Korea’s economy. It employs 489,000 people, which is more than Apple, Google and Microsoft combined.

The tech giant has always had a keen eye for innovation and it is no surprise that their interest towards blockchain would come sooner rather than later. They didn’t need to venture much further than the homegrown South Korean project – ICON. From Digital ID, smartphones and financial services, let’s take a deeper dive into the partnerships between Samsung and the ICON Network.

DAYLI & Samsung Electronics

DAYLI Financial Group launched during 2015, while ICONLOOP (previously TheLoop) initially began operations during May of 2016.  ICONLOOP began writing the first code for the Loopchain blockchain network in early 2017. By mid 2017, DAYLI Financial Group and its parent enterprises Coinone, DAYLI Marketplace, DAYLI Intelligence and Quarterback had grown exponentially.

Soon afterwards, DAYLI Intelligence, ICONLOOP and Samsung Electronics signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in June of 2017. Three months later, during September 2017, the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for ICON sold 150 thousand Ethereum tokens (or 42.5 million US Dollars) in 6 hours. Finally, on January 24th, 2018 the ICON mainnet went live for the first time. Since its inception, Samsung has believed ICON possesses the potential to bring blockchain technology to the world on an unprecedented scale.

Samsung Securities & Samsung Card

Samsung has been one of the leading electronics manufacturers on the planet for decades and is one of the most successful and powerful corporations in the world. In 2018 alone, Samsung’s business accounted for 18% of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of South Korea and had a revenue of an astounding 221.57 billion USD.This figure signified a 4.5% increase over the previous year.

Samsung Securities and Samsung Card partnered directly with ICON because of the enterprise’s vision and relationship with DAYLI financial. ICON’s business model and equitable governance and tokenization structure are also highly valued by Samsung. Samsung Securities provides personalized asset management services and includes brokerage, investment trust, underwriting services, mutual funds, asset backed security issuance, and municipal bonds trading services, to name a few.

Samsung Card became Korea’s largest credit card company after merging with Samsung Capital and is owned by Samsung Life Insurance. Samsung Card specializes in credit card payment services, personal loans, installment finance, lease and rental finance, insurance and other financial services. Both business models perfectly complement each other because DAYLI Financial is one of the largest financial services enterprises in Korea.

ChainID, Samsung Pass & Galaxy S10

On May 11th, 2018, Samsung and ICON again signed a memorandum of understanding to integrate ICON Network’s ChainID into the Samsung Pass identity management-as-a-service biometric identity (face, iris and fingerprint recognition) solution. ChainID is the world’s first blockchain-based joint authentication system that serves a variety of purposes and is currently being used by multiple security firms in Korea.

Samsung Pass is utilized for online payments, logins, phone unlocks, digital signatures and other uses.Samsung Pass uses FIDO (Fast Identity Online) technology and defense-grade security to protect user information via Samsung Knox. Samsung Knox protects user’s biometric identity templates with encryption techniques that are virtually unbreachable.

The Korean version of the Galaxy S10 also has a built-in cryptocurrency wallet meaning immediate exposure for ICON and blockchain technology is on the horizon. Eventually, these features could be integrated into every Samsung mobile device in the world. Samsung’s smartphones are used by hundreds of millions of people across the globe so this development could have far reaching implications.

MyID Alliance and the Future

Additionally, ICON announced the launch of the MyID Alliance on November 5th, 2019. The alliance is made up of 41 founding partners including ICONLOOP, Samsung Electronics, POSCO, Dongbu Insurance, KB Financial Group, YOTI (a global identity service platform) as well as several other divisions of the Samsung ecosystem, among others. The alliance aims to have 50 members before the start of the second half of 2020 and 100 in total by the end of the year.

The MyID service allows users to securely store authentication information on their mobile phones to utilize and access various services. MyID can also be used for non-face-to-face verification and opening a bank account. Through MyID, a user’s authentication data is saved after its initial use at a financial institution and is secured through ICON’s blockchain technology. Afterwards, to use the service in the future, a user must provide biometric authentication through Samsung Pass. By eliminating the involvement of a third-party, the MyID service makes it impossible for bad actors to misuse personal user data.

Our personal identity is at the very foundation of most interactions in our lives. Insurance and banking applications, healthcare, online shopping, suffrage, passport applications and much more rely on the security and accessibility of our personal identities. An ID that has been authenticated at a financial institution has extraordinary potential for applications in other areas and can be used within our world’s expanding digital ecosphere. Furthermore, MyID recently received Financial Services Commission (FSC) approval from the government of Korea. This certification is essential to adhere to strict regulatory compliance standards and to enable the service to eventually be used in other regions across the globe.

Jonghyup Kim, the CEO of ICONLOOP notes that,“Samsung joined as a security ecosystem partner. At present, ICONLOOP is discussing ways to secure MyID’s on smartphones with security solutions such as blockchain keystores and KNOX. As a result, MyID is also likely to be embedded in Galaxy smartphones without a separate application. My ID will be available as a mobile ID card in the second half of 2020 and will evolve into a digital ID platform and a user-centered service by 2021.” 

Conclusion:

Since the inception of ICON and Samsung’s initial partnership during 2017, both enterprises have worked tirelessly to integrate their businesses together and further the development of digital ID, mobile phone and financial services applications. DAYLI Financial Group and other constituents have also played a major role in the foundation of the partnership to enable blockchain solutions that solve a diverse range of challenges.

Samsung Group, ICONLOOPand the ICON Network continue to forge a partnership that will enable the ease of use, security, and efficiency of blockchain-based services in the real-world. Immutable, open, public, and interoperable characteristics are essential for the development of these technologies moving forward. In addition, borderless, neutral, and censorship resistance are critical to enable the long-term viability of blockchain tech moving forward.

For our planet to continue to evolve, it is paramount that blockchain technology has a far reaching and ever-expanding role to advance the values of our globalized society. The fundamental infrastructure of blockchain is meant to increase usability, transparency and sovereignty of our human rights and data on an exponential scale. With Samsung and ICON’s ongoing partnership, their ultimate vision to hyperconnect the world could soon become a reality. 

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