Following months of development, smart contracts platform ICON is finally gearing up for its formal mainnet launch. First, however, users must migrate approximately $800 million worth of ICON (ICX) tokens to the nascent network.
Until now, ICX tokens — which were originally distributed through a $43 million initial coin offering(ICO) last year — have run on the Ethereum network as ERC-20 tokens. Here, they provided early investors with liquidity but served no functional purpose.
Now, users must transfer them to ICON from Ethereum, a process that has long been planned but is nevertheless complicated given the size of ICX’s market cap and the prevalence of scammers seeking to spread misinformation and trick users into exposing their private keys.
Users have until September 25 to execute the token swap through the official ICONex wallet, and mainnet tokens will be distributed once per day. Cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and Upbit have also confirmed that they will support the token swap for all deposits made up until Wednesday.
Notably, ICON’s partner exchange for the token swap, Bithumb, has paused services following a Wednesday morning hack. It is not clear whether the incident will have any impact on the token swap. Bithumb had said that it would accept token swap deposits through Thursday.
ICON is one of a number of cryptocurrencies currently in the process of transferring their tokens from Ethereum to independent mainnets, owing to the fact that many projects funded during the 2017 ICO boom are now approaching their inaugural production releases.
EOS, which was funded through a record-setting $4 billion ICO that lasted nearly one year, activated its mainnet last week, but the launch has been less than smooth due to two incidents involving a major code fault and a potential constitutional crisis.
Tron, a project created by Alibaba veteran Justin Sun, began its mainnet transition in late May and expects the new blockchain to go live by the end of the month. However, allegations that developers have pilfered code from other projects without attribution — all the while passing it off as their own creation — continue to swirl, and one researcher described the Tron codebase as the “Frankenstein of Crypto.”