Back in June, the ICON Foundation announced that a new EVM compatible blockchain called “ICE” was coming to ICON, and that ICE would become the application hub for the ICON Project with its own native token.

The ICON community welcomed the announcement, but to blockchain and crypto novices, the development might have seemed a bit perplexing.

ICE? ICX? EVM? There are more acronyms here than the U.S. federal government.

Anyway, we asked Scott Smiley, the “ex-banker-turned-blockchain strategist” and cofounder of Balanced, one of the ICON network’s signature DeFi platforms, to briefly explain what’s going on here.

Why ICE?

Scott explains that ICE is “the transaction fee and rewards token of the ICE Network, which is an EVM compatible blockchain for the ICON community.”

EVM is the Ethereum Virtual Machine, or the runtime environment of Ethereum. That’s all you really need to know, though if you want to go into the metaphysics of the matrix, so to speak, you’re welcome to explore such things here.

Ethereum is still the number one blockchain network for DApps at the moment, so bringing compatibility with Ethereum will be a huge win for the ICON network.

As the ICON Foundation envisions it, the ICE Network will focus on the application layer, while the existing ICON Network will “continue to optimize for BTP, and begin focusing specifically on interoperability and low-latency cross-chain apps.

Scott says ICE benefits the ICON community by adding EVM compatibility to the ICON ecosystem. He says, “EVM compatibility allows for execution of Solidity code and integration into things like MetaMask, so ICON DApp developers can benefit from existing tools around EVM/Solidity.”

Solidity is the language in which Ethereum smart contracts are written. MetaMask is the Ethereum-based DeFi wallet and browser extension that also serves as a DApp gateway.

Of course, what many investors want to know is whether any of this will benefit ICX holders.

Scott has a very simple answer for that — yes, because “ICX is the governance token of the ICE Network.”

He explains, “While ICON and ICE are different blockchains, the success of the ICE Network leads to success for ICX, because ICX is the staking token of the ICE Network.”

There you have it.