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ICON and VeChain: Two standout blockchain projects in the Asian market

Which cryptocurrency projects might break out of the Asian marketspace? Our correspondent Joseph Young explores two blockchain projects that he finds most interesting.

Written by Joseph Young Published on

South Korea-based ICON and China-based VeChain have attracted many institutional and individual investors over the past five months with their innovative approach towards commercializing blockchain technology and applying decentralized systems with a vision of efficiently and securely processing information.

ICON: Project Backed by LINE

ICON, a project that is known as the Ethereum of South Korea, completed one of the most hyped token sales in 2017 and has been able to sustain an active community of enthusiasts, developers, and investors.

Most recently, ICON secured a strategic partnership with LINE – Japan’s biggest messaging app with more than 200 million users – to allow the LINE development team to develop and deploy applications on the ICON decentralized blockchain network.

With the support from #HASHED, the largest cryptocurrency-focused investment firm in Asia that turned $600,000 to $270 million within the past year and a half, ICON successfully dominated the smart contracts market of Asia, partnering with major conglomerates like LINE to demonstrate the potential of its blockchain protocol.

This week, ICON and LINE formed a joint venture called Unchain to develop decentralized applications that could potentially be used by the 200 million active users of LINE. Potential applications of the ICON blockchain technology include end-to-end encrypted messaging on the blockchain and settlement of cryptocurrency payments.

“Unchain will create a blockchain ecosystem fueled by a token economy, where the users are rewarded for their contributions to the network. DApp services discovered through ICON and Unblock, a subsidiary of LINE dedicated to blockchain research and to accelerate DApp projects, will be integrated with Unchain,” the ICON team stated.

VeChain: Project Backed by PwC

China-based VeChain is one of the only blockchain projects in Asia to receive an investment from a large-scale institution outside of the cryptocurrency sector and finance industry. Last week, PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the big four auditors alongside Deloitte, acquired an ownership interest in VeChain to utilize the VeChain blockchain network in improving the infrastructures of Fortune 500 conglomerates.

Raymund Chao, PwC Asia Pacific and Greater China Chairman, emphasized in an official statement that with its network of large-scale conglomerates and organizations, PwC Asia Pacific will use VeChain tokens to enable Internet of Things (IoT) applications using the blockchain.

“We are glad to establish a deeper relationship with VeChain, which aims to build a trusted and distributed business ecosystem to help address long-standing challenges in supply chain management, food trust and anti-counterfeiting areas. VeChain’s mission aligns with PwC’s purpose of solving important problems and building trust in society,” Raymund said.

PwC’s investment in VeChain was monumental, as it marked the entrance of a non-cryptocurrency and non-finance company into the cryptocurrency market with the aim of utilizing blockchain technology to enable another key technology in the fourth industrial revolution.

Since mid-2017, the VeChain development team has focused on scalability and simplicity to ensure its IoT blockchain network can be easily applied to the systems major conglomerates. Other than commercial companies, VeChain also has a partnership with government-backed organizations, as it is expected to become the blockchain technology partner of the government of Gui’an.

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Finance and cryptocurrency analyst and writer contributing to CoinInsider. Offering unique insights. @iamjosephyoung