Icon is a South Korean project that facilitates a network of different blockchain "communities" connected through an hyperledger called the "Nexus". Each community is an independent blockchain connected to the Icon Republic (the network) serving for different purposes (e-commerce, finances, healthcare are examples of use cases) and able to set their own governance.
Communities are connected to the Nexus and are thus able to communicate and transact with each other. The Republic's governanceShow more [+] llows a complex system based on the loopchain algorithm, in which each community can designate a representative node (c-reps). C-Reps are the only nodes able to authenticate transactions in the main network and receive incentives for it, while also being able to vote for decisions about the network's governance. Each community has a score based on its contribution to the network (ICX volume traded, for instance) called IIS. ICX is distributed to the communities by a "public treasury" system, based on their IISS.
Icon's capability of attaching independent blockchains to its network allows the creation of a decentralized exchange (DEX), in which communities can trade different cryptocurrencies between them using ICX as a middlecurrency. The DEX automatically weighs each community's token value and converts it to the corresponding coin being traded.